Illustrator Leo Dillon has died. Dillon, along with his wife and artistic collaborator, Diane Dillon, was a two time Caldecott Medal winner, first in 1976 for “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears,” a folktale told by Verna Aardema, and then in 1977 for “Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions,” by Margaret Musgrove.
From the NY Times:
Their modus operandi, honed over time, involved an initial discussion — a negotiation, to hear them tell it — of their visions of the text. When these were more or less reconciled, one of them made preliminary sketches, which were passed to the other for coloring, then passed back for refinement.
After sufficient back-and-forth, and sufficient spirited argument, the resulting image appeared, they often said, to have been the work of an unseen but very much present third party, whom they called “It.”
On the web: The Art of Leo and Diane Dillon
To explore the Dillons’ work in the Visual Arts Library:
People could fly : American Black folktales / told by Virginia Hamilton ; illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon – PZ8.1.H154 Pe 1985
Why mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears : a West African tale / retold by Verna Aardema ; pictures by Leo and Diane Dillon. PZ8.1.A213 Wh 2004
Talking with artists : conversations with Victoria Chess, Pat Cummings, Leo and Diane Dillon, Richard Egielski, Lois Ehlert, Lisa Campbell Ernst, Tom Feelings, Steven Kellogg, Jerry Pinkney, Amy Schwartz, Lane Smith, Chris Van Allsburg, and David Wiesner – NC975.T34 1991