Since his childhood in Aurora, Illinois, Wendell Minor has had a romance with America. And as he explores more regions more closely, his love of the country grows with a vision that celebrates the beautiful, the lyrical. After completing his studies at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, Wendell began creating original designs for book publishers in New York City. His cover illustrations have enhanced more than 2,000 works. Wendell draws upon his lifelong affinity for environmental issues to create illustrations for children's books, which he especially satisfying. They allow him to combine his love of the outdoors with his independent pursuits - including painting the landscape from life, in the tradition of classic American painters such as Homer, Hopper, and Wyeth. His wish is to inspire children to go out into the fields and woods and mountains to see wildlife in its natural habitat, and to give the children a positive perspective about the beauty that abounds in the world. To research his children's books, Wendell has traveled from the tropical Everglades to the Arctic Circle to the Midwest to the Grand Canyon. Minor loves bringing the scenes of nature to children and is particularly close to the children's books he has illustrated. He has said that “a picture invites the viewer into it and offers a sense of mystery. It lets the viewer become part of the process.” Wendell lives and works with his wife, Florence, and their two cats, Willie and Sofie, in rural Connecticut. Visit Wendell Minor's Web site.