The Original Art 2019 Jury

Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Chair
William Low, Assistant Chair

Selina Alko melds words and mixed-media images to convey stories of hope and inspiration. She has written and illustrated five picture books, including B Is for Brooklyn (Henry Holt). She has created art for work by other authors, such as My Subway Ride by Paul DuBois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender (Gibbs Smith). And with Sean Qualls, she has co-illustrated much-lauded books such as Why Am I Me by Paige Britt (Scholastic) and The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage (Scholastic), which won the NAIBA Carla Cohen Free Speech Award and which Selina also wrote. Her website is:

Jessica Handelman is the Creative Director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, which includes the Clarion and Versify imprints. She oversees a team of eight designers and art directs picture books and both middle grade and young adult novels. Artists she currently works with include Corinna Luyken, Zachariah OHora, Rebecca Green, and Antoinette Portis. Before joining HMH in 2018, she spent over fourteen years at Simon and Schuster, designing and art directing New York Times and USA Today bestsellers for Aladdin, Simon Pulse, and Paula Wiseman Books. Visit:

Vanessa Brantley Newton wants all children to see their lives reflected in the art she creates. She has illustrated over eighty books, including such celebrated titles as A Night Out with Mama by Quvenzhané Wallis (Simon & Schuster), One Love and Every Little Thing based on the songs by Bob Marley (Chronicle), and The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson (Atheneum), which received the Carter G. Woodson Award. She has also created memorable art for beginning readers, such as the Katie Fry, Private Eye series by Katherine Cox (Scholastic), and she’s the author/illustrator of three picture books, most recently Grandma’s Purse (Knopf). Her website is:

Rafael López is the recipient of a Silver Medal from The Original Art for Bravo! Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle (Holt) and the illustrator of the New York Times #1 bestseller The Day That You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulson Books). He won a Pura Belpré Illustrator Award for Drum Girl Dream by Margarita Engle (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and for Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day by Pat Mora (HarperCollins), and two of his other titles were Pura Belpré Honor Books. He has also received the Tomás Rivera Children’s Book Award and two Américas Book Awards. His website is:

Neal Porter has been in and around children’s book publishing for over forty years. Companies he has worked for include Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Walker Books UK, and Roaring Brook Press, which he helped found in 2000, and he is currently Vice President and Publisher of Neal Porter Books at Holiday House. Books he has edited have received numerous awards and citations including the Caldecott Medal; Caldecott, Geisel and Sibert Honors; and Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré and Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. In 2015 he received a Carle Honor for his contribution to picture books. Visit:

Stephen Savage is the recipient of a Sendak Fellowship and the author and/or illustrator of thirteen books for children. He created the art for the bestselling Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson (Scholastic), which was a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. He’s also the author/illustrator of Supertruck (Roaring Brook), a Geisel Honor Book, and the creator of Where’s Walrus?, an ILA Primary Fiction Award winner, and its follow-up Where’s Walrus? And Penguin? (both Scholastic). Recent titles include The Babysitter from Another Planet (Neal Porter Books) and the wordless Sign Off (Beach Lane Books). His website is:

Luisa Uribe is an illustrator and designer of children’s media and the winner of the 2018 Dilys Evans Founders Award for The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just by Mélina Mangal (Lerner). Her art has been selected for Iberoamerica Ilustra, a catalog that showcases the best work by Spanish-speaking illustrators, and she has created memorable images for books published in the US, including What a Wonderful Word by Nicola Edwards (Little Tiger Press), which reviewers described as “splendid,” “stunning, and colorful,” and “sure to appeal to both children and adults alike.” Her website is:

Dilys Evans Founder's Award Jury

Pat Cummings, Chair
Floyd Cooper, Illustrator
Greg Pizzoli, Illustrator
Barbara Grzeslo, Art Director, Boyds Mills & Kane