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Simms Taback

Author and Illustrator of:

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat


Caldecott Medal 2000



There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly


Caldecott Honor 1998

Simms TabackSimms Taback is an award-winning illustrator known for his picture books, posters, Smithsonian calendars and his own line of greeting cards.

He grew up in Bronx, New York and originally wanted to pursue a degree in engineering after graduating from Music and Art High School. His creative talents took over, however, and he enrolled in Cooper Union. Mr. Taback's illustrious career included graphic artist with CBS Records, a designer for the New York Times, opening his own design studio, teaching at the School of Visual Arts and Syracuse University, and illustrating over thirty-five children's books.

Although Simms Taback is proficient in many media, his specialty is pen and ink and watercolor for his illustrations. Mr. Taback has the rare talent of being able to dazzle readers both young and old with bold, vivid colors that appear to jump right off the page.

It also seems that Mr. Taback's engineering mind came into play with his recreation of the American folk poem, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Simms managed to accomplish an extraordinary feat of artistic expression by allowing his readers access to what happens inside the old lady's stomach each time she eats an animal of growing proportions via a die-cut that increases with the size of her waist.

Simms Taback has won over one hundred art awards. His works are included in the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota. Mr. Taback served for two years as president of the Illustrators Guild, five years as president of the New York Graphics Artists Guild, and is a member of the Society of Illustrators. He has been named twice to the Best Illustrated Books list for the New York Times.

When he's not illustrating or receiving awards, Simms Taback enjoys life with his wife, a writer, in Willow, New York. He has three grown children.