Sheli Petersen         Instagram


My art career began at age three with crayon drawings of the solar system. My vocation as a storyteller started in kindergarten when I was invited to present my first hand-made book, a story about a dinosaur family who went bowling every Sunday morning, to the "big kids" in the second grade class.

I truly love learning and creating. When I'm not reading or drawing, I'm out hiking or cycling. The wildlife, light, and landscapes I see along my routes inspire my art. As an award-winning illustrator, I exhibit my work at international, national, and regional venues and have five published picture books.

I'm also a proud and active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. I provide leadership for their Nebraska chapter as Webinar Coordinator.

As a complement to my creative practice, I teach illustration and graphic design at Texas Woman's University.

Thanks for looking!

                          SCBWI Member

my clients include

Cricket Media

National Heritage Museum

Highlights for Children

Renaissance House


my books

Gigi and the Birthday Ring by Giselle Fernandez
      – Renaissance House

Voladores by Patricia Petersen
      — McGraw-Hill

Los Genios de la Montaña by Raquel Benatar
      — McGraw-Hill Interamericana

Itza—The Boy Who Rode a Jaguar by Leonard Bernard
      — Laredo Publishing

Magali—An Aztec Legend about Good Fortune by Patricia Petersen
      — Laredo Publishing


    One-person exhibition—Drawing As Seeing. Rivier University, Nashua, NH
       Spring 2020

    Two-person exhibition. Grey Fox Mercantile, New Hartford, NY
       Summer 2019

   One-person exhibitions. Art Inspired Gallery, Springfield, MO
       Summer 2018, Fall 2017

   Creative Quarterly 49, international juried on-line exhibition
       Winter 2018

   Americas 2017: Paperworks - international juried exhibition,
      Northwest Art Center, Minot State University, ND

   Nebraska AIGA Show • Fall 2016

   One-person exhibition. Morton James Public Library,
      Nebraska City, NE • Summer 2016

   Nebraska AIGA Show - Bronze Awards • Fall 2015

   One-person exhibition. Tennessee Technological University,
      Joan Derryberry Art Gallery, Cookeville, TN • Spring 2015


    Honorable Mention
       New England SCBWI Portfolio Showcase • Spring 2019

    Portfolio Showcase Bronze Award
       North Texas SCBWI Conference • Fall 2018

    Grand Prize
       Iowa SCBWI Illustrators Intensive • Fall 2017

    Bronze Award for Illustration
       Nebraska AIGA SHOW • Fall 2015

fave kids books

    Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

    Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

    Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and illustrated by John Schoenherr

    Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim and illustrated by EB Lewis

    Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol

fave grown–up books

    Middlemarch by George Eliot

    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

   The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich

   Their Eyes Were Watching God  by Zora Neale Hurston  

    Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America by Roger Tory Peterson

    Popol Vuh

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