WILLIAM PÈNE DU BOIS (1916-1993) Bedtime * Arrival * Departure. Together, three story illustrations from The Planet of Lost Things by Mark Strand (New York: C.N. Potter, 1982). Watercolor and graphite on paper. Bedtime is140x155; 5 1/2x6 1/4 inches, on 7 1/4x9 1/4-inch sheet. Arrival is 180x80; 7x3 1/4 inches, on 7 1/4x4 1/2-inch sheet. Departure is 165x80; 6 1/2x3 inches, on 7 1/4x4 1/2-inch sheet. All signed "William Pène du Bois" in lower right image.
Pène du Bois' illustrations perfectly capture the fantastical imaginary world where all things that go missing on Earth eventually end up. The story begins with Luke, who falls asleep and is transported to The Planet of Lost Things via rocket ship. There, he meets The Missing Person and The Unknown Soldier, who lead him through a landscape inhabited by dinosaurs, lost pets, and misplaced keys, umbrellas, socks, and mittens.
Pène du Bois' whimsical illustrations and beloved cast of characters made serious themes accessible and engaging for children. The American author and illustrator is among a select few who have been presented with both a Newbery Medal (for The Twenty-One Balloons, 1947) and Caldecott Honors (for Bear Party, 1951 and Lion, 1956). As both artist and author, Pène du Bois captivated generations of readers with his unique combination of humor and imagination.