Christina Rodriguez is an award-winning illustrator of more than a dozen books. Born overseas to multicultural parents, she grew up in an Air Force family, moving from place to place. Christina loved to draw and paint. She was awarded a generous scholarship to the Rhode Island School of Design where she earned a fine arts degree in illustration.
She drew on her experiences growing up in a military family to bring a range of emotions into her Coloring My Military Life—Book 1 coloring book pages as well as her paintings for the award-winning picture book The Wishing Tree and her illustrated activities in My Dad’s Deployment and My Mom’s Deployment.
When not in her studio, Christina can usually be found along the Rhode Island coastline, digging for clams, sketching, or reading a good book.
In this Stories Behind the Stories video, Christina talks with her childhood friend Yelena, who was the visual inspiration for Christina’s illustrations of Amanda, the main character in The Wishing Tree. Yelena shares her deployment experience as a military kid and what it means to her to be painted into a book.