DSCN8290 Version 2Jennifer O’Connell grew up in Darien, Connecticut and received her BFA degree in illustration from Philadelphia College of Art (now known as The University of the Arts). She was employed at Unicorn Graphics in Washington, DC before becoming a free-lance illustrator and designer. She has two grown children and lives in Bethesda, MD, with her husband, Kevin.

Jennifer is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, The Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC, Picture Book Artists Association (PBAA) and The Authors Guild.

Jennifer’s picture book, Ten Timid Ghosts, is a New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestseller and has sold more than 780,000 copies.

Her new book, The Eye of the Whale has received the Green Earth Book Award, a Moonbeam Gold Award, a Maryland Blue Crab Honor, and has been named an Honor Book by the Society of School Librarians International in the Language Arts - Picture Book category. It was a Maine Literary Awards Finalist and has been selected by RIF (Reading is Fundamental) for their STEAM list.

Jennifer's illustration honors include two Christopher Awards for Imagine That! Exploring Make-Believe, by Joyce Strauss and Promise Not to Tell, by Caroline Polese. A Garden of Whales, written by Maggie Davis, received The Vermont Publisher’s Association “Special Merit Award.” Jennifer also received The Strathmore Paper Company “Award of Excellence” for her stationary suite design for Chanterelle Caterers of Washington, DC.

In addition to children’s book illustration, Jennifer produces illustrations for educational and corporate publications as well as privately commissioned work.

Her clients have included: Scholastic, Inc./Cartwheel Books, Tilbury House Publishers, Art In Hand Cards, Firefly Books, Ltd., Camden House Publishing, Human Sciences Press/Plenham Publishing, Teaching Strategies, Inc., The Washington Post, Marriott Corporation, Teaching Young Children and Young Children magazines, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Johns Hopkins Early Childhood, Science Weekly, Sunrise Cards, The Food Marketing Institute, Green Acres School, Applied Management Sciences, L.J. Colker & Associates, The Georgetowner, Cachet Four Seasons, Anna Martin, Ltd., Chanterelle Caterers, Les Dames d’Escoffier, Pennywhistle Press, The International Association of Cooking Professionals, The American Cooking Guild and Food Service Focus, Inc.