I grew up in a big creative family.

Hello there, my name is Cynthia Jabar.  Thanks for visiting my online studio space I call my make & doodle zine.  I created it as a way of sharing & awakening my empathy through my creative practice.  My intention is to build a community of like minded maker nerds who believe:

  • our difference is our strength & beauty
  • we can make a kinder world by making a kinder, more inclusive story
  • we're one living organism, so let's protect the Earth.

#WeGotThis/  #play  /  #empathy  /  #creativity  /  #kindness  /  #NYC  

I love collaborating with kids & teachers.

Maine Humanities Council,  Libra Foundation, The Decordova Museum, Horizons Initiative & lots of public schools in and around the Boston area.

If you're a kindred spirit interested in working together to create new characters, picture books, play things or story making workshops, say hello.  Drop me a note, anyway, I'd love to hear from you. 

I've worked with &  learned from the best.


Candlewick Press,  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,  Harper Collins,  Little Brown & Company,  Scholastic Paperbacks,  Penguin,  Farrar Straus & Giroux


Boston University,  Children's Book Council,  Target,  Old Navy,  Peaceable Kingdom Press,  Galison,  Blue Apple Books,  David Godine Publisher

Here's my picture book awards & reviews.

My picture books have been chosen for the 'Pick of the Lists,' by American Booksellers.  My awards include the Parent's Choice Award, the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold AwardBank Street Best Children's Book Award and various Publisher's Weekly Starred Reviews. You can find more reviews on my picture books page here.


"positive girl power attitude" - School Library Journal

"deep emotional resonance" - Publishers Weekly

"packed with child appeal" - School Library Journal

"eats too many cookies" - JC5

"fun-filled" - Booklist

Here's my publishing biography.

Born and raised in Maine, Cynthia attributes her love of making books to her 4th grade teacher, Miss Keniston. A class book making project of illustrated poems created a lasting love for making, reading and collecting books. So it was no surprise that while attending Simmons College to study biology, she often found herself making elaborately illustrated lab notebooks. With encouragement from a drawing professor, she attended The Rhode Island School Of Design and The University of Iowa where she studied illustration and the history of the book.

While attending college , she wrote and illustrated her first picture books for Little Brown & Company: Party Day, Alice Ann Gets Ready For School, Bored Blue Think What You Can do and Shimmy Shake Earthquake Don't Forget To Dance Poems. Since then she has illustrated over 20 picture books, created best selling characters for children's products, designed book jackets, created digital storytelling experiences for kids, and curated picture book illustration shows for HINGE Gallery and SCBWI.

As a member of the Maine Humanities Council project advisory board, Cynthia collaborated with the Born To Read early literacy initiative developed to promote tolerance and diversity among young children. 

She visits schools, skypes and volunteers her time empowering kids to find their voices and tell their own stories - paying it forward - passing on the love book making Miss Keniston gave her, one story at a time.

My list of picture books.

Candlewick Press

One Frog Sang, written by Shirley Parenteau, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

How Many, How Many, How Many, written by Rick Walton, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

No Hickory, No Dickory, No Dock, written by John Agard & Grace Nichols, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

The Big Meow, written by Elizabeth Spires, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Raising Readers, A Treasury Of Tales From Maine

Raising Readers, A Collection Of  Stories From Maine

Math's Together, An Anthology of Math Concepts

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

The Sound of Day, The Sound of Night, written by Mary O'Neill, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Grace For An Island Meal, written by Rachel Field, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Harper Collins Publishers

The Scrubbly Bubbly Car Wash, written by Irene O'Garden, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar


Tally O'Malley, written by Stuart Murphy, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar, Mathstart Series: Tallying, NCTM Standards: Communication, Numbers & Operations, Problem Solving

Game Time! written by Stuart Murphy, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar, Mathstart Series: Level 3, Time, NCTM Standards: Communication, Measurements

The Sundae Scoop, written by Stuart Murphy, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar, Mathstart Series 2: Combinational, NCTM Standards: Algebra, Connections, Data Analysis

The Greatest Gymnast Of All, written by Stuart Murphy, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar, Mathstart Series:Opposites, NCTM Standards: Communication, Geometry

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Rain Song, written by Lezlie Evans, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Snow Dance, written by Lezlie Evans, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

WOW! It Sure Is Good To Be You, written & illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Wont You Come & Play With Me? written by Mary Lee Donovan, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Girl Power 5 Minute Stories, Anthology

Little Brown & Company

Party Day! written & illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Bored Blue! Think What You can Do, written & illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Alice Ann Gets Ready For School, written & illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Shimmy Sake Earthquake Don't Forget To Dance Poems collected & illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

A Girls Guide To Life written by Catherine Dee & illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Scholastic Paperbacks

The Frog Who Wanted To Be A Singer, written by Linda Goss & illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

One Frog Sang, written by Shirley Parenteau & illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Rain Song, written by Lezlie Evans, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Snow Dance, written by Lezlie Evans, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar