James Balkovek

For over twenty years, James Balkovek has illustrated books, videos, and advertisements.

Born and raised in Northern California, James decided when he was 12 that he wanted to be an artist. After graduating from Central Valley High School in 1975, James enrolled at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, where he majored in illustration. "I chose to become an illustrator through a love for the children's books and magazines I used to read, with illustrations by Sendak, Wyeth, and Norman Rockwell," he said. James has illustrated over 150 books, ranging in subjects from fairy tales, education and cooking.

James currently lives in Maine. He settled there after driving cross-country from California with his wife and their seven cats, and two dogs. When he is not illustrating, James loves to garden, hike, travel the coast, spend days on the beach or inside going through book stores, antique stores and galleries.


Books by James Balkovek