Phoebe Wahl is an award-winning children’s book author, illustrator, and surface designer whose work focuses on themes of comfort, nostalgia, and intimacy with nature and one another. She grew up unschooled in Washington state and credits her free-range childhood in the Northwest for much of her inspiration and values.
Phoebe graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2013 with a BFA in illustration. Her first children’s book, Sonya’s Chickens (Tundra), was the recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for New Illustrator, and her most recent book, The Blue House (Knopf/Tundra) was named one of the Best Books of 2020 by Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and NPR. Her other titles include Backyard Fairies (Knopf/Tundra), Paper Mice (Simon & Schuster, written by Megan Wagner Lloyd) and the forthcoming Little Witch Hazel (Tundra, out 2021). Phoebe lives in Bellingham, Washington, where she has a small retail shop and occasionally teaches illustration at Western Washington University. When she isn't drawing, she can be found sewing, cooking, gardening, or cuddling her two rambunctious cats.
Best Book Friends, Episode #79, Phoebe Wahl Pt. 1
Best Book Friends, Episode #80, Phoebe Wahl Pt. 2
SLJ: The Blue House Cover Reveal & Interview with Betsey Bird
Growing Up Unschooling, Episode #90
Artists of the North Sound, Phoebe Wahl
Where can I buy your books?
Phoebe’s books are available anywhere books are sold. To purchase online while supporting local independent bookstores, we recommend IndieBound.
We also encourage you to request copies at your local library!
When is your next book coming out?
The Blue House (Knopf/Tundra) was released in August 2020, you can order a copy here! Little Witch Hazel (Tundra) will be coming out in 2021.
Are your books available in any languages besides English?
Sonya's Chickens is currently available in Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Italian and French.
Backyard Fairies is available in Dutch, and a French edition of The Blue House is currently in the works.
If you are interested in publishing one of Phoebe's books in another language, please contact it's publisher.
Would Phoebe be interested in illustrating my book?
If you have a publisher, maybe! Please contact Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary with book and publishing related inquiries.
Do you take on commissions/custom work?
Occasionally. Please contact Phoebe's customer care team with your request.
Will you speak at my school or business?
Maybe! Please contact us for availability and rates.
I own a shop and would like to carry Phoebe's merchandise. Do you wholesale?
Yes! Please contact Phoebe's wholesale team. If you’re interested in carrying her books, please contact the publisher or a distributor directly.
Are your products available at any brick & mortar locations?
Yes! A full list of stockists will be posted soon on our shop website.
What mediums do you use?
Phoebe’s full color illustrations are a mix of watercolor, collage with found and painted papers, colored pencil, and gouache. Her black and white ink drawings are made with brushes and ink or brush pen. For most surface design work, such as letterpressed and screen-printed items, Phoebe works digitally in Photoshop using a Wacom Cintiq 22HD and stylus pen. Her fabric sculptures utilize wool felt and various thrifted and repurposed fabrics sewn around a wire armature.
What brand of sketchbook do you use?
Either homemade or Hand Book Journal Co. sketchbooks.