Born and raised in Russia but later immigrating to the United States, Feodor Rojankovsky (1891-1970) illustrated more than a 100 children's books. He won the Caldecott Award for Frog Went A-Courtin' in 1956 but is probably best known for his illustrations in Over in the Meadow by John Langstaff. I think he has a very unique style and I love the bright colors and high contrast that seem to be his trademark. This is what he had to say about his childhood and how it influenced his art:
"Two great events determined the course of my childhood. l was taken to the zoo and saw the most marvelous creatures on earth: bears, tigers, monkeys and reindeer, and, while my admiration was running high, l was given a set of color crayons. Naturally, I began immediately to depict the animals which captured my imagination. Also when my eider brothers, who were in schools in the capital, came home for vacation, I tried to copy their drawings and to imitate their paintings.
"Later when l went to school in Reval Tallinn, an ancient town on the shores of the Baltic sea my love for art was enhanced and strengthened by a passion for nature. Tallinn was surrounded by forest. The sea presented wonderful opportunities for excursions and study of sea life. But there were also steamers, sailboats, flags, and all the excitement of a port. This was no less exciting than playing Red Indians or reading James Fenimore Cooper, the beloved author of all Russian children before, during, and after the Revolution .. [Bertha Mahony Miller and Elinor Whitney Field, editors, CaIdecott Medal books: 1938-1957, Horn Book, 1957.]
Every now and then I'll post about other children's book illustrators and authors that I admire.