Marc Simont

Many Moons by James Thurber (Harcourt, 1990)

Many Moons by James Thurber (Harcourt, 1990)

The Northeast Children’s Literature Collection mourns the loss of our good friend, Marc Simont. Mr. Simont placed a significant amount of his work here and joined us at the CT Children’s Book Fair four times between 1993 and 2002. He was talented, charming and witty, and will be sincerely missed.

Stray Dog, retold and illustrated by Marc Simont (HarperCollins, 2001)

Stray Dog, retold and illustrated by Marc Simont (HarperCollins, 2001)

The finding aid at Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center describes Mr. Simont:

Marc Simont was born November 23, 1915, in Paris, France to Joseph and Dolores Simont from the Catalonian region of northeastern Spain. Joseph was an illustrator and artist/reporter for L’Illustration in Paris. Because his parents moved frequently Marc attended schools in Paris, Barcelona, and New York and became a U.S. citizen in 1926. Though he later attended art schools he considered his father his greatest teacher. He studied art in Paris at Académie Julian, Académie Ranson, and Andre Lhoté School. In the U.S. he attended the New York National Academy of Design and Jerry Farnsworth’s summer school in Provincetown, Mass. He worked as assistant to mural painters Francis S. Bradford (1939 N. Y. World’s Fair) and Ezra Winter (Library of Congress).

The Happy Day by Ruth Krauss (HarperCollins, 1949).

The Happy Day by Ruth Krauss (HarperCollins, 1949).

Simont’s first illustration job was for a pulp magazine that folded before he could collect his $25. Eventually he became an author and illustrator of children’s books, greatly influenced by Ursula Nordstrom, editor of Harper Bros. He illustrated books by Ruth Krauss, James Thurber, Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, Karla Kuskin among others. His illustrations for Janice May Udry’s A Tree is Nice won the Caldecott Medal in 1957, and he received Caldecott Honors for his pictures in Ruth Krauss’s The Happy Day and his own The Stray Dog. Simont has also been recognized by the Child Study Association, Society of Illustrators, N.Y. Academy of Sciences, N.J. Institute of Technology, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor.  In 2008 his political cartoons were awarded the Hunter College James Aronson Award for “Cartooning With A Conscience.”

The 13 Clocks by James Thurber (Simon and Schuster, 1950).

The 13 Clocks by James Thurber (Simon and Schuster, 1950).

This curator’s favorite book is The Philharmonic Gets Dressed, by Karla Kuskin, published in 1982 by Harper and Row.  Kuskin’s story, in which “one hundred and five people are getting dressed to go to work”  is accompanied by Simont’s illustrations showing the musicians bathing, dressing, traveling to the concert hall, and “turning the black notes on white pages into a symphony.”

The Philharmonic Gets Dressed by Karla Kuskin (Harper and Row, 1982).

The Philharmonic Gets Dressed by Karla Kuskin (Harper and Row, 1982).

A wonderful story about Simont is retold in his obituary which appeared in the New York Times on July 16, 2013.  Simont and Robert McCloskey lived together in Greenwich Village when McCloskey was working on his classic Make Way for Ducklings.  In order to study ducklings more thoroughly for his drawings and with Simont’s assent, he brought home a family of ducklings which lived in the bathtub for several months.

Rest in peace, Mr. Simont.

–Terri J. Goldich

Tomie dePaola receives Society of Illustrators’ Lifetime Achievement Award

CongrOliver Button is a Sissy (pg. 5)atulations, Tomie!  According to the Society’s home page, “The Lifetime Achievement Awards were established in 2005 by past chairs of The Original Art. Nominees must be judged to have a body of work that documents an innovative and pioneering contribution to the field of children’s book illustration, and final selection is made by artists whose work has been juried into the previous year’s show. ”

 

From an early age, Tomie and his parents knew he would be an artist. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where he studied Art. His Master of Fine Arts degree was received from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. He has also been awarded three honorary Doctorate degrees from separate Universities and Colleges.

Tomie’s Tomie dePaolacareer as a professional artist and designer, former teacher of art, children’s author and illustrator is expansive. He has designed greeting cards, posters, magazine and catalogue covers, record album covers, and theater costumes and sets. He has illustrated over two hundred books, and written over seventy. Tomie has won numerous awards, including the prestigious American Library Association’s Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona (1976), the University of Minnesota’s Kerlan Award (1981), the Catholic Library Association’s Regina Medal (1983), and the Smithsonian Institution’s Smithson Medal (1990).

 

Tomie’s books have been published world-wide in fifteen different languages and he has over five million copies in print. Many of his books are largely autobiographical such as Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs, Tom, and The Art Lesson. Tomie currently resides in New Hampshire.

The Tomie dePaola Collection contains artwork, sketch books and paintings from the beginning of his career, as well as many different editions from each book he wrote or illustrated, including foreign editions. Some of the languages represented are Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, French Canadian, German, Afrikaans, and even Zulu. Original Little Tomieillustrations from books, as well as paintings and other art work spanning from his childhood years are included. The Collection also contains marketing items from his books, such as towels, porcelain jewelry containers, music boxes, paper goods (wrapping paper, cups & plates), quilts from schools, and a large selection of Christmas tree ornaments designed by Tomie for the Marshall Fields Christmas trees in Chicago.

 

Well done, Tomie!

–Terri J. Goldich, Curator, Northeast Children’s Literature Collection

 

 

2012 Connecticut Children’s Book Fair planning underway

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The planning committee for the CT Children’s Book Fair is already busy lining up presenters and programs for the 21st Fair to be held on the Storrs campus on November 10-11, 2012.  So far we’ve lined up Patricia MacLachlan, author of Sarah Plain and Tall and many other great books; Robert Sabuda, the paper engineer par excellence and creator of marvelous pop-up books; Barbara McClintock, author and illustrator of the award-winning Adele and Simon books; and Katie Davis, author and illustrator of Little Chicken’s Big Day, which won the 2011 Trailee Award.  The exhibit in the Dodd Center’s Gallery From October 2012 to February 2013 will showcase Katie’s archives which are housed in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection.  We’re considering presenting a panel on bullying in addition to the panel on literature for teens, which has been popular for the last two years.  Breakfast with Clifford will of course be a highlight both Saturday and Sunday mornings.  For more information get automatic updates from the Fair’s Facebook page. 

–Terri J. Goldich, Curator

Susan Raab interviewed for Cynsations

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Susan Raab, CEO of Raab Associates and sponsor of the Raab Associates Prize for Illustration was interviewed by Laurie Cutter for Cynsations. There’s a wonderful reference to the Raab Prize about half-way down this interesting interview about children’s literature, marketing, favorite books, and of course, the Connecticut Children’s Book Fair dinner last year when everyone drew on the dishes (thanks, Mo).

Chris Raschka wins 2012 Caldecott Medal!

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Congratulations to Chris Raschka for winning the 2012 Caldecott Medal for A Ball for Daisy, a wordless book about a little dog whose favorite possession is accidentally destroyed.  When interviewed on NPR, Raschka tells Robert Siegel of All Things Considered that creating the book was “certainly a challenge. It went through many, many variations.”  This is Raschka’s second Caldecott Medal; his first was for Hello, Goodbye Window in 2006 and in 1994 he received a Caldecott Honor  for his Yo! Yes?  Raschka appeared at the 2008 Connecticut Children’s Book Fair and we hope to see him again soon.  Congratulations, Chris!

Katie Davis, Grace Lin win 2012 SLJ Trailee Awards!

Many congratulations to NCLC donor and Connecticut Children’s Book Fair favorite, Katie Davis, for her well-deserved School Library Journal Trailee Award given annually at ALA for the video trailers that best promote books for children and teens.  “Book trailers raise awareness about the big power of little books to reach readers,” said Davis after learning that she had won. Davis, who also illustrated the book that she co-authored with her husband Jerry Davis, thanked “all those nice little chickens (and people!) who voted” for her entry. In the category of Publisher/Author Created for Elementary Readers , the trailer tells the story of Little Chicken’s Big Day, when Little Chicken goes with his mother to do errands and gets lost.  The School Library Journal web site has more information about the Trailee Awards including winners in other categories, such as Grace Lin’s Award in the Student Created for Elementary Readers category for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Little, Brown, 2009; Trailer by the members of the Bookie Woogie Book Blog).  Grace Lin appeared at the 2011 Connecticut Children’s Book Fair and we hope to see her again soon.  Congratulations, Katie and Grace!

Katie Davis, Grace Lin win 2012 SLJ Trailee Awards

Many congratulations to NCLC donor Katie Davis, for her well-deserved School Library Journal Trailee Award given annually at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference for the video trailers that best promote books for children and teens.  “Book trailers raise awareness about the big power of little books to reach readers,” said Davis after learning that she had won. Davis, who also illustrated the book that she co-authored with her husband Jerry Davis, thanked “all those nice little chickens (and people!) who voted” for her entry. In the category of Publisher/Author Created for Elementary Readers , the trailer tells the story of Little Chicken’s Big Day, when Little Chicken goes with his mother to do errands and gets lost.  The School Library Journal web site has more information about the Trailee Awards including winners in other categories, such as Grace Lin’s Award in the Student Created for Elementary Readers category for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Little, Brown, 2009; Trailer by the members of the Bookie Woogie Book Blog).  Grace Lin appeared at the 2011 Connecticut Children’s Book Fair and we hope to see her again soon.  Congratulations, Katie and Grace!

Terri J. Goldich, Curator, NCLC

Pet Therapy Dogs to visit CT Children’s Book Fair

We’ve added some great activities for the kids (and their grownups, too) to the Connecticut Children’s Book Fair this year. On Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13 from 10-12, Paws 4 Books in Mansfield will bring their pet therapy dogs for kids to read to. Each day from 2-4, Tails of Joy will bring their doggies for a visit, too.
Tails of Joy