Lee Davis (Illustrator) & Usma Khan (Author)
How We Met
We are old friends. We met on a year-long education abroad program in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 1995. We have remained friends to this day, and have found delight in telling and illustrating a tale that, above all, speaks to having good friendships over time.
Usma Khan has always enjoyed writing fun, silly stories from a very young age. She wrote MadameYoo and Horatio’s Extravaganza in 2002 while living and working in Washington D.C. After returning to her homeland of California, Usma took time to focus on her creative interests--dabbling in mosaics, painting furniture, book-binding, painting murals,and so on. She felt a little bit like her character, Madame Yoo. Over the years, Usma has had less time to focus on her creative pursuits as she has grown in her career in global health and has also grown a little family of her own. Her unique collaboration with her good friend, Lee Davis, revived this story from the depths of her computer files and breathed new life into the characters. This is Usma and Lee’s first published book.
Lee Davis has had a life-long passion for arts and crafts including painting, stained glass, mosaic making, ceramics and sewing. Academically and professionally Lee has pursued a wide variety of interests but the development of her art has been a constant companion. She is currently working as a Civil Engineer in Sacramento, California. Madame Yoo and Horatio’s Extravaganza has captured Lee’s imagination on both an artistic and personal level. Madame Yoo’s journey mirrors Lee’s own personal experience of trying on many hats to find the right “fit.” The determination to continue to try new things in pursuit of personal happiness is a message that Lee feels strongly about and feels good about extending to young people through illustration.