Paul O. Zelinsky – one of my top 10 favorite illustrators. He’s also known for Rumpelstiltskin and the best-selling pop-up book The Wheels on the Bus which has sold millions. A wiki quote which better describes him:
“…Paul Zelinsky was interested in natural history as well as architecture and saw himself following one of those paths for a career. However, he went to study at Yale. He took a class taught by Maurice Sendak on the history and art of children’s books, and it inspired him to a career in the area. Zelinsky went to graduate school at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Rome. The Renaissance and Italian art always fascinated him…”
You can definitely see the Italian influence in his oil paintings; there’s so much richness that I wish all fairytale drawings were executed by Zelinsky (particularly The Twelve Dancing Princesses).
You know an artist is good when he’s awarded the Caldecott Medal (given annually to the most distinguished picture book for children) and three Caldecott Honors. A nice little add-on to the resume eh? :)