Slobodkin site

Carol Reid of Albany, New York writes to tell me about Io Sono, her new site honoring the life and work of author and illustrator Louis Slobodkin, whose 104th birthday would have been tomorrow, February 19.

I'm most familiar with Slobodkin as the author and illustrator of the Space Ship under the Apple Tree series of kids' books (remember those, Jay H?), but he's also well known as (among other things) an illustrator; for example, he illustrated Eleanor Estes's The Moffats as well as several of her other books, and he won a Caldecott Medal with James Thurber for Many Moons.

The site features a bunch of Slobodkin-related material. For example, it includes a copy of his Caldecott Medal acceptance speech, as published in the July-August 1944 issue of Horn Book magazine, which includes an account of meeting the Esteses, who were the first librarians he'd met, and who started him on his path to children's-book illustration. From that same issue, there's a reprint of Eleanor Estes's tribute to Slobodkin.

And there's lots more on the site that I haven't mentioned, including a page listing most or all of the books he wrote or illustrated. Go check it out!

3 Responses to “Slobodkin site”

  1. Jay Hartman

    My Brother,

    Of course I remember Slobodkin! You and Peter almost turned me into a science fiction fan with the Spaceship/Appletree books 😉 I haven’t seen or thought of them in what, maybe almost 30 years, but I loved those Slobodkin books; he was a great illustrator as well.

    Inspired by your musings awhile ago about “The Phantom Tollbooth,” I have recently re-read not only that book, but also “The Twenty One Balloons” and “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.” Timeless classics, all.

  2. Jay Hartman

    And I forgot to add: The spaceship under the apple tree ties in nicely with the story of George, the foster child living in our home for emotionally disturbed youth (“Hearthlight”) in Santa Rosa in 1976. George claimed that he was from the Andromeda Galaxy and his spaceship was buried in our backyard. I sort of believed him.

    As certain friends say (when I mention that several of my formative years were spent living side-by-side with these disturbed kids who were in and out of juvenile hall), “Ah hah, that explains a lot!”

  3. Jed

    Huh–I always thought you were the one who introduced me to the Slobodkin books.

    Agreed about Phantom Tollbooth, Twenty-One Balloons, and Mixed-Up Files. Good stuff.

    Re George: Interesting; I never made that connection before. I sort of knew the whole “spaceship in the back yard” thing wasn’t true, but I still didn’t want to make him mad, ’cause what if it really was true after all? (As I recall, he told us that if he got mad, he would take off in the spaceship and turn the Earth into molten lava.)


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