Thomas Handforth

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Thomas Scofield Handforth (1897–1948) was an American artist and etcher. He wrote and illustrated the children's picture book Mei Li based on personal experience in China and won the 1939 Caldecott Medal for illustration.

Mei Li is about a girl who escapes her traditional life in the Chinese countryside to visit a Chinese New Year fair. It has been reissued since 1938 and Thomas Handforth's magnificent drawings of China in the 1930s are still animated and compelling. The text is wordy forced, and sexist by modern standards. He was born in Tacoma, Washington. He studied art at the University of Washington and at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in France. He lived in various locations such as Paris, India, North Africa, Mexico and China.

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