Calef Brown

It's quite likely that you've seen a Calef Brown illustration, considering his extensive experience with a wide range of clients, and the hearty list of books he's authored and illustrated, including Polkabats and Octopus Slacks: 14 Stories (1998); Dutch Sneakers and Fleakeepers: 14 More Stories (2000); Tippintown: A Guided Tour (2003); Flamingos on the Roof: Poems and Paintings (2006); Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness (2010); Boy Wonders (2011); Pirateria (2012); and most recently Hypnotize a Tiger (2015). Brown studied illustration at Pratt Institute and the Art Center College of Design, but is a self-taught writer and poet.

Calef has created interior and cover illustrations for numerous publications, such as Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, among many others. He has also illustrated CD covers and booklets for clients like Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. Records, Virgin Records, Sony Music, etc. Some of his corporate clients include Coca Cola, Adidas, Levi Strauss, and others.

Calef has taught illustration at Otis College of Art and Design, Art Center College of Design, Maine College of Art, and Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He currently teaches at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.

According to Calef, two things he likes a lot are musical language and serious nonsense, and both of these are quite prevalent in his ever-growing collection of children's books that create a Calef Brown world of whimsy and wonderful weirdness!

He has two websites:, and

Upcoming Visits

March 23-25 2020: Islesboro, Vinalhaven and North Haven

Past Visits

March 27-29, 2018: Lubec Elementary School, Beatrice Rafferty Elementary School and Whiting Village School. Read the blog.

March 27-29, 2017: Conners Emerson Elementary School (Bar Harbor),
Longfellow School on Great Cranberry Island (with Frenchboro school joining in person, and Cliff, Monhegan joining virtually), and Trenton Elementary School - Read the blog.

February 1-3, 2016: IRW and Calef visited Vinalhaven School, Milbridge Elementary School, and Deer Isle - Stonington Elementary School with three of his books in tow: Flamingos on the Roof, Boy Wonders, and Hypnotize a Tiger. He gave a presentation to each full student body first thing in the morning, then visited and worked with individual grades/classrooms. The students had a blast and learned a lot along the way, including fun techniques for creating poems, and new ways to express their creativity.

Read more about Calef's visits to Vinalhaven, Milbridge and Deer Isle - Stonington on our blog!

Immerse Yourself in Calef's Books

IRW creates worksheets to supplement the books we bring to life in the classroom, and provide these worksheets to teachers and students to use in preparation for their school visit. Here is a worksheet link for Calef's books: Calef Brown worksheets