Betsy Lewin

Born:  May 12, 1937

Meet the author Betsy Lewin:

Reading Rockets video interview with Betsy Lewin:


Author Biography:

“Betsy Lewin’s love of drawing emanates, she contends, from a childhood filled with books and reading. Her mother, a kindergarten teacher, read regularly from storybooks filled with pictures by Kate GreenawayRandolph CaldecottE. H. Shepard, and Beatrix Pot­ter, and Lewin was soon covering paper bags, napkins, and margins of her own books with self-styled renditions of animals and caricatures of friends and family. Before long, her creations included stories to match the images on the page.

While Betsy Lewin was encouraged by her parents in her artistic endeavors — she entered and won several art competitions and at age fourteen sold her first painting — they discouraged her from pursuing such an impractical career. Neverthe­less, she persevered, leaving her Pennsylvania home to attend Pratt Institute of Art in New York City. Following graduation, she found work as a greeting card designer and then began writing and illustrating stories for children’s magazines. Her first breakthrough in the chil­dren’s book field was Cat Count. A poem, which had originally appeared in Humpty Dumpty’s magazine, was expanded into a thirty-two-page picture book with black-and-white brush line drawings. Long out of print, the book was re-re­leased when Lewin agreed to enliven its appear­ance with full-color illustrations.

The title that brought Lewin her first wide­spread attention was Karen Ackerman’s Aramintas Paintbox (1990). Lewin’s frothy watercol­ors added warmth and appeal to the going-west tale. Lewin continues to provide illustrations for other author’s stories while also writing tales of her own. Often her subjects are the result of travels to far-flung places with her illustrator ­husband Ted Lewin. Booby Hatch (1995) is based on experiences in the Galapagos Islands, Chub- bo’s Pool (1998) on a visit to Botswana, What’s the Matter Habibi? (1997) on travels to Egypt and Morocco. Sometimes these journeys have culminated in producing a book together for the peripatetic husband and wife. Gorilla Walk (1999) for example, features Betsy’s field sketches alongside Ted’s watercolor illustrations of the huge magnificent beasts they saw in Uganda……. ”  from:


Books by Betsy Lewin:

Chubbo’s Pool

You Can Do It

Thumpy Feet

Where Is Tippy Toes?

Good Night, Knight

Books Illustrated by Betsy  Lewin:  

Click Clack Moo series

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa series

Books by Ted and Betsy Lewin

How to Babysit a Leopard


Elephant Quest

Top to Bottom Down Under

Gorilla Walk

Horse Song

Puffling Patrol

What’s the Matter Habibi?


Contact Betsy Lewin: