Children’s Book Illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky


Paul Zelinsky just sent me a copy of one of his children's books. Actually, it was his first-ever picture book, and was published in 1981. He has since gone on to have an amazing children's book career, and I'm thrilled to take a look back to where it started. The inscription reads in my book reads "To Joyce, for the oddest reason — happily, Paul O. Zelinsky. Isn't your curiosity piqued? 


The Maid and the Mouse and the Odd-shaped House, was adapted from an old rhyming story that Dorothy Brooks found in her mother, Henriette Holzer's notebook. Henriette Holzer was a schoolteacher, and as this story was told, each child would go up to the chalkboard and complete a different part of a picture. I won't tell you anymore, so you can enjoy the surprise.


Zelinsky's illustrations have a wonderful vintage feel, and although the story is an old one, dating back to before 1897, the concept is still so current.

Paul O. Zelinsky was awarded the Caldecott medal in 1998 for Rapunzel. Some of his other more well-known books include:  The Wheels on the BusRumpelstiltskinSwamp Angel and his latest Z Is for Moose.

For updates on Paul's latest projects, follow him on twitter @paulozelinsky.

Thank you for the lovely book, Paul!