Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Author: Peter Sis

Nice profile on Peter Sis, the only children's illustrator to win a MacArthur Foundation $500,000, five-year "genius" award. Sis grew up in Soviet bloc Czechoslovakia. He became an immigrant to this country thanks to Bob Dylan.
In 1982, Sis was sent by the Czech government to Los Angeles to film preparations for the 1984 Olympic Games. When the Soviet Union and its satellite countries pulled out, Sis was ordered by his government to return home. But he was in the middle of an extracurricular assignment -- helping with a video for Bob Dylan -- and didn't want to leave. By the time it was completed, Sis had overstayed his visa and gotten in trouble at home. He decided to seek asylum in the United States and eventually became a naturalized American citizen.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Camille. I've noticed that the Pittsburgh P-G does a nicer job than most of covering children's books.

Mental multivitamin said...

The Art Institute of Chicago hosted a special exhibit of drawings from the books of Peter Sís in 2003, I think, although it may have been earlier than that. 2001? It was downstairs in the Kraft Education Center. Copies of his books were also displayed in the Center's book nook. My two youngest and I took a break from galley walking to read every one, poring over the illustrations, deciding which we just had to own.

Anyway, he is a favorite here. Have you seen The Tree of Life: Darwin? What an exquisite book.

Camille said...

As usual knowing about his life has made me appreciate his work even more. I agree about The Tree of Life. It is wholly original.