Michio Watanabe (Kobe, 1961) is a freelance illustrator based in Tokyo. He studied oil painting and printmaking at Kyoto Seika University, and practiced in an atelier specialized in silkscreen prints. His fresh, digital illustrations pay homage to his background in printmaking. Thanks to the combination of his retro style, bright color palette, and original characters, Watanabe's books surprise and delight.
Watanabe’s work has been selected in the Bologna Children's Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition three times: 2009, 2011, and 2014 (for the illustrations from Toute Une Vie Pour Apprendre, published by Les Fourmis Rouges in 2016). In 2013, he won the Niimi Nankichi Award. His first children’s book Two Frogs was published in 2012 by Anjojitoshokan.