Jessica Lanan
About Me

Hello, and welcome! My name is Jessica, but some people call me Jessie. I am an author, illustrator and painter living in Boulder, Colorado. I help young readers discover the beauty and diversity of their world by creating books that are inspiring, accessible and memorable. My goal is to help children understand that they are a part of the natural world.

I grew up in Longmont, Colorado and spent a lot of my childhood outside hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains. I studied fine art at Scripps College and after graduation traveled solo for a year in various parts of Asia on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study and illustrate folk tales. I brought a travel set of watercolors on that trip and I have been painting ever since.

Please have a look around for samples of my art and illustration, more info on my books, and free downloads for your home or classroom. If you'd like to learn more about my plein air painting process, click here. For my latest sketches, videos and more follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Youtube.

If you'd like to hear occasional news (upcoming books and new articles and videos, usually 3-4 times per year) use the form below. Your email will not be shared and will be stored securely by Mailchimp. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Awards and Lists

The Fisherman and the Whale

Just Right

  • SCBWI Golden Kite Honor, 2020
  • Bank Street College of Education Best Book, 2020
  • Chicago Public Library best informational book for young readers, 2019
  • ALA Notable Book, 2020
  • A Junior Library Guild Selection, 2019

Other Stuff

  • Colorado Watercolor Society State Show, Third Place, 2020
  • Amazon Best Nonfiction Book of 2019: Finding Narnia
  • APALA Award, picture book category, 2011: Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth
  • Thomas J. Watson Fellow, 2006-2007