Feodor Rojankovsky was born on December 24th, 1891, in Mitava, Russia. He remembered being taken to the zoo as a child, being fascinated by the animals, and using a gift of crayons to draw these “most marvelous creatures on earth.”
He attended the Moscow Fine Arts Academy from 1912-1914, served in the Russian Army during WWI, and illustrated his first children’s books for the Ukraine during the Russian Revolution.
He left Russia for France, where he began working with editor Esther Averill on his American editions. In 1941, he moved to America and began illustrating more than one hundred books, many with animals and nature as their subjects. He developed into a writer as well, publishing The Great Big Animal Book in 1952. Rojankovsky received the Caldecott Medal in 1956 for Frog Went A-Courtin‘. He died in 1970, at the age of 81, the same year in which his last book was published.
author photo credit: Robert Browning Baker