Steven James Petruccio 
professional book illustrator 
presents exciting programs:

A Day in the Life of a Book

an enlightening program of art and imagination

Steven James PetruccioPresenterArtist and author Steven James Petruccio, who has illustrated over 75 books, traces the history of illustration as a vital art form. Using actual sketches and finished artwork, he takes the audience on a journey through the stages of creating an illustrated book from story to published volume.

When an illustrator takes on the job of bringing a book to life with pictures, he immediately begins to imagine what it will look like. The characters, setting and feeling of the story must all work together to make the book interesting. The most important tool any artist has is their imagination. This program inspires students to use their imaginations, practice, and keep trying to always do their best.

Mr. Petruccio tells the audience how he become an illustrator, and informs them about the history and importance of illustration as an artform. He then takes students along as he reads a story or poem for the first time and begins to wonder what the illustrations will look like. How big will the book be? Will the pictures be in color and how many will there be? All of the stages of creating a book are talked about and examples are shown. After learning and seeing all the steps of creating a finished book, ideas are solicited from the audience and used by the artist to transform a blank piece of paper into a finished illustration.

While visiting a school, Mr. Petruccio will be happy to do book signings, and informal discussions, as time permits, in addition to having his artwork on display for students to browse.

This program is recommended for small groups of 100 people or less (absolute maximum of 150).

Artist will perform in Half Day or Full Day segments:

  • Half Day consists of 2 or 3 (45 minute) presentations during a maximum 4 hour period.
  • Full Day consists of 4 or 5 (45 minute) presentations during a maximum 7 hour period.

A gallery of Mr. Petruccio’s artwork will be on display for the entire time period.



Pencil Push Upsnew

Exercises Designed to Increase Creative Strength!

Learning to think visually is a great way to get your brain in shape to come up with creative ideas and new concepts in all areas.  No matter what your drawing skills are, Steven shows how to use them to develop ideas, work with others and also make mistakes!

Illustrators take words, and develop them into complete pictures that communicate ideas to others.  Children have the opportunity to create their own story character.

 Original illustrations accompany this program, making for a chance to see real art  from picture books!

petruDig, Discover & Draw!

Unearth the way that illustrators work when they create natural science and historical picture books. Award-winning children’s book illustrator Steven James Petruccio leads you in uncovering the way he

researches, creates and “digs up” characters for his detailed, accurate and interesting books. A display of original art from his books accompanies the program. (Grades K-6) 




Let's See What's Under the Sea: Something's Fishy

an illustrator's mystery

Steven James Petruccio

Illustrator Steven James Petruccio presents an undersea mystery! Your job is to work with the illustrator to create a sketch of the sea-suspect by reading character descriptions in a manuscript and looking at visual clues in original illustrations. Creativity will be crucial in finding the fishy fiend! Observation and imagination is the key to solving this visual problem.





(Artist Steven James Petruccio)Mr. Petruccio is the original illustrator of the popular Tonka books and a series of books for the Smithsonian Institution Oceanic Collection. His book Manatee Winter was a Parents Choice Honor Book, and Seashore Surprises, which he also illustrated, was a Reading Rainbow Featured Book. While continuing to illustrate many books, he also makes time for visits to schools, libraries, and institutions to give his audience a chance to see the inner workings of the illustrator and get a better understanding of what it takes to bring a book to life. 


“A good story teller, a fine painter, an excellent communicator.”


—Matthew Paterson Elementary, Paterson, NY


"The teachers and students were extremely impressed with the quality of your artwork and inspiring presentations....Your visit...increased the understanding and appreciation for the subject of art"


—Van Wyck JHS, Wappingers Falls, NY

For further information about availability, fees, or booking this program into your facility, contact:
Encore Performing Arts, Inc.
P.O. Box 630
Melville, NY 11747
631-423-0747  •  Outside area, call toll-free 800-669-9850
fax: 631-423-1795