Happy Birthday William Steig!

William Steig was born on November 14, 1907 in Brooklyn, NY. He came from an creative family and often drew and painted as a child including creating cartoons for his high school newpaper. His career as a cartoonist began out of the need to support his parents and younger siblings during the Depression. The only thing he claimed he knew how to do well was draw. He sold his first cartoon to The New Yorker in 1930 and went on to do more than 1,600 drawings for the magazine as well more than 120 of their covers. This is more than any other cartoonist associated with the magazine.

Steig did not start his work as a children’s author and illustrator until 1968 when, at the age of 60, he wrote and illustrated is first book, CDB! He then went on to have a very successful, award-winning career. His third book, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, won him the prestigious Caldecott Medal and The Amazing Bone won him a Caldecott Honor. When he began to write books for older readers, he won the Newberry Honor Award for both Able’s Island and Doctor DeSoto. He also won the Christopher Award for Dominic. In 1990, he wrote the picture book, Shrek!, which inspired the wildly successful movie franchise by the same name.

Throughout his career, he wrote and illustrated more than 40 children’s books and continued to write up through the last year of his life when he released a picture book biography entitled, When Everybody Wore a Hat. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 95. To learn more about William Steig and to view some of his artwork please visit the online exhibit dedicated to him at The Jewish Museum.

Mercer Country Library has many of Steig’s books available in our catalog. Here are just a few that are mentioned above. Check one out today!

- Andrea L.


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