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WILLIAM PÈNE DU BOIS. "Lion." Illustration published in interior story and on cover (with a variation in typography) of Lion by William Pène du Bois (New York: Viking Press, 1956). Mixed media, including pen, ink, colored pencil, metallic paint, and graphite on paper. 330x375 mm; 13x14 1/2 inches; on 19 1/2x17 3/4-inch sheet. Signed "William Pène du Bois" in lower right image.
Pène du Bois was awarded a Caldecott Honor for his illustrations in Lion. This illustration appears on the cover and on the interior in a double-page spread showing the evolving prototype of a lion, which is being designed and perfected by a foreman at an animal factory before it is created and sent to earth. What starts out as a silly looking multi-colored striped creature eventually becomes the regal animal we know today.
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.