Bill Peet was born in Grandview, Indiana on January 29, 1915 and spent several of his boyhood years on his grandfather’s farm. He taught himself to sketch as a young boy when some photographs he took of zoo animals failed to develop.
Peet worked briefly for a greeting card company before being hired by Disney in 1937. He became Walt Disney’s greatest story man, profoundly influencing some of the studio’s greatest features and creating some of its most memorable characters. He worked on many of the classic films— “Dumbo,” “Cinderella,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Peter Pan,” “Sleeping Beauty,” 101 Dalmations,” “Sword in the Stone,” and “Song of the South.”
Leaving Disney Studios in 1964 after completing story and character work on “The Jungle Book,” Peet launched himself into another successful career as a popular author and illustrator of children’s books. Working in pen-and-ink and crayon, his first book, Hubert’s Hair Raising Adventure, was published in 1959. With a rare combination of excellent storytelling and appealing enduring illustrations, he went on to publish 34 more books. Other favorites include Chester the Worldly Pig and The Wump World. Bill Peet was awarded a Caldecott Honor in 1990 for his Bill Peet, An Autobiography.
Peet’s life was spilling his imagination out in drawings until he died in May of 2002.