News & Events

Children's Book Illustrator and Author Anita Lobel to Speak at Founders' Day

Lobel
Anita Lobel

Feb. 6, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Award-winning children's book illustrator and author Anita Lobel will speak Feb. 25 at Illinois Wesleyan University's Founders' Day Convocation. Lobel's address "Walls, Bridges, Crossings: Getting There!" will begin at 11 a.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall, 1210 N. Park St. The event is free and open to the public.

Among Lobel's nearly 60 books are her illustrated works A New Coat for Anna, This Quiet Lady and On Market Street, which won several awards including a Caldecott Honor for illustration. Her childhood memoir No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War, was a finalist for the National Book Award.

In No Pretty Pictures, Lobel recounts her experiences as a Jewish child in World War II Poland. Lobel's nanny took Anita and her younger brother into hiding when she was five years old. While hiding in a convent, the children were discovered and sent to a concentration camp. After liberation, she 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 picture book Sven's Bridge, which went on to receive a Best Illustrated Book selection from the New York Times Book Review.

Lobel's work has been featured in the annual exhibition of original picture book art at The Society of Illustrators in New York City and in galleries in New York and Los Angeles. Internationally, Lobel's work has been displayed by several museum collections in Japan that specialize in children's book illustrations. Lobel's illustrations will be on display Feb. 9-March 31 at the Illinois Wesleyan Merwin Gallery. She will present a gallery talk Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. A book signing and reception will follow.

The Convocation marks the 165th anniversary of IWU's founding. In 1850 a group of 30 civic and religious leaders joined together to establish "an Institution of learning of Collegiate grade." 

By Kathy Tun '16