Marcus Pfister was July 30, 1960 in Berne, Switzerland. He attended the Art School of Bern and then completed an apprenticeship as a Graphic Designer and worked as a graphic artist in an advertising agency.
In 1983, he decided to dedicate more time to artistic pursuits and began to write and illustrate his first book, The Sleepy Owl, which was published in 1986. His best-known work to date is The Rainbow Fish, which has remained on bestseller lists across the United States since 1992.
The Rainbow Fish Series of books have been translated into over 80 languages and have sold over 15 million copies.
DHX Media turned the picture books into a 26-episode animated television series of the same name, which has aired on the HBO Family\television channel in the United States since 2000.
Around 49 books of Marcus’ have been published and many have been translated into more than 50 languages.
Marcus does most of his illustrations for children’s books in watercolours.
He begins each book by stretching watercolour paper over a wooden board so that it won’t warp when wet. He then copies his rough sketches onto the paper in pencil. At this point, he is ready to begin painting. For backgrounds and blended contours, he uses wet paint on wet paper to get a softer effect. For sharper details, he first lets the paper dry, then paints the final picture layer by layer. When the illustration is complete he cuts the paper from the wooden board.
As an illustrator, Marcus has never bound himself to a definite style of art and surprises his audience again and again with new techniques and images. One can see this in “The Magic Book” with an elaborate folder-technique, the split pages in “Milo and the Magical Stones” which tells a story with two different endings, and in “The Rainbow Fish” series with the use of holographic foil.
He is now concentrating on developing new characters and artistic concepts for his picture books. Marcus Pfister has four children and lives with his family in Bern, Switzerland. His book signing tours have taken him to Korea, Japan, the United States and many European Countries. His hobbies are photographing wildlife in the rainforest and playing basketball.
A note from the author on the Rainbow Fish story:
Rainbow Fish has no political message. The story only wants to show us the joy of sharing. We all enjoy making presents for holidays or birthdays and the warm feeling it gives us when we do so. I want to show children the positive aspect of sharing: To share does not only mean to give away something (which is quite hard for a child), but above all to make someone else happy and themselves happy by doing it.
You can find out more about Marcus’s life on Wikipedia at: Marcus Pfister.
Marcus’s Books Reviewed
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