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The artists

Specially commissioned designs:

Prepare the Sleigh! by John Steven Gurney
John Steven Gurney has illustrated more than 100 books for children including more than 70 titles in Scholastics' The Bailey School Kids and the Bailey City Monsters series. He has also illustrated books in the A to Z Mysteries for Random House and titles for Simon and Schuster, Ace Berkley, and Orchard Books. His first book as an author and illustrator, Dinosaur Train, was published by Harper Collins in Fall of 2002.

His illustrations have appeared in children's magazines like Cricket, Babybug, and Ladybird and he illustrated the popular board game "Guess Who" for Milton Bradley.

Mr. Gurney painted Prepare the Sleigh! using oil paints. Though he also works with ink and watercolor, he chose oils for this project to allow for richer texture and lighting. The illustration was painted in two parts which, when combined, measure roughly 30 by 40 inches. They were then photographed and the artist combined the images digitally, put on finishing touches and delivered the files to us for printing on a printing press.

John Steven Gurney attended Pratt institute in Brooklyn New York and studied with, and worked for, renowned illustrator William A. Smith.

To see a portfolio of his work, visit

Busy Workshop by Roger Xavier
Roger Xavier is an internationally recognized scratchboard illustrator. Mr. Xavier's work has appeared on everything from book covers and corporate annual reports to billboards and packaging. His client list includes, among others, AT&T, American Express, DirecTV, Euro Disney, McGraw Hill, Random House, Merck, Rodale, and Toyota.

The scratchboard technique is a mix of both creativity and craftsmanship. To create an illustration, Roger applies his drawing to a clay-coated board using brush and pen. Then he uses a precision blade to cut away the space between the lines to reveal the underlying white surface. This push-pull process, though time consuming, allows for precise control of line quality, the property that makes this artist's work so distinctive.

Once the hand-drawn, hand-cut line art is complete, Xavier switches from low to high-technology. The artwork is scanned at high resolution to a computer where the colors are applied digitally. This allows the subtlety of color and the delicate featuring you see here.

Roger Xavier is a member of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and served on its board from 1994-1996. He is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach and also studied at the Art Center in Pasadena.

To see a portfolio of his work, visit

The Holiday Stamp Series
Each year, the United States Postal Service commissions the design of a series of holiday stamps as part of its Commemorative Stamp program. This year’s winter holiday season will be celebrated with stamps featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas, including children skating with Snoopy, and Linus kneeling by the Christmas tree.

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