Welcome to Creative Kids Tales, Frané Lessac!
An author and illustrator of international renown, Frané Lessac grew up in a small town in New Jersey with a love of art and, much to her mother’s chagrin, a pet monkey, snakes, fish, cats and dogs! She spent many happy hours in New York meandering through art galleries and museums before heading off to a California film school at eighteen.
Working hard to finance herself, she worked a variety of jobs including fertilizing cactus with a silver spoon, running the projector at the local cinema and chauffeuring Beverly Hills residents around. Moving on to the beautiful Caribbean island of Montserrat, Frané set up an art table and began to paint waterfalls, brightly coloured houses, colonial architecture and the people and landscapes around her.
Inspired to create a book that the local children could identify with, her first book was born.
‘My Little Island’ tells the story of a young boy who rediscovers, while on a visit with his best friend, the delight of his homeland. Fiery colors and hundreds of details evoke the sun–drenched beauty, the sweet smells, and the joyful sounds of the jewel–like little Caribbean island in Frané ’s distinctive illustration style.
Getting it published however didn’t come easily. Moving to London, Frané approached almost thirty publishers before finally getting her work accepted and released in the U.K and the Caribbean in 1984. It went on to win St. Maarten’s Children’s Book of the Year 1985, Library of Congress Children’s Book Committee Book of the Year List 1986 and a Reading Rainbow Feature Book. One of the paintings from the book was also selected as the cover for After The Hurricane – Songs For Montserrat, a fundraiser compilation album, conceived by Beatles producer George Martin, to raise funds to benefit Montserrat hurricane victims.
Now residing in Australia, Frané has created over forty children’s books set all around the world and is the recipient of the Muriel Barwell Award for Distinguished Service to Children’s Literature 2010.
Her book ‘On the Same Day in March’ was named a Top Ten Science Book by ALA Booklist, and her contribution to the book ‘We Are All Born Free’, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures, has been translated into more than 30 languages and was a USBBY Outstanding International Book. She has two more due out this year, ‘Under the Southern Cross’ and ‘We are Grateful Otsaliheliga’, (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah, a word used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude.)
Frané speaks at festivals both here and internationally and has presented at the Singapore Asian Festival of Children’s Content, Bali’s Ubud Writer’s Festival, Bookaroo Festivals in India & Kuching, the Eric Carle Museum, Edinburgh International Writers Festival, Beijing Bookworm Literature Festival, Brooklyn Book Festival, Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington D.C, and the Los Angeles and Bologna SCBWI Conferences.
Frané has served on the executive committee of the Australian Society of Authors, was the Regional Advisor for the West Australian Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators, a State Ambassador for National Year of Reading and an Ambassador for Room to Read and Books in Homes.
With her ambition to instill pride and self-esteem in children about their unique heritage and their own ability to capture it in pictures and words, traveling continues to be a major source of inspiration for her work.
Find out more about Frané and her extensive collection of books here:
or follow her on social media here:
Introduction by Fiona Lloyd
View some of Frané Lessac's books: