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Don Tate

Don Tate

Don Tate has illustrated numerous critically acclaimed picture books for children. Don's illustrations also appear regularly in newspapers and magazines, and in products for children such as wallpaper, textiles, calendars, apparel, and paper products. With a bold, dynamic style, Don's oil and acrylic paintings bring to life the pages of the award winning children's books he loves to illustrate.


Articles about or quoting Don, or his books, have been featured in The New York Times “Children’s Book Review”; Black Issues Book Review; School Library Journal Blog; “The Writer’s Institute” (upcoming); The Austin American-Statesman and Des Moines Register newspapers. Other outlets of note include highlights on Cynsations, Cynthia Leitich Smith’s children’s literary blog; African-American Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators; News Channel 8, Des Moines Iowa, “Leading The Way” TV segment. He was also featured on author Angela Medearis’ “Angela’s Notebook, a 30-minute children’s television program featuring award-winning children’s book authors and illustrators.

In addition to children’s books, Don also licenses his art to product manufacturers. KIDZ is a line of juvenile bed and bathroom products that includes wallpaper, light switches, wall art and drawer knobs. He also has a line of children’s textile/fabric available at specialty fabric shops, which feature his designs. My Peepz, a group of African American characters, is marketed to ‘tweeners and has been a hit in the calendar market.


Don earned an AAA degree from Des Moines Area Community College. He has worked as a graphics reporter at the Des Moines Register and Austin American-Statesman newspapers, and as a publication designer for the Perfection Learning Corporation, an educational publishing company. In addition, he was the art director at an advertising and market research firm, and a graphic artist at a print shop. He also flipped burgers in high school and swept floors at the mall.


A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Don currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and son. In his spare time, Don is a gym-rat, having competed (in better fit days) in natural, drug-free bodybuilding.

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