Dennis Nolan was born in San Francisco, CA, in 1945. His father was an operatic tenor and his early childhood memories of backstage, makeup, costume and performances helped to create a lifelong interest in dramatic and colorful storytelling. After attending Bay Area schools, he earned a BA degree in Art History and an MA degree in Painting from San Jose State University. A variety of jobs followed, including painting for galleries, illustrating biological textbooks and animating films. Mr. Nolan also taught illustration at San Jose State University and the University of Hartford in Connecticut.
Dennis Nolan’s first book was published in 1976. Since then, he has been captivated by the telling of stories in words and pictures. Several of the books that he has written and illustrated have been singled out for recognition. Among them are The Castle Builder, winner of the Prix de Zephir in France, and Dinosaur Dream, a season’s choice in both Newsweek and The New Yorker, as well as an SCBWI Golden Kite Honor Book. He has illustrated T.H. White’s classic, The Sword in the Stone, and two of Bruce Coville’s retellings of Shakespeare plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet, along with numerous other books, including titles by Jane Yolen, Ann Turner, Diane Stanley and William Hooks. He has also collaborated with his wife, author and illustrator Lauren Mills, on the illustrations for her story Fairy Wings, winner of the SCBWI Golden Kite Award and their most recent publication, Fia and the Imp.