David Small

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This article is about the author and illustrator. For the fictional Rabbi David Small, see Friday the Rabbi Slept Late.
David Small
Born (1945-02-12) February 12, 1945 (age 69)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Writer, cartoonist, artist
Nationality American
Education Cass Technical High School
Wayne State University
Yale University
Genre Children's literature
Notable works The Gardener (1998)
Stitches (2009)
Spouse Sarah Stewart (author)

David Small (born February 12, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American writer and illustrator who is best known for children's picture books.


David Small began drawing at two years old and health problems having kept him home for much of his childhood.[1] He attended Cass Technical High School, wrote plays throughout his teenage years, but at age 21 switched to art. He earned a bachelor of fine arts degree at Wayne State University and a master of fine arts degree at Yale University. Small taught art for many years on the college level, ran a film series, and made satirical sketches for campus newspapers. His first book, which he wrote and illustrated, Eulalie and the Hopping Head, was published in 1981.[2]

Small earned a 1997 Caldecott Honor and The Christopher Medal for The Gardener,[3] with Sarah Stewart, his wife, recipient of the 2007 Michigan Author Award. In 2001 he won the Caldecott Medal for So You Want to Be President?, combining political cartooning with children's book illustration.[3][4] He received a second Caldecott Honor in 2013 for his illustrations for Toni Buzzeo's "One Cool Friend." Small's drawings have appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Times. .[3] On July 15, 2014, he was announced as a finalist for the prestigious 2015 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature.

David Small and Sarah Stewart make their home in an historic manor house in Mendon, Michigan.[5]


Main article: Stitches (book)

Small's graphic memoir, Stitches, was published in September 2009. It tells the story of Small's journey from sickly child to cancer patient, to the troubled teen who made a risky decision to run away from home at sixteen—with nothing more than the dream of becoming an artist. It is a story about voicelessness—both physical and psychical—told artfully in pictures that made Jules Feiffer say, "It left me speechless."[6]

Stitches was reviewed by the New York Times[7] and the Los Angeles Times.[8] It was a #1 New York Times Best Seller,[9] and was named one of the ten best books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly and Amazon.com.[10][11] It was also a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.[12] Stitches has been translated into seven different languages and published in nine different countries.


As writer and illustrator[edit]

  • Eulalie and the Hopping Head by David Small (MacMillan, 1982; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001) - a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.
  • Imogene's Antlers by David Small (Crown 1985)
  • Paper John by David Small (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1987)
  • Ruby Mae Has Something to Say by David Small (Crown, 1992)
  • Hoover's Bride by David Small (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1995)
  • Fenwick's Suit by David Small (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996)
  • George Washington's Cows by David Small (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997)
  • Stitches by David Small (W.W. Norton & Company, 2009)

As illustrator with Sarah Stewart[edit]

  • The Money Tree by Sarah Stewart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994)
  • The Library by Sarah Stewart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1995)
  • The Gardener by Sarah Stewart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux], 1997) - Caldecott Honor
  • The Journey by Sarah Stewart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001) - A Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.
  • The Friend by Sarah Stewart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004)
  • The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012)

As illustrator with other writers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Online biography from Parent's Choice Foundation
  2. ^ Pippin Properties author biography
  3. ^ a b c American Library Association: Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938-Present. Accessed April 27, 2013.
  4. ^ CNN Book News report on David Small and U.S. News & World Report, 29 January 2001. pg 8 ("The cartoonist in chief").
  5. ^ It's a David Small World: The Artwork of Caldecott Medal Winner David Small: Educator Guide at the Wayback Machine (archived January 5, 2006). Multnomah County Library, October 24, 2002. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
  6. ^ Feiffer, Jules. Blurb in "About the Book: Early Praise," Stitches official website. Accessed June 13, 2013.
  7. ^ Konigsberg, Eric. Finding a Voice in a Graphic Memoir. The New York Times, September 6, 2009.
  8. ^ Woods, Paula L. Book Review: 'Stitches: A Memoir' by David Small. Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2009.
  9. ^ Gustines, George Gene. Graphic Books Best Seller List. The New York Times, September 18, 2009.
  10. ^ Best Books of 2009. Publishers Weekly, November 2, 2009.
  11. ^ Best Books of 2009 - Editors' Picks: Top 100 Books. Amazon.com.
  12. ^ National Book Awards - 2009.

External links[edit]