Illustrator Clement Hurd, born January 12th, 1908, was all set to become a banker like his father when in 1931 he followed his heart and got on a boat to France. Two years later, when he ran out of money, he returned to New York and got a job freelancing as a decorative artist.
As luck, or fate, would have it Margaret Wise Brown saw two of his paintings and suggested he try his hand at children’s book illustration. When he hesitated, she wrote Bumble Bugs and Elephants (1938) for him to work on. That title became the first modern board book for babies and launched Hurd’s new career.
Many titles followed, including Gertrude Stein’s first children’s book The World is Round (1939) and numerous collaborations with his wife Edith Thacher, including The Day the Sun Danced (1966) and Wilson’s World (1971). But he is perhaps best known for his illustrations in The Runaway Bunny (1942) and the beloved Goodnight Moon (1947).
Clement Hurd died February 5, 1988.