William Steig,
October 4, 2003 10:57 PM   Subscribe

I missed Steig growing up, because he just started doing small-kids' books as I was getting too old for them. But I knew his New Yorker stuff as a young adult, and then as a parent came to appreciate his wonderful take on things and great drawing style. He really was one of the greats.

I know it's not classy to say so, but... classy post, RJ.
posted by soyjoy at 11:23 PM on October 4, 2003

are you sure about that?
posted by quonsar at 11:24 PM on October 4, 2003

posted by yoga at 5:27 AM on October 5, 2003

Lately I've been getting fresh enjoyment from CDC?

In fact, just this last week, my wife and I were in stitches, after turning out the lights, making up our own letter-spelled witticisms after his.

Steig's mirth lives on.
posted by Zurishaddai at 4:40 PM on October 5, 2003

How odd.. it was only about two or three nights ago that I pulled out my favorite book from childhood - Steig's The Bad Island. (I've just found out there were two editions - the original 1969 edition, that I have, and the watered down 1984 edition published as Rotten Island). The prose and the drawings were just fantastic, the kind of thing that makes a kid's imagination run wild. I can't find any pictures online, but it's on the same level as Where The Wild Things Are.
posted by the big lizard at 5:15 PM on October 5, 2003

Here are some unintentionally funny (uncomprehending) Amazon customer reviews of a book Steig did with his wife.
posted by Zurishaddai at 6:59 PM on October 5, 2003

Steig did not begin writing children's books until he was 60. His third effort, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, was rewarded with the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1970.

How great is that? We certainly love him in this family. (I think The Amazing Bone is our favorite.) 95 years, four wives, 30+ children's books, 117 covers for The New Yorker, a hit movie at the end of it all . . . sounds like he had a full life.
posted by LeLiLo at 7:02 PM on October 5, 2003

God, I loved William Steig as a kid. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, The Amazing Bone, Roland the Minstrel Pig... I was actually rather delighted when I grew up and started reading The New Yorker, to find his illustrations in that magazine, too.


There goes another of my childhood heroes.
posted by kayjay at 12:20 PM on October 6, 2003

Little bit of trivia. William Steig's only son is the jazz flutist, Jeremy Steig, who was sampled by the Beastie Boys on Sure Shot. Jeremy Steig is a decent illustrator in his own right, too.
posted by jonp72 at 8:07 PM on October 6, 2003

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