Long Story Short
Brian Floca is the author/illustrator and illustrator of numerous award-winning books for children, including Locomotive, winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal, Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, Lightship, and The Racecar Alphabet.
Brian has illustrated Avi's Poppy Stories series, Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan's Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring, Laura Amy Schlitz's Princess Cora and the Crocodile, and, most recently, Hawk Rising, by Maria Gianferrari.
In addition to the Caldecott Medal, Brian's books have received four Robert F. Sibert Honor awards for distinguished informational books, a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators, and have twice been selected for the New York Times' annual 10 Best Illustrated Books list.
Brian was born and raised in Temple, Texas, and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Long Story Long
Brian Floca is the author/illustrator and illustrator of numerous award-winning books for children. Brian was born and raised in Temple, Texas, graduated from Brown University, received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
While at Brown, Brian was able to cross-register and take classes at the neighboring Rhode Island School of Design, including coursework with author and illustrator David Macaulay. Macaulay's class led to an introduction to author Avi, which in turn led to Brian illustrating Avi's graphic novel City of Light, City of Dark, published by editor Richard Jackson at Orchard Books.
Brian's books as author and illustrator include Locomotive, winner of the 2014 Randolph Caldecott Medal, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, an Orbis Pictus Honor Book, a New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Books of the Year selection, and a New York Times bestseller; Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, a Sibert Honor Book, New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Books of the Year selection, and Society of Illustrators silver medal winner; Lightship, a Sibert Honor Book and a Booklist "Top of the List" picture book; and The Racecar Alphabet, an ALA Notable Children's Book and a Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice.
Brian has illustrated Avi's Poppy, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the five other books in the popular Poppy Stories series, and Avi's recent novel Old Wolf. Other books illustrated include Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring, by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, a Sibert Honor Book, winner of the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, and an IBBY Honor Book; Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas, by Lynne Cox; Princess Cora and the Crocodile, by Laura Amy Schlitz; and, most recently, Hawk Rising, by Maria Gianferrari.
Brian has spent summers painting billboards, has answered telephones and checked student IDs at Harvard University's Office of Career Services (part-time job), and has taught continuing education and undergraduate classes at the School of Visual Arts. He currently writes and illustrates full-time.
You can visit Brian online at brianfloca.com.
To download a high resolution file of the headshot above, click here. For Brian at his desk, smiling and not really working, click here. (Photo credit, for desk photo only: Matt Carr.) For high resolution images of all Simon & Schuster book covers (including Locomotive, Moonshot, Lightship, The Racecar Alphabet, Five Trucks, and Old Wolf), click here.
Further Reading (Interviews and Articles)
"Pen, Ink, Watercolor, Repeat." I write about using pen, ink, and watercolor for the Horn Book Magazine's Studio Views series. February 19, 2014.
A video from the Brooklyn Public Library about working in Brooklyn, with a look at Locomotive in progress. October 22, 2010.
"Kids' books: Author, illustrator Brian Floca's career has him over the moon," by Karen MacPherson, Scripps Howard News Service, February 26, 2010.
"Talking with Brian Floca," by Jeanette Larson, Book Links, November, 2008.
"Continuing Tale: City of Light, City of Dark." On his blog, Avi recounts the beginnings of the graphic novel City of Light, City of Dark, which he wrote and which was my first work as a book illustrator, way back yonder in the year of 1993. January 7, 2014.
For additional interviews that focus on specific books, please check the collections of curriculum and reading material on the Online Extras page.