Nancy Fulvimari Proud Of Her Son’s Illustrations for ”Roses”
Here’s a nice article from a newspaper published in Jeffrey Fulvimari‘s home town of Akron in Ohio.
Akron native’s illustrations make book a page-turner
By Kim Hone-McMahan – Beacon Journal staff writer
Forget for a moment that she recently tongue-wrestled Britney Spears. Today’s news is that Madonna has written a children’s book, The English Roses.
And as the Material Girl wiggles and gyrates her way into the world of kids’ literature, the person who’s helping to make the book a success is an Akron native.
Jeffrey Fulvimari, a 1980 North High School graduate, is the book’s illustrator.
Through his zesty, bold artwork, he assists the superstar in telling the story of the Roses — four young school friends who live in an idealized, funky London, full of picnics, ice skating and pajama parties. They have fabulous, colorful clothes and wonderful accessories – thanks to Fulvimari.
“From practically the time he was old enough to hold a pencil, he drew,” said Nancy Fulvimari, the illustrator’s mother, who was happy to talk about her son, as he was in Europe for the book’s release and unavailable to comment. “He got an award (for his artwork) in the first grade.”
“And when he was in the fourth or fifth grade, he stenciled (designs) on T-shirts and sold them for 50 cents in the neighborhood,” the North Hill woman said with a laugh. “All through school, his teachers told us about how talented he was.”
The 41-year-old studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and graduated from Cooper Union in New York City. His illustrations have appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, British Elle, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Interview, Newsweek, Details, Detour, Travel + Leisure, and Visionaire.
The son of Nancy and Donald Fulvimar now resides in upstate New York. (Fulvimari uses an older spelling of the family name.) He has three older siblings, all of whom still live in the Akron area.
“He always admired Madonna for how she struggled and persevered in her career,” Fulvimar said of her son. “This is all very exciting for us.”
The English Roses (Callaway, $19.95) is the first of five planned kids’ tales written by Madonna and illustrated by Fulvimari. The Roses envy and ostracize another girl, Binah, who is beautiful and kind.
The girls learn, with the help of a fairy godmother, that Binah’s life isn’t the bed of roses they had thought, and invite her to be their friend. Madonna has said the tale draws on the teaching of Kabbalah, the school of Jewish mysticism, which she has studied for several years.
The English Roses was released in 100 countries Monday. The initial print run of the book is more than 750,000 copies in the United States, and 1 million worldwide. Proceeds from sales are going to charity.
If, while reading the story, the author’s identity slips your mind, you may be jarred back to reality with Madonna’s occasional tart interjections: “Now,” she writes at one point, “stop interrupting me.”
Still, despite the odd notion that children will be reading a tale by an author whose last book was titled Sex, The English Roses is, well… cute.
As for the illustrations, Fulvimari – who has a successful licensing program in Japan that features apparel, accessories, bath ensembles, clocks andceramics – does a superior job. If the story, which is a little sparse in the vocabulary department, doesn’t make youngsters eager to turn each page, the artwork will.
“He’s worked very hard. And what he’s gained, he’s done on his own,” Nancy Fulvimar said. “I’m very proud of him.”