kids encyclopedia robot

Brett Helquist facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Brett L. Helquist (born in 1966) is an American illustrator best known for his work in the children's books A Series of Unfortunate Events. As such, his illustrations for that series have appeared in multiple media, including the books, the audio book covers, and the calendars.


Helquist was born in Ganado, Arizona, and grew up in Orem, Utah with his six sisters. As kids, they didn't go to many art museums. He says his love of art came from all the comic books he read. Helquist served as a Mormon missionary in Hong Kong, then earned a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Brigham Young University in 1993. Prior to entering the illustration program at BYU, Helquist studied as an engineering student. He took a year off during his time as an engineering student to take a job in Taiwan, illustrating a textbook. The experience helped him switch to studying illustration and the visual arts. From there, he worked closely with Utah artist Robert Barrett.

Helquist has lived in New York City since 1993. Immediately after graduating from BYU, Helquist was an intern for illustrator Robert Neubecker. For six years, he worked as a graphic designer, drawing for magazines and newspapers in his downtime. He has been published in the children's magazine Cricket, and The New York Times. He is represented by Steven Malk of Writers House in New York City. In August 2017, Helquist donated several boxes filled with early sketches of his illustrations for A Series of Unfortunate Events to BYU's Special Collections department. These sketches were displayed at BYU in fall 2017.


Besides the thirteen A Series of Unfortunate Events books, Helquist has provided illustrations for nearly 50 books, varying from children's books to young adult novels.

Children's Books

  • Milly and the Macy's Parade (2001),
  • A Christmas Carol (2009),
  • The Three Musketeers (2011),
  • The Fort That Jack Built (2013),
  • Groundhog's Day Off (2015),
  • Bear's Big Breakfast (2016),
  • Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports (2017),
  • The Nutcracker Mice (2017),

Middle Grade Books

  • Smith (2000),
  • The Beejum Book (2002),
  • Brainboy and the Deathmaster (2003),
  • Books in the Tales from the House of Bunnicula series by James Howe:
    • It Came from Beneath the Bed! (2003),
    • Invasion of the Mind Swappers from Asteroid 6! (2003),
    • Howie Monroe and the Doghouse of Doom (2003),
    • Screaming Mummies of the Pharaoh's Tomb II (2004),
    • Bud Barkin, Private Eye (2004),
    • The Odorous Adventures of Stinky Dog (2004),
  • The Revenge of Randal Reese-Rat (2004),
  • Books in the Chasing Vermeer trilogy by Blue Balliett:
  • Fly by Night (2005),
  • Capt. Hook: Adventures of a Notorious Youth (2005),
  • The Spoon in the Bathroom Wall (2006),
  • Listening for Lions (2006),
  • Odd and the Frost Giants (2009),
  • Guys Read: Thriller (2011),
  • The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic (2011),
  • The Storm Makers (2013),
  • Books in The Vengekeep Prophecies series by Brian Farrey:
    • The Vengekeep Prophecies (2013),
    • The Shadowhand Covenant (2014),
    • The Grimjinx Rebellion (2015),
  • Books in The League of Seven series by Alan Gratz:
    • The League of Seven (2015),
    • The Dragon Lantern (2016),
    • The Monster War (2016),

Young Adult Books

  • The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris (2001),
  • The Floating Island (The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme) (2006),

Helquist produced new cover illustrations for a reprint of the 1954–1976 "Green Knowe" series by Lucy M. Boston (Harcourt, 2002; retaining the original interior illustrations by the writer's son Peter Boston):

  • The Children of Green Knowe,
  • The Treasure of Green Knowe, (a.k.a. The Chimneys of Green Knowe)
  • The River at Green Knowe,
  • A Stranger at Green Knowe,
  • An Enemy at Green Knowe,
  • The Stones of Green Knowe,

He also produced new illustrations for a reprint of the 1981-1991 "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" series by Alvin Schwartz (children's author) (Harper & Row, 2011)

  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,
  • More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,
  • Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones,

Helquist also wrote and illustrated Roger, the Jolly Pirate, , published in 2004, Bedtime for Bear, , published in 2010, and Grumpy Goat, , published in 2013.

  • (1999–present)
kids search engine
Brett Helquist Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.