Illustrator Marc Simont was born on November 23rd in Paris, France. His childhood was spent in France, Spain, and the United States. Sickly, he taught himself to write by tracing the text of the Spanish picture book, El Ginesello.
His schoolwork was also hindered by his travels and he never finished high school. He studied art at the Academie Julien, the Academie Ranson, and New York’s National Academy of Design. Even at that, he considered his father, an illustrator for L’Illustration magazine, his most influential art teacher.
Simont worked as a portrait painter, designed visual aids, and worked for magazines and advertising firms before becoming a children’s book illustrator in 1939. His work had a characteristic loose line and saturated watercolor; his lively interpretations earned a Caldecott Honor in 1950 for The Happy Day by Ruth Kraus. He received the Caldecott Medal in 1957 for A Tree is Nice and again in 2002 for The Stray Dog. He died July 13, 2013.