Marc Simont 1915-2013
Marc Simont, the beloved children’s book illustrator and author, died in July of this year at his home in Cornwall, Conn. He was 97.
Caldecott Medal in 1957 for “A Tree Is Nice,” written by Janice May Udry.
With Karla Kuskin, he collaborated on two picture books now considered classics: “The Philharmonic Gets Dressed” (1982), which depicts the minute preconcert preparations of the members of a symphony orchestra, and “The Dallas Titans Get Ready for Bed” (1986), which does likewise, postgame, for the members of a football team.
Marc Simont was born in Paris to Catalan parents on Nov. 23, 1915; his father, José, was an artist for the French newspaper L’Illustration. His family settled in New York City when he was 11 years old.
His career was bracketed by two Caldecott Honor Books: "The Happy Day” by Ruth Krauss (1949) and “The Stray Dog,” based on a story by Reiko Sassa, published in 2001. The American Library Association/Caldecott Awards are a recognition for excellence in illustration and are announced each year for children's books published in the previous year.
Marc Simont illustrated two other classic titles written by James Thurber: "The 13 Clocks" (1950) and "The Wonderful O" (1957).
Even before he received the Caldecott Medal, Mr. Simont contributed valiantly to the success of another Caldecott winner, Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way for Ducklings,” published in 1941. The time was the late 1930s, and the place was Manhattan, where he and Mr. McCloskey, friends from the design academy, were roommates.
Wanting to study ducklings deeply for his book-in-progress, Mr. McCloskey acquired a flock and brought it home. For some months to come, with Mr. Simont’s sympathetic assent, the ducks lived in the bathtub of their Greenwich Village apartment.
Marc Simont also illustrated the Nate the Great books.