On the Day You Were Born written and illustrated by Debra Frasier, is considered a modern children’s classic. The lyric text welcomes each child to the every day miracles of planet Earth – the Sun, Moon, North Star, wind, rain, tides and the circle of people awaiting each child. With over one million copies in print, this book has been present for the arrival of newborns, birthdays from one to ninety one, as well as school celebrations and church events. The Penland Gallery is fortunate to offer books signed by the Debra.
Debra Frasier – Minneapolis, MN
Debra Frasier writes and illustrates picture books and her efforts have won numerous awards. Her first book, ‘On the Day You Were Born’, has had a worldwide reception and the accompanying video won the American Library Association’s highest honor for a children’s film, the Andrew Carnegie Medal. ‘Miss Alaineus, A Vocabulary Disaster’, (that’s “miscellaneous”), won both the International Reading Association’s Children’s and the Teacher’s Choice Awards and has inspired Vocabulary Parades from coast to coast.
In 2010 Debra founded the Minnesota State Fair’s Alphabet Forest, where everyone wins WORDS! This unique participatory literacy booth was inspired by her book, ‘A Fabulous Fair Alphabet’ and is staffed by 400 volunteers each year since. In 2013 her picture book ‘SPIKE, Ugliest Dog in the Universe’, won a star from Kirkus Reviews and a place on Amazon’s Editor’s Choice Children’s List for 2013.
Debra was born and raised in Vero Beach, FL, where she first honed her skills at collecting bits and pieces and ‘making things’ as she called it then. In 1976 she graduated with a degree in design from Florida State University, and went on to attend Penland School of Crafts, in North Carolina, where she made large scale costume puppets. Debra was part of the Penland Residents program in the early eighties, before marrying photographer Jim Henkel and moving to Minnesota. She has returned to Penland many times to teach, and spend time in their nearby mountain cabin.