Marla Frazee

Marla Frazee (born January 16, 1958) is an American author and illustrator of children's literature. She has won two Caldecott Honors for picture book illustration.

Marla Frazee
Frazee in 2009
Frazee in 2009
Born (1958-01-16) January 16, 1958 (age 64)
Los Angeles, California
OccupationWriter and illustrator
GenreChildren's literature

Early life and collegeEdit

Frazee was born in Los Angeles, California and moved to Glendale, California, during her childhood. She is of Lebanese descent.[1] Frazee found her early inspiration in children's books such as Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and Robert McCloskey's Blueberries for Sal.[2] She illustrated her first book in third grade, which was called The Friendship Circle. After it won an award in a state fair competition, Frazee created a duplicate for her school library. It was Frazee's first book.[3]

She attended college in the Greater Los Angeles Area, where she earned her bachelor of fine arts at Art Center College of Design and graduated in 1981.[4] While attending school, Frazee met photographer Tim Bradley.[5][6] The two married in 1982 and raised three sons: Graham, Reed and James. The marriage ended in divorce in 2013.


After college (1981–1990)Edit

After graduating from college, Frazee worked for various companies in advertising, educational publishing, toys, games, and magazines.[2] She did toy design with companies like Mattel, Milton Bradley, and Parker Brothers. Frazee made Happy Meal boxes for McDonald's and team characters for the National Football League.[3]

World-Famous Muriel and the Magic Mystery and That Kookoory! (1990–1995)Edit

In 1990 Frazee illustrated her first published book, World-Famous Muriel and the Magic Mystery, written by Sue Alexander. After Muriel, Frazee illustrated That Kookoory!, written by Margaret Walden Froehlich. She received positive reviews of her work in the Horn Book Magazine, a journal for children's literature and young-adult literature.[3]

The Seven Silly Eaters (1997)Edit

The release of The Seven Silly Eaters, written by Mary Ann Hoberman, marked a turning point in Frazee's career. The book revolves around a family with seven children, each of whom are extremely picky eaters.[7] A review from the Horn Book called it, "A pleasure for parent and child."[8] More positive reviews followed.

On the Morn of MayfestMrs. Biddlebox (1998–2002)Edit

Following the release of The Seven Silly Eaters, Frazee illustrated many books which increased her popularity. In 1998, Frazee illustrated On the Morn of Mayfest written by Erica Silverman.[9] After the publication of On the Morn of Mayfest, Frazee's next book was Hush, Little Baby. Frazee illustrated the classic folk song in 1999.[10] In 2000, Frazee illustrated a book written by Mem Fox. Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild!, deals with Harriet, a little girl who doesn't mean to be pesky but can't help but get in the way of her mother. They both do things they wish they hadn't, but their love for each other remains strong.[11] Then in 2001, Frazee illustrated Everywhere Babies, a book written by Susan Meyers. The book tells babies all the ways their families love them, and the diverse community Frazee created is united by the love for their children.[12] After Everywhere Babies, Frazee illustrated Linda Smith's text, Mrs. Biddlebox in 2002.[13] Mrs. Biddlebox uses all the ingredients to her bad day (fog, dirt, and sky) to bake a delicious cake.[14]

Roller Coaster (2003)Edit

Frazee wrote her first book, Roller Coaster in 2003. The idea for the book was conceived during a family trip, during which Frazee's sons talked continuously about roller coasters.[15] Roller Coaster became the first book both written and illustrated by Frazee. It follows a typical roller coaster ride and its passengers; a young girl apprehensive about the ride becomes the main character.[16]

ClementineAll the World (2006–2009)Edit

In 2006, Frazee illustrated Clementine, a series of chapter books written by Sara Pennypacker[17] Frazee uses pen and ink drawings to make the story of an overly-active and imaginative third-grader come to life.[18] More recently, Frazee wrote and illustrated A Couple of Boys have the Best Week Ever. Loosely based upon the adventures of her son and his friend at a nature camp, Frazee captures the essence of summer vacation and what it means to children.[19] Frazee earned her first Caldecott Honor for her illustrations in the book, although she wrote it as well.[20] Following the publication of A Couple of Boys have the Best Week Ever, Frazee illustrated All the World, a book written by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon. The book follows a family and their friends through the course of a day and ends with a festive gathering at night.[21] For her beautiful illustrations and double page spreads, Frazee picked up another Caldecott Honor.[22]

The Boss Baby (2007)Edit

In Fall 2007, The Boss Baby, both written and illustrated by Frazee, was published.[23] Frazee describes a young couple's newest arrival. The baby quickly takes over their lives with his nightly "meetings" and demands.[23] The Boss Baby was met with positive reviews, with the Horn Book Magazine calling it "this year's baby-shower hit."[24] In all, The Boss Baby garnered more than three starred reviews. DreamWorks Animation released an animated feature film loosely based on the book in March 2017, with a sequel released in July 2021. DreamWorks also released a Netflix show based on the book titled The Boss Baby: Back in Business.[25]



As illustratorEdit

  • World Famous Muriel and the Magic Mystery
  • That Kookoory!
  • The Seven Silly Eaters
  • On the Morn of Mayfest
  • Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild!
  • Everywhere Babies
  • Mrs. Biddlebox
  • New Baby Train
  • Clementine Series
    • Clementine
    • The Talented Clementine
    • Clementine's Letter
  • All the World
  • Stars
  • Hush Little Baby: A Folk Song with Pictures
  • The People in Pineapple Place – cover

Aurora county all stars Boss baby

As writer and illustratorEdit

  • Roller Coaster
  • Santa Claus, The World's Number One Toy Expert
  • Walk On, A Guide for Babies of All Ages
  • A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever
  • The Boss Baby
  • The Bossier Baby
  • The Farmer and the Clown
  • Boot and Shoe


  1. ^ @MarlaFrazee (3 July 2015). "Deeply grateful that my Lebanese grandparents made it to the USA when they did. #Happy4th" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b "A video interview with Marla Frazee". Reading Rockets. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Answers – The Most Trusted Place for Answering Life's Questions". Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Marla Frazee (1958–) Biography – Career, Awards, Honors, Sidelights – Personal, Addresses, Member, Writings". Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  5. ^ Griffin Llanas, Sheila (2012). Marla Frazee. ABDO Publishing Company. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-61783-246-8.
  6. ^ "Interview with Marla Frazee". Harcourt Books. Archived from the original on December 16, 2014. Retrieved November 23, 2014. And my husband, who is a photographer, is the guy with the camera.
  7. ^ "Review for The Seven Silly Eaters, Hilarious rhyming story about picky eaters". 27 July 2005. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  8. ^ The Seven Silly Eaters Archived 2011-04-11 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Silverman, Erica (24 October 2015). "On the Morn of Mayfest – Erica Silverman Children's Book Author". Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  10. ^ Harcourt, Hush, Little Baby Archived 2007-03-21 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Harcourt, Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild Archived 2007-03-21 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Everywhere Babies". Quaker Books. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  13. ^ Smith, Linda (September 2002). Mrs. Biddlebox (Golden Kite Awards): Linda Smith, Marla Frazee: 9780060286903: Books. ISBN 0060286903.
  14. ^ Barnes & Noble. "Mrs. Biddlebox". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  15. ^ Harcourt: Interview with Marla Frazee Archived 2014-12-16 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Roller Coaster". Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  17. ^ Pennypacker, Sara (12 September 2006). Clementine (A Clementine Book): Sara Pennypacker, Marla Frazee: 9780786838820: Books. ISBN 0786838825.
  18. ^ "Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee". Compulsive Overreader. 25 January 2007. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  19. ^ Harcourt- A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "2009 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books". Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  21. ^ Scanlon, Liz Garton (8 September 2009). All the World. ISBN 9781416985808. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  22. ^ Caldecott Medal 2010 Archived 2010-11-24 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ a b Frazee, Marla (31 August 2010). The Boss Baby. ISBN 9781442401679. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  24. ^ "The Boss Baby". Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  25. ^ Kit, Borys (September 30, 2014). "Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey to Voice Star in DreamWorks Animation's 'Boss Baby'". Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  26. ^ Schliesman, Megan (16 January 2019). "Marla Frazee Wins 2019 Charlotte Zolotow Award". CCBlogC. CCBC. Retrieved 17 January 2019.

External linksEdit