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From OLIVER, a work-in-progress

Ruth E. Harper is an English artist who fancies herself as a spiffy writer-in-the-making. But she’s probably best known as the bestselling illustrator of the well-loved The Kissing Hand, now deemed “a classic,” listed on the SLJ, NEA and Teachers’ “Top 100” with over 6 million copies sold. #1 on the NYT bestseller list for 17 weeks after 9/11, The Kissing Hand is now available in a Spanish version, in schools in Cuba, is a U.S. Army 'Initiative' (where book kits, with cameras for kisses, are sent overseas to serving parents), has been given back to parents as children went off to college—now for the 2nd generation—and has been the focus of early education classrooms across America every autumn for almost two decades.

From The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn (Tanglewood Press)
Ruth encourages big and little people alike to practice what they love to do, work hard with all they’ve got, and never give up.  That’s exactly what she’s done in her life and in her craft. A self-taught artist, Ruth primarily uses watercolor to convey warmth and joy in her nature and animal paintings. From an early age, she tasked herself to depict the peace and beauty of nature through her art to convey calm, a little humor, and most importantly: the love of the outdoors. 
From Where Do Creatures Sleep at Night?, by Steven J. Simmons 
(Charlesbridge, October 2021); sequel to come
Ruth grew up in a big, noisy family with little resources. Her "art education" mainly came from TV shows, during which she learned about light and shadow, techniques which she now uses in her charming, absorbing and detailed illustrations. Powered by dark chocolate, Ruth heartily knits stories together with pencils and paintbrushes. She is often snatched up by breezes and colors and pint-sized things—rocks, leaves, shells, bugs, feathers, and creatures. And her very own “kissing hand” is back to writing, too!
From Otters, Snails, and Tadpole Tails, by Eric Ode (Kane Miller)

Ruth enjoys getting distracted in her garden, hiking, and riding her bicycle in the gorgeous countryside of Western Iowa, where she lives in a tiny town, with a very thoughtful cat and an adorable husband. Between the two of them, they have six marvelous grown-up kids and handfuls of grandbabies.

More Art by Ruth E. Harper
More from OLIVER, a work-in-progress
From Happy Mamas, by Kathleen T. Pelley (Child Welfare League of America)
The Illustrator Highlight is a monthly publication featuring some of the artistic talent represented by East West Literary Agency.


East West Literary Agency, LLC specializes in children's books of all genres, from concept, novelty and picture books through young adult literature and everything in between.
We represent both authors and illustrators.
More East/West Artists
Copyright © 2021 Ruth E. Harper. All rights reserved.
Ruth E. Harper is represented by East West Literary Agency.

Our mailing address is:
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Santa Monica, CA 90403

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