Dennis Nolan, 76, in Aug. 2022 (artist: "The Sword in the Stone," ed. 1993)
(too old to reply)
2023-11-13 21:53:59 UTC
He also wrote fantasy novels.

Not to be confused with the legal scholar, Dennis R. Nolan. Or with the 62-year-old Nevada politician.


Ashfield, MA — Dennis Arthur Nolan, known by his students as "the Wizard", died August 16 at home surrounded by family. He was born October 19, 1945 in San Francisco, California to Helen Fortier Nolan and Arthur Nolan. He earned undergraduate degrees in both Painting and Art History, and a graduate degree in Painting from San Jose State University. Dennis was an accomplished illustrator and watercolorist and began his career illustrating posters for San Francisco bands such as The Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company. He was also a beloved and devoted teacher and a father figure to over 700 students. He astounded students by being able to draw the figure at any angle out of his head but he was especially known for his kindness, generosity, wit and wisdom and had an uncanny way of knowing just the right words to uplift and change lives forever. When he knew he was dying of Mantle Cell Lymphoma, he wrote to students, "One gains a good deal of perspective at times like these, and it is crystal clear to me that loving oneself and every living thing and every moment we breathe is not only the answer to our own fulfillment, but an answer to what ails the world. And the anatomy of the ear is very important". He also wrote, "Keeping it simple and magical is the best way to travel. And the magic is always there if we take the time to notice it". He believed that seeing beauty in everything was the salvation of the world and that we all have three choices each day and his was to make the world a better place.

Dennis wrote the curriculum for the newly initiated Illustration program at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford in Connecticut in 1985, where he taught for thirty years as a tenured faculty member, earning the rank of Full Professor. After retiring from undergraduate teaching as Professor Emeritus of the Hartford Art School he continued to teach in Hartford's Low Residency MFA in Illustration program as one of a team teaching duo launching the Thesis Project.

In addition to teaching he illustrated over thirty picture books, eight of which he authored. His many awards include both the SCBWI Golden Kite Honor Award for his book Dinosaur Dream, and the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for the book Fairy Wings, which he shared with his wife, author and illustrator Lauren Mills. His books include The Castle Builder, winner of the Prix de Zephir in France. He has illustrated T.H. White's classic, The Sword in the Stone, and two of Bruce Coville's retellings of Shakespeare plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet, along with numerous others, including Dove Isabeau and Wings by Jane Yolen. His most recent book, Dinosaur Feathers, received numerous awards.

In 2018, he authored the 200 page catalogue for the Keepers of the Flame, Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell and the Narrative Tradition, to accompany an exhibition he conceived and organized as guest curator for the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The exhibition debuted to appreciative audiences, bringing to light Dennis's thesis on the unbreakable thread connecting American illustration to the roots of European painting through the long line of teachers, who have, through the centuries, passed along the wisdom, knowledge, and techniques of the ages to the next generation of creators. Dennis's rigorous scholarship and fresh perspective on art history broke new ground.

Having lived in the Pioneer Valley for the last thirty five years with his wife, Lauren, he retired to Ashfield where he spent the last three years in its comfort and peaceful beauty. He is survived by his wife Lauren, and their daughter, Genevieve, his son, Andrew, grandson James, and granddaughter Holly, sister Colleen, and brother Liam.

A Celebration of his life will occur at the Hartsbrook School, 193 Bay Road, Hadley, Massachusetts on Sunday, Oct. 2, at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions may go toward the funding of the life size statue Dennis was helping his wife make of Sandy Hook victim, Catherine Violet Hubbard, for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary...



(picture book covers)

(covers of 12 fantasy novels)

(brief bio and more artwork)


(slightly longer bio)


(short remembrance and some self-portraits)


"Outstanding Science Book Award, National Science Teachers Association, 1981, for The Joy of Chickens, and 1987, for Step into the Night; Pick of the List, American Booksellers, 1987, Top Twelve Books, Christian Science Monitor, 1987, and Prix de Zephyr, French Librarian Award, 1988, all for The Castle Builder; Parents Choice Magazine Top 15 Books, 1988, and Commonwealth Club of California award, 1988, both for Step into the Night; Notable Social Studies Books selection, 1988, for Legend of the White Doe; Golden Kite Picture Book Honor, 1990, for Dinosaur Dream. Monster Bubbles: A Counting Book was a Junior Literary Guild selection."

(sixteen Kirkus reviews)

(reader reviews)

(video of Nolan at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA - almost 9 minutes)

WRITINGS (this does not include his novels):


Big Pig (picture book), Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1976.
Monster Bubbles: A Counting Book (picture book), Prentice-Hall, 1976.
Alphabrutes (picture book), Prentice-Hall, 1977.
Wizard McBean and His Flying Machine (picture book), Prentice-Hall, 1977.
Witch Bazooza (picture book), Prentice-Hall, 1979.
The Joy of Chickens (nonfiction), Prentice-Hall, 1981.
The Castle Builder (picture book), Macmillan (New York City), 1987.
Wolf Child (picture book), Macmillan, 1989.
Dinosaur Dream (picture book), Macmillan, 1990.
(Reteller) Androcles and the Lion, Harcourt (San Diego), 1997.
(Reteller) Androcles and the Lion, Harcourt (San Diego), 1997.


Charles Keller (compiler), Llama Beans, Prentice-Hall, 1979.
Bill Nygren, Gnomes Color and Story Album, Troubador Press, 1980.
Karen Schiller, Bears Color and Story Album, Troubador Press, 1982.
William Hooks, The Legend of the White Doe, Macmillan, 1988.
Joanne Ryder, Step into the Night, Four Winds (New York City), 1988.
Joanne Ryder, Mockingbird Morning, Four Winds, 1989.
Jane Yolen, Dove Isabeau, Harcourt, 1989.
Nancy Carlstrom, Heather Hiding, Macmillan, 1990.
Joanne Ryder, Under Your Feet, Four Winds, 1990.
Jane Yolen, Wings, Harcourt, 1991.
Nancy Carlstrom, No Nap for Benjamin Badger, Macmillan, 1991.
Ann Tompert, Savina, the Gypsy Dancer, Macmillan, 1991.
Maxinne Rhea Leighton, An Ellis Island Christmas, Viking (New York City), 1992.
T. H. White, The Sword in the Stone, Philomel Books (New York City), 1993.
Diane Stanley, The Gentleman and the Kitchen Maid, Dial (New York City), 1994.
Bruce Coville, reteller, William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Dial, 1995.
Lauren A. Mills, Fairy Wings: A Story, Little, Brown (Boston), 1995.
Lauren A. Mills, The Dog Prince, Little, Brown, 1996.
The Blessing of the Lord: Stories from the Old and New Testaments, Eerdmans, 1997.
William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Dial Books, 1999.
Red Flower Goes West, Hyperion, 1999.
Sherwood: Original Stories from the World of Robin Hood, Philomel Books, 2000.
(and Author) Shadow of the Dinosaurs, Simon & Schuster, 2000.
(and Author) Fia and the Imp, Little, Brown, 2002.
The Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian Andersen, Dutton's Children's Books, 2004.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Saint Francis of Assisi: A Life of Joy, Hyperion Books for Children, 2005.
Pam Munoz Ryan, There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve, Hyperion Books for Children, 2005.


Jim Barrett and others, editors, "Sunset" Homeowner's Guide to Wood Stoves, Lane, 1979.
David E. Clark and others, editors, Gardeners Answer Book, Lane, 1983.
2023-11-13 22:03:11 UTC
And he had four entries in the "Something About the Author" encyclopedias.