Acclaimed Children’s Illustrator & Author Anita Lobel to Speak 

Anita Lobel

Feb. 20, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Award-winning children’s book illustrator and author Anita Lobel will visit Illinois Wesleyan University Feb. 24-25 and speak at two events in celebration of the University’s founding.

An exhibit of Lobel’s illustrations and drawings, entitled “All the World’s a Stage,” is currently on display at IWU. Lobel will present a gallery talk at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Merwin Gallery in the Joyce G. Eichhorn Ames School of Art building. The title of the exhibit is based on a book of the same name, for which Lobel illustrated. A book signing and reception will follow Lobel’s gallery talk.

The exhibit includes illustrations from some of Lobel’s best-known works, including On Market Street, a collaboration between Lobel and her husband Arnold Lobel. On Market Street won several prizes, including a Caldecott Honor and the Boston Globe/Horn Book award for illustration. Her memoir of her childhood in World War II Poland, No Pretty Pictures, was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Lobel will also present the Founders Day Convocation address at 11 a.m. Feb. 25 in Presser Hall’s Westbrook Auditorium. Her presentation is entitled “Walls, Bridges, Crossings: Getting There!” All of the Lobel events are free and open to the public.

Born in Poland to a Jewish merchant family, Lobel’s nanny took Anita and her younger brother into hiding when Anita was five years old. Her experiences hiding in a convent, being discovered and being sent to a concentration camp form the basis for her memoir No Pretty Pictures. After liberation, Lobel and her brother were reunited with their parents in Sweden.

In the 1950s her family moved to New York. Lobel graduated from Pratt Institute with a degree in fine arts. While a student Lobel met her future husband Arnold Lobel, who became a children’s book author. She began her own career as a children’s book illustrator upon the suggestion of her husband’s editor. In 1965 Lobel published her first book Sven’s Bridge, which was named a Best Illustrated Book selection from the New York Times Book Review. Lobel has illustrated or written nearly 60 children’s books; her most recent Taking Care of Mama Rabbit was released in 2014. 

This year’s Founders Day Convocation marks the 165th anniversary of IWU’s founding.