aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Happy Birthday, William Steig

It's the birthday of cartoonist and author and William Steig. He was born in 1907 and lived well into his 90s. He sold his first cartoon for $40 to The New Yorker when he was 23. It was a picture of one prison inmate telling another, "My son's incorrigible, I can't do a thing with him." It was 1930, the beginning of the Great Depression, and Steig's father had lost his job. He went on to publish more than 1,600 drawings for the magazine and 117 covers.

Although his best-known book is Shrek!, all of his books have a wonderful quality. My kid especially liked Sylveser and the Magic Pebble. When I was on tour for my first book, Circles of Confusion, an alert bookseller gave me a copy of hisCDB! (See the Bee), thinking I could use it. Could I! The main character in Circles deciphered vanity license plates, which meant I occasionally had to make one up. CDB! was extremely helpful in making me think of alphabet letters as words.

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Tags: cdb!, steig

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