Mark Teague has never taken an art class in his life. Through trial, error, talent, and a love for drawing, he has become one of today's top illustrators for children. Teague has a knack for developing delightful and amusing characters – whether they are dogs, pigs, martians, or dinosaurs. He has illustrated over 40 stories by other authors, including How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen, The Poppleton Series by Cynthia Rylant, and First Graders From Mars by Shana Corey. Yet Mark Teague also writes his own memorable tales, such as the clever Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School and How I Spent My Summer Vacation.
An Exclusive Interview
In his natural, easy-going manner, Teague answered questions about his childhood, books, art, and more in an exclusive interview with Reading Rockets. To get to know this talented children's author and illustrator, click on the links below.
- Watch interview clips and/or read the text
- Learn about his life
- See featured books
- Read entire interview
An Artist at Heart
Mark Teague grew up in San Diego, California. Before he was old enough to write, he used to dictate stories to his mom. Once she typed them up, Mark illustrated the tales, which for some reason were often frog adventure stories.
Mark Teague had always enjoyed sketching and doodling, but he had never considered illustration as a career. After finishing college with a degree in American history, he moved from San Diego to New York City. His first job was at a large Manhattan bookstore. Arranging window displays introduced him to the latest picture books for children. Inspired by the beautiful, full-color illustrations, Teague wrote and illustrated a story of his own. It was about a boy who takes a magical subway ride from the city back to the countryside.
In 1989, Scholastic published this story, The Trouble With the Johnsons. That same year, Publishers Weekly featured Teague as one of eleven prominent new authors to watch. Since then, Teague has illustrated over 40 books and written stories for more than a dozen. He has illustrated The Poppleton Series, The First Graders from Mars series, The Great Gracie Chase, and other favorites.
Mark Teague now lives in upstate New York with his wife, Laura, and their two daughters, Lily and Ava.
Books by This Illustrator
Even young monsters on Mars can have trouble adjusting to the first day of first grade. Not only does Horus miss the comforts of Martiangarten, but a know-it-all student harasses him. At his mother's insistence, a very reluctant Horus returns the next day. Once there, he is able to forget his own problems when he helps a new and even more timid Martian. Characters are vividly colored and peculiarly shaped to create a comical but sympathetic school story of adjustment and emerging friendship.
Poppleton the Pig befriends a llama and a goat when he moves from the city to his new home in a small town. This first book from the Poppleton series introduces the characters and their everyday activities in straightforward language and engaging illustrations.
Anthologies and Collections
For young readers who have ever wanted, known or loved a dog, the short stories in this anthology evoke the full spectrum of endearing doggy traits! With stories ordered from easiest to most difficult to read, Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories is a book for young readers of varying levels to enjoy.