Julie Mammano grew up in southeast Los Angeles County. She was an average kid, who liked to play, pretend, and most of all draw.
However, when it came to reading and writing, she was not so enthusiastic. Julie found them anywhere between frustrating and boring. Her mother saw the need to foster a joy of reading in her young daughter, so she checked out books from the local library that she thought Julie would like. At first Julie was stubbornly disinterested, but to her surprise the stories were fun and reading wasn't so bad anymore. In the years following, Julie excelled in school.
After graduating college with a B.A. in art, she landed a job as a greeting card artist in Arkansas. A couple years later she moved back to the golden state and got a job as a graphic designer for a children's magazine. After that she became a freelance illustrator. She began to pursue children's book illustration at the encouragement of a friend. Julie had no intentions of writing the books, only illustrating them.
At first, Julie didn't meet with any success. She was disappointed to learn that the general consensus among publishers was that her art wouldn't work for children's books. After so many rejections, Julie decided she needed to write her own children's book in which she would also illustrate. However, the problem was that she didn't know what to write.
After several weeks of brain numbing efforts at finding a story, Julie went surfing with a couple friends. It was August of 1992. She began surfing two years earlier and little did she know that learning to surf would be a good career move. While sitting on her surfboard in the blue Pacific, Julie thought how funny it would be if rhinos went surfing. Then---BOOM! She had the idea she was looking for. Rhinos Who Surf was her first book.
Julie is thrilled that kids like reading her books. This is a privilege she has never taken for granted. Julie still lives in southern California and enjoys speaking to kids about her experience as an author and illustrator.
Phone/fax: (714) 522-0477
- Certificate of Merit, 38th Society of Illustrators Annual
- Merit Award, HOW Magazine 1996 International Design Competition
- Parents' Choice Honors Award Recipient
- First Place, Watercolor, 1994, Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts
- School Library Journal Starred Review
- Bestsellers List, 2/14/99, Los Angeles Times Book Review
- Publishers Weekly
"...This may be a hit with children acquainted with fire fighters, or with those who love anything having to do with them."
- Kirkus Reviews
"With curving, twirling lines, bright watercolors, and soft, complex, often geometric designs, this picture book is a visual delight."
- Parents' Choice
"Mammano's delightful offering will have readers smiling from cover to cover as rhinos ride the waves…Children who have watched surfers from the shore will be pleased to find a book about the subject, while those inland will appreciate its sheer fun and buoyant exuberance."
- School Library Journal, starred review
"Mammano fills each full-bleed page with zigzags, concentric circles and seaweedy squiggles…The chunky, curving lines of text compliment the imagery...Radabonzical!" - Publishers Weekly
"Those rhinos who surf are now on snowboards, taking to the slopes with great daring and abandon and attempting 'totally aggro' feats."
- School Library Journal
"They're back! Those rhinos who surf and snowboard have taken to skateboarding in a highly stylized megalopolis…This will be great as a read-aloud and is recommended for reluctant readers."
- School Library Journal
"Those hipster rhinos…are back in Rhinos Who Skateboard…this book ensures that no skateboarder will go away hungry." - Publishers Weekly
"Those sports-loving series heroes introduced in Rhinos Who Surf are back in Rhinos Who Play Soccer…Readers are in for a wildly colorful game."
- Publishers Weekly
"Sure to be a hit with young 'footie' fans." - School Library Journal
"Mammano's sports-loving rhinos are back, bringing their exuberant sense of fun to the game of baseball…The joyous watercolors make the play-by-play accessible to the youngest fans…The book will fly off the shelves as another season begins." - School Library Journal
Learn about the creative process from the perspective of both an author and illustrator at your school, library, or event!
School and library presentations include:
- Information about surfing. Julie brings actual surfboard and gear if presentations take place in southern California.
- How the whole idea for the Rhinos series began
- Julie's own childhood drawings and even her 3rd grade book report, (mistakes and all!), showing how she got started as a kid.
- The process of how a children's book is written and illustrated. Shows actual manuscripts, preliminary drafts, rough sketches, etc.
- How to draw the Rhino characters
- Q & A
- Program emphasizes the importance of learning from mistakes, having persistence despite difficulty and failure, and the importance of literacy for enjoyment and opportunity in life.
Career Day presentations also available. Content would include:
- Art and writing as a career
- How to prepare for an art and/or writing career
- The good and bad aspects of running a freelance business
- Freelance versus staff position, pros and cons
- Steps in writing and illustrating children's books
- Q & A
What People Say
Quotes from educators:
"Teacher after teacher complimented me for choosing you to come to our school. One of the main comments regarded your excellent pacing. Others said you were a real person without pretense." - Teacher
"The teachers really appreciated when Julie Mammano would talk specifically about the writing process. It was good for students to hear…revise, revise, revise!" - School librarian
"We are still talking about your fantastic visit to our school."
- School librarian
"Gets down to the kids' level." - Teacher
"The students have been talking about what a great experience it was having you here." - Principal
"Children enjoy Julie Mammano and she works well with them as she seems genuinely interested in their enthusiastic questions and comments. Julie is a professional and delightful asset to any school or group's program…" - School librarian
"I have had many teachers and students tell me how much they enjoyed your presentation." - Principal
"THANK YOU for a wonderful day of fun and interesting and informative assemblies, given by someone with a true gift for speaking to and with children. I've heard nothing but positive and appreciative comments from teachers." - PTA
"The kids LOVED having you there, and you were a delight throughout…"
- Bookfair chairman
"I thought your message about markings that a teacher makes on your paper was so valuable. You were fun and inspirational!"
- 2nd grade teacher
"Keeps the students'attention." - Teacher
"I also appreciated your comments on the "red marks". They (the students) NEED to hear from someone like you that we're just trying to help them be their best." - Teacher
"You were perfect for the younger students and older students alike."
- Library media assistant
"You were certainly a hit with staff and students. Teachers loved that you emphasized reading and writing. The kids are constantly asking for your books—I can't keep them on the shelf." -
"I really wanted to thank you for what you shared with our students. They spent DAYS talking about you. When they realized how often you were corrected and had to rewrite they began to understand they have to as well. Many of them have decided that they want to be writers as well."
"It was interesting about how many times you had to rewrite the book! Your artwork is wonderful…We loved having you. Come see us soon, again!" - 2nd grade teacher
"Thank you! That was the best presentation I've seen (in ALL my years here!) Great visuals, cool topic, nice inclusion of kids. Keep writing!"
- 3rd grade teacher
"The kids learned a lot about being an author, valuing their work, accepting criticism…" - Teacher
"Your program was the best we had at this school. Students related to your childhood writing and art works and thought it was neat that you were a regular kid like them once. Even the fact that you now make your living as a writer of children's books, you once did not even like to read or write. This gives them inspiration to keep trying at grasping the 3 R skill areas." - 5th grade teacher
"I am impressed by your work and the enthusiastic way you speak to young students. I love the message you teach them: you can be whatever you want, work hard, and stay in school." - 1st grade teacher
"My 'kids' were thrilled and 'jazzed' to hear a real published author share her experience. We discussed your presentation at great length."
- 5th grade teacher
"I have to say that I have nothing but positive remarks from all of the parents and students that came…It was very exciting to see the enthusiasm was so contagious. Thank you for being a big part of that."
- 3rd grade teacher
"The students at our school were truly inspired. They really enjoyed seeing…the life of an author… as well as imprinting upon them the value of reading and education. We were impressed by your enthusiasm and love for your job, and we know that it made a positive influence on the students…" - PTA
Quotes from kids:
"I didn't know that when an editor edits your paper that you might have to rewrite a story 20-50 times. Thank you so much for telling me and other kids a lot of the things about an author that we didn't know." - Student
"I liked listening to Julie Mammano. I thought she was a great storyteller."
"I really liked your book. On a scale of 1-10, you were definitely an 11!"
"I learned at the assembly that to pay attention in school because it will help you when you get older." - 3rd grade student
"I really enjoyed listening to you. I hope you come again next year!"
- 3rd grade student
"I think you were the best author ever…It was good that the Editor fixed all your mistakes…It was interesting how you had all those red marks on your paper." - Student
"Thank you for coming to our school and teaching us about writing. You've inspired me in many ways. For example I really hated reading and writing…After you were finished I thought about what you said. Now I feel writing is just more than words on paper. Thanks to you I enjoy writing now a days" - 5th grade student
"You made a great presentation. You kept all of us interested…You inspired many people into becoming authors. You showed what you need to do to make great books." - Student
"You were very brave to show your work. Thank you for telling us if we have a goal to meet that goal." -
"You convinced me to become an author…You deserve this thank you because you took your time to come and telling us about your book and you as an author. I enjoyed your presentation very much. We hope we could see you again!" - Student
"I enjoyed you talking to us about your childhood, and about how you didn't like to read or write but you still did it anyways, because your parents encouraged you to read and write." - 5th grade student
"I also want to thank you for showing us how many rough drafts you had to go through before you published your first book and you also have to be dedicated to do what you want to write about." - 5th grade student
"It was really cool to see a real life author…My favorite thing I liked was you told us not to give up. That was a good lesson you gave me. That was nice of you to tell me that." -
5th grade student
- I surfed for over 10 years.
- My favorite sport to watch is baseball.
- I like chocolate, but don’t like chocolate donuts.
- I was high school valedictorian and college magna cum laude.
- I draw right handed, but play electric bass left handed.
- My favorite cartoon is Yellow Submarine.
- I am exactly one day older than Tom Cruise.
- When I was I kid I wanted to be a fire fighter and an astronaut.
- I like to swim.
- Horses were my favorite animal when I was growing up.
- I don’t have a belly button – JUST KIDDING!
Just For You
Rhinos Who Skateboard Coloring
Rhinos Who Surf Bookmark
Rhinos Who Surf Coloring