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Galdone, Paul

Entry updated 13 May 2024. Tagged: Artist.

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(1907-1986) American artist, born in Hungary, who moved to the United States at the age of fourteen. At some time he received artistic training at the Art Students' League and the New York School for Industrial Design, but he did not begin working for book publishers until after World War II. While he became best known for his work in children's books, Galdone also worked four years for Doubleday, garnering a few assignments to provide covers for adult books, including C M Kornbluth's The Syndic (1953), unusually illustrated with sketches of futuristic buildings and a row of armed soldiers. In a similar style, his cover for Kenneth F Gantz's Not in Solitude (1959) featured two spacesuited astronauts on a barren Martian landscape (see Mars).

Galdone's work for children's literature included covers and interior art for some fondly remembered works of Children's SF: Ruthven Todd's Space Cat (1952) and its three sequels; Evelyn Sibley Lampman's The Shy Stegosaurus of Indian Springs (1962); and the first four books in Ellen MacGregor's Miss Pickerell series. His first cover for MacGregor, Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars (May 1950 Liberty Magazine as "Swept Her Into Space"; much exp 1951), captured the spirit of the series by showing its titular heroine in an apron, standing next to her beloved cow and staring up at a Spaceship. He also illustrated all of the books in Eve Titus's Basil of Baker Street series, beginning with Basil of Baker Street (1958), which had a cover of a Mouse dressed like Sherlock Holmes examining the ground with a microscope. Since Galdone typically used little colour in his covers, later editions of these books often provide full-colour versions of his original images, but the fact that they were reused testifies to the fact that they remain appealing to younger readers. Galdone received Caldecott Award nominations for illustrating two other Titus books featuring mice, Anatole (1957) and Anatole and the Cat (1958).

While continuing to illustrate others' children's books, Galdone in the 1960s increasingly focused on writing and illustrating his own picture books for young children, all of them adaptations of nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and folk tales involving minimal text and copious illustrations that were celebrated for their playful humour and attention to detail; he is also known to have done some illustrations for greeting cards. Galdone died of a heart attack in 1986, though his art is still available today in recent editions of his innumerable books; the lengthy list below is probably incomplete. [GW]

Paul Galdone

born Budapest, Hungary: 2 June 1907

died Nyack, New York: 7 November 1986


This list excluded works with text by others sometimes credited solely to Galdone; the list is probably incomplete; most listed works have been republished on multiple occasions.


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