Projects

Here you will find sample pages from the books that Irene has both authored and illustrated, as well as those she has illustrated in collaboration with another author. Click to view the full spread or follow the link on the overlay for more information about each project.

Below the images is a list of publishers and previous projects with descriptions and links to sales/reviews online.



The Archives

Children flock to Miss Matilda at her bench in the park. She is the trusted fixer of broken toys and umbrellas. But she is also called on to help mend problems of the heart-those with broad meaning for kids (a boy who misses his mom; a girl who wants her dad to come home; a child who longs for a friend or doesn't want a new teacher). When Leo brings his problem to Miss Mathilda, she realizes it needs more than a simple fix. She sings him a lullaby, offering all the compassion and comfort she can. Later, after the loss of her beloved bird, when it's her turn to need the same, Leo leads the pack to help her. The children come together, singing a beautiful song and sharing drawings of her bird, poems of hope and messages of love.

This is a deeply touching story that explores sadness and death-very balanced in the story and art by life, hope, human connection and joy. It's a story of community, love and friendship, and coming together through music and art. Miss Matilda reaches out to children through music, as that's what touches her heart. The children reach out to her with their drawings, poems and songs. Stunning, mixed-media art by award-winning illustrator Irene Luxbacher brings the emotions and scenes to life in evocative detail.

Published: September 26, 2017 / Scholastic Press

Malaika is happy to be reunited with Mummy, but it means moving to Canada, where everything is different. It's cold in Québec City, no one understands when she talks and Carnival is nothing like the celebration Malaika knows from home!

When Mummy marries Mr. Frédéric, Malaika gets a new sister called Adèle. Her new family is nice, but Malaika misses Grandma. She has to wear a puffy purple coat, learn a new language and get used to calling this new place home. Things come to a head when Mummy and Mr. Frédéric take Malaika and Adèle to a carnival. Malaika is dismayed that there are no colorful costumes and that it's nothing like Carnival at home in the Caribbean! She is so angry that she kicks over Adèle's snow castle, but that doesn't make her feel any better. It takes a video chat with Grandma to help Malaika see the good things about her new home and family.

Nadia L. Hohn's prose, written in a blend of standard English and Caribbean patois, tells a warm story about the importance of family, especially when adjusting to a new home. Readers of the first Malaika book will want to find out what happens when she moves to Canada, and will enjoy seeing Malaika and her family once again depicted through Irene Luxbacher's colorful collage illustrations.

Published: September 01, 2017 / House of Anansi Press

A beautiful picture book featuring artwork by Canada's finest illustrators ― a true-north tribute to our nation and its children, from coast to coast to coast!

Simple text describes the ample space available to our children in this country, and the freedom they have to grow and dream and share. With artwork from 13 of Canada's finest illustrators, each page is a celebration and a reminder of the infinite variety of our home and native land.

Heather Patterson's free verse poem I Am Canada, originally published in 1996, gets new life in this beautiful, illustrated hardcover timed to celebrate both Canada's 150th year and Scholastic Canada's 60th anniversary.

Published: May 30, 2017 / Scholastic

"Theo's Poppa was an explorer. He had been everywhere. He kept an old trunk packed with the pictures, postcards, maps and menus that he had collected on his adventures." Someday, Theo wants to be an explorer, too. For now, it's Poppa's birthday, and Theo has planned a special trip to the beach with him to celebrate. They plot out their course on a map they've drawn and then take the streetcar to the local beach, where they stroll in the sand, hunt for stones and slurp gazpacho at the beachside restaurant. It's a perfect day, and Theo is so happy to have given Poppa just the right gift. But best of all, Theo has also had her first lesson in being an explorer: you don't have to travel far from home to have an adventure!

In this heartwarming picture book, popular author Andrew Larsen has created a rich story that captures the magic of turning an ordinary day into an adventure. The closeness between Theo and Poppa is touching, and offers a terrific opportunity for classroom discussions about family relationships. The emphasis on discovering the world right outside your door is a wonderful springboard for projects in which children can do the same in their own communities. With subtle and imaginative details in the cityscape, the beach and Poppa's home, Irene Luxbacher's fresh and expressive illustrations add depth to the story. The endearing Poppa and Theo also star in The Imaginary Garden, written and illustrated by the same creators.

Published: April 01, 2016 / Kids Can Press

It's Carnival time. The first Carnival since Malaika's mother moved away to find a good job and provide for Malaika and her grandmother. Her mother promised she would send money for a costume, but when the money doesn't arrive, will Malaika still be able to dance in the parade?

Disappointed and upset at her grandmother's hand-me-down costume, Malaika leaves the house, running into Ms. Chin, the tailor, who offers Malaika a bag of scrap fabric. With her grandmother's help, Malaika creates a patchwork rainbow peacock costume, and dances proudly in the parade.

A heartwarming story about family, community and the celebration of Carnival, Nadia Hohn's warm and colloquial language and Irene Luxbacher's vibrant collage-style illustrations make this a strikingly original picture book.

Published: March 01, 2016 / House of Anansi / Groundwood Books

A cozy winter read to be shared again and again.

The wonder of the winter season is brought to vivid life, in this deceptively simple tale, of a young girl who loses her mitten on a crisp, snowy day. Herdisappointment is soon swept away, when she's back indoors looking for a new pair, exploring the colours, and textures of an overstuffed box of family mittens. Outside again with dad, she makes an even more endearing discovery that will warm the hearts of all readers.

The spare, poetic text by Emily Sher allows the gorgeous multi-media artwork by award-winning illustrator Irene Luxbacher, to tell a deeper story about warmth, sharing and discovery on a crisp winter day.

Published: 2016 / Scholastic / North Winds Press

On his last day before retirement, Mr. Frank is sewing the most wonderful outfit of his long career. Who could it be for?

In all his years working as a tailor, Mr. Frank has made all kinds of clothes. From the practical uniforms of the 1940s to the wild and weird designs of the 1960s and 1970s, he has seen (and sewn) just about everything. But today's project is especially close to Mr. Frank's heart.

With its use of textiles and sensitive period detail, Irene Luxbacher's artwork is the perfect complement to her understated text. The result is a story that children and grandparents can share with equal delight.

Published: September 01, 2014 / House of Anansi / Groundwood Books

Ruby can't understand why her cat, Mattoo, never wants to play. Ruby is good-natured but is perhaps too boisterous. Will Mattoo ever want to play with Ruby? Will Ruby ever win Mattoo's affection? With striking acrylic illustrations, Mattoo, Let's Play! is a visually rich story that shows how playing carefully and gently with a pet can make all the difference.

Published: February 01, 2010 / Kids Can Press

Theodora loved her grandfather's old garden. His new apartment's balcony is too windy and small for a garden. But what appears to be a drawback soon leads to a shared burst of creativity as Theo and her Poppa decide to paint a new garden. As they work side by side --- sowing seeds with brushes and paint --- a masterpiece begins to take shape that transforms the balcony into an abundant garden.

When Poppa goes away on holiday, Theo helps nurture the garden and it begins to take on a life of its own. This garden grows not from soil but from love, imagination and creativity.

Readers will marvel at each stage of this fertile garden as it grows from seed to full flower, revealing the power of art to enrich our lives.

Published: March 01, 2009 / Kids Can Press

This book in the Starting Art series provides an introduction to all the materials kids need to start building. They'll learn simple architectural techniques such as joining, roofing and folding, in addition to concepts such as foundation, structure and function. Projects include a breezy birdhouse, a mushroom mansion, a perfect palace and a fabulous funhouse. Budding builders will proudly say, "I can build!"

Published: March 01, 2009 / Kids Can Press

This book in the Starting Art series provides an introduction to all the materials kids need to collage. They'll learn collage techniques, such as cut-paper and torn-paper, decoupages, found objects, patterns and weaving. The seven dazzling sea-creature projects include a flying fish, an octopus and a starfish family. Budding artists will proudly say, "I can collage!"

Published: March 01, 2009 / Kids Can Press

Illustrated step-by-step print-making projects include patterns, folds, relief, etched prints and more. Budding artists will proudly say, ?I can make prints!?

Encouraging play and experimentation with everyday materials and tools, Starting Art unlocks the creative spirit in every young child. This excellent new series offers unique clear and inspiring step-by-step illustrated techniques for creating fun and appealing art projects that lead to discovery and a real sense of accomplishment.

Starting Art introduces art concepts such as color, form and texture, reinforced and put into practice through the creative process. Each book includes a visual glossary of key art terms and a note to parents and teachers on how to ensure a good art experience every time.

Published: February 01, 2008 / Kids Can Press

Illustrated step-by-step sculpting projects include a toothy crocodile, a sunbathing sea lion, a flock of feathered friends and more. Budding artists will proudly say, "I can sculpt!"

Encouraging play and experimentation with everyday materials and tools, Starting Art unlocks the creative spirit in every young child. This excellent new series offers unique clear and inspiring step-by-step illustrated techniques for creating fun and appealing art projects that lead to discovery and a real sense of accomplishment.

Starting Art introduces art concepts such as color, form and texture, reinforced and put into practice through the creative process. Each book includes a visual glossary of key art terms and a note to parents and teachers on how to ensure a good art experience every time.

Published: September 01, 2007 / Kids Can Press

Illustrated step-by-step painting projects include bustling street scenes, sunny fields of flowers, night skies popping with fireworks and more. Budding artists will proudly say, ?I can paint!?

Encouraging play and experimentation with everyday materials and tools, Starting Art unlocks the creative spirit in every young child. This excellent new series offers unique clear and inspiring step-by-step illustrated techniques for creating fun and appealing art projects that lead to discovery and a real sense of accomplishment.

Starting Art introduces art concepts such as color, form and texture, reinforced and put into practice through the creative process. Each book includes a visual glossary of key art terms and a note to parents and teachers on how to ensure a good art experience every time.

Published: September 01, 2007 / Kids Can Press

With this Jumbo Book as their guide, kids can take their inner artist for a walk on the wild side! Here they will find the inspiration and materials to make 57 projects in the great outdoors, including backyards, parks, forests and beaches. From imagined ogres who live underground to a sculpture that grows, making outdoor art is a blast of fresh air. This book is full to bursting with creative energy and encourages kids to ... take it outside!

Published: August 01, 2006 / Kids Can Press

Youngsters enjoy a wonderful creativity that allows them to express themselves joyfully through art. As they get older the urge to create remains, but they may not believe they possess ?real? artistic talent. This Jumbo Book bridges that gap. Art techniques provide the basis for over 200 pages of drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed-media crafting projects, along with itemized material lists and a glossary that will give kids the confidence and freedom to explore!

Published: August 01, 2003 / Kids Can Press

Publishers

Deep Underwater - written and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher - August 01, 2018

Groundwood Books was established in 1978 and is dedicated to the production of children's books of the highest possible quality for all ages, including fiction, picture books and nonfiction. Our primary focus has been on works by Canadians, though we sometimes also publish outstanding books from other countries. Many of our books tell the stories of people whose voices are not always heard. Books by the First Peoples of this hemisphere have always been a special interest, as have those of others who through circumstance have been marginalized and whose contribution to our society is not always visible. Since 1998 we have been publishing works by people of Latin American origin living in the Americas both in English and in Spanish under our Libros Tigrillo imprint. We believe that by reflecting intensely individual experiences, our books are of universal interest. The fact that our authors are published around the world attests to this and to their quality. Even more important, our books are read and loved by children all over the globe.

Once I Was A Bear - written and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher - coming September 01, 2020

Scholastic is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, connecting educators and families through accessibility, engagement, and expertise. We are a leading provider of literacy curriculum, professional services, and classroom magazines, and a producer of educational and popular children's media. Scholastic is currently in 115,000 schools, reaching 3.8 million educators, 54 million students, and 78 million parents/caregivers domestically.

Treasure - written by Mireille Messier / illustrated by Irene Luxbacher - September 10, 2019

Founded in 1984, Orca Book Publishers is an independently owned Canadian children's book publisher of award-winning, bestselling books in a number of genres. With over 1,000 titles in print and more than 80 new titles a year, Orca prides itself on publishing Canadian authors and bringing them to a wider market.

Orca publishes everything from beautifully illustrated board books and picture books to middle-grade and young-adult fiction. We strive to produce books that illuminate the experiences of people of all ethnicities, people with disabilities and people who identify as LGBTQ. Our goal is to provide reading material that represents the diversity of human experience to readers of all ages. Orca aims to help young readers see themselves reflected in the books they read. We are mindful of this in our selection of books and have a particular interest in publishing books that celebrate the lives of Indigenous people. Providing young people with exposure to diversity through reading creates a more compassionate world.

The Imaginary Garden - written by Andrew Larson / illustrated by Irene Luxbacher - March 01, 2009

Kids Can Press, a leading Canadian-owned children's book publisher, and a Corus Entertainment company, is the home of beloved, best-selling global brands such as Franklin the Turtle, Scaredy Squirrel and CitizenKid. From its early years as a small collective dedicated to publishing fun, enchanting, and socially responsible children's books, Kids Can Press has evolved into a globally recognized content company, with a library of more than 700 titles. Our young adult imprint, KCP Loft, was launched with a focus on properties with crossover potential. Kids Can Press also has a thriving custom publishing business in partnership with a number of blue-chip brands.

Since 1973, Kids Can Press books have enjoyed critical acclaim around the world, and our talented authors and illustrators have been recognized by countless awards juries. Over the years our books have won eleven Governor General's Literary Awards, an Ezra Jack Keats Award and make regular appearances on "best books of the year" recommendations. In 2017 Kids Can Press received the prestigious Bologna Prize for Best Children's Publisher, North America.

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