Phyllis exhibited artistic talent at the age of two and a half when she presented her mother with a drawing of a butterfly, followed by a man selling peanuts at a peanut stand. She was anxious to follow her older brother and sister to school in Stratford, Connecticut, where she was soon writing poems and stories to illustrate and give to family and friends. As a child, she was always curious about nature and enjoyed exploring in the woods behind her home. The Limbacher house was always filled with pets and an occasional wild, orphaned animal. Phyllis was a voracious reader and loved her town library where she selected stacks of books for summer reading. She would often climb onto a branch of an old chestnut tree outside the library to read a book and study the artwork of her favorite illustrators such as Arthur Rackham and Beatrix Potter.
After graduating with honors from high school, Phyllis attended Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where she received a B.F.A. as an illustration major. For her senior thesis she wrote and illustrated an eastern European folktale for children titled Sasha. Phyllis has worked as a designer for Hallmark and was the assistant art director for Hopkins Art Center at Dartmouth College after her graduation from RISD. She was a freelance graphic designer for over twenty-five years, doing everything from logos to opera and ballet promotion pieces. She never lost sight of her original dream of becoming an author/illustrator, however, and in 1995 her first children's book, Counting on Calico, was published. Since then she has published several other stories on topics ranging from pets and wildlife to folk tales.
The North Royalton Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library (suburban Cleveland, Ohio) proudly incorporated illustrations from Ms. Tildes' books Animals in Camouflage and Eye Guess in the Children's area of their new facility. A large mural and custom interactive play panels serve to delight and educate young people in this backyard wildlife themed space.
For many years, Phyllis lived with her family in Connecticut. They have also lived in Nottingham, England, and enjoy traveling abroad. They now live in Savannah, Georgia, where Phyllis enjoys birdwatching, gardening, writing, and expanding her artistic abilities.
Click here to read an interview with Phyllis Tildes about Bunny's Big Surprise.
A word from Phyllis at TeachingBooks.net.
Read a Q & A with Phyllis Limbacher Tildes.