Paul O. Zelinsky, recognized as one of the most outstanding illustrators working today, celebrates his birthday on February 14th. Paul was born in Evanston, Illinois. One of the books he particularly remembers from his childhood is the Golden Books title, The Color Kittens.
He attended Yale University, where he took a course from Maurice Sendak. He received a graduate degree in painting from Tyler School of Art. Zelinsky's first picture book, How I Hunted the Little Fellows, was published in 1979.
Zelinsky is known for using a variety of painting and design styles, determined by the style of the story. He has illustrated in cartoon, geometric line, and lush, old-world painting, rich in historical detail. Hansel and Gretel was a Caldecott Honor in 1985, Rumpelstiltskin an Honor in 1986, and Rapunzel won the Caldecott Medal in 1997.
Zelinsky's latest, Knick Knack Paddywhack, is an ingenious visual narrative with masterful paper engineering, as close as a book can come to animation.