Born in Passaic, New Jersey on September 30, 1916, Alvin Tresselt was a pioneer in children’s books. With his poetic prose style, he created the “mood” picture book, which relied not on plot and character but on setting and description. Many of his books were popular with teachers who wished to teach about the environment.
From 1946 to 1952, Mr. Tresselt worked in advertising and display graphics. During this time, he began writing children’s books. His book, White Snow Bright Snow, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin, was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1948. In 1952, he became editor of Humpty Dumpty magazine. Later, he was executive editor at Parent’s Magazine Press, as well as chief editor of their book imprint.
In 1974, he became an instructor and then Dean of Faculty at the Institute of Children’s Literature in Redding, Connecticut. He married Blossom Budney, another children’s book writer, and they had two daughters. His most popular book was The Mitten, which was taken from a Ukrainian story, describing the shivering forest animals who seek shelter in a little boy’s lost mitten. Mr. Tresselt passed away in Burlington, Vermont on July 24, 2000.