David Small

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David Small
Born (1945-02-12) February 12, 1945 (age 75)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
OccupationIllustrator, writer
EducationCass Technical High School
Wayne State University
Yale University
GenreChildren's literature
Notable worksThe Gardener (1998)
Stitches (2009)
SpouseSarah Stewart (author)

David Small (born February 12, 1945) is an American writer and illustrator who is best known for children's picture books. His books have been awarded a Caldecott Medal and two Caldecott Honors, among other recognition.


David Small was born in Detroit, Michigan. He began drawing at the age of two years, and health problems that kept him home for much of his childhood, also led to his developing his drawing skills.[1] He attended Cass Technical High School and wrote plays throughout his teenage years.

At age 21, he 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, Eulalie and the Hopping Head, which he wrote and illustrated, was published in 1981.[2]

Small earned a 1997 Caldecott Honor and The Christopher Medal for The Gardener,[3] with Sarah Stewart, his wife. She also received the 2007 Michigan Author Award.

In 2001 Small 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 illustrating 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 2015 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature.[5]

David Small and his wife Sarah Stewart make their home in an historic manor house in Mendon, Michigan.[6]


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 troubled teen who ran away from home at sixteen to become an artist.[7] Stitches was reviewed by the New York Times[8] and the Los Angeles Times.[9]

It was a #1 New York Times Best Seller,[10] and was named one of the ten best books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly and Amazon.com.[11][12] It was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.[13] Stitches has been translated into seven different languages and published in nine different countries.


As writer and illustrator[edit]

As illustrator with Sarah Stewart[edit]

Small has illustrated several books written by Sarah Stewart and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG).

  • The Money Tree (FSG, 1994)
  • The Library (FSG, 1995)
  • The Gardener (FSG, 1997) – Caldecott Honor Book
  • The Journey (FSG, 2001)
  • The Friend (FSG, 2004)
  • The Quiet Place (FSG, 2012)

As illustrator with other writers[edit]

  • Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift (William Morrow & Co., 1983)
  • The Dragon Who Lived Downstairs, Burr Tillstrom (William Morrow & Co., 1984)
  • Company's Coming, written by Arthur Yorinks (Knopf, 1988)
  • A Surfeit of Similes, Norton Juster (William Morrow & Co., 1989)
  • Petey's Bedtime Story, Beverly Cleary (HarperCollins, 1993)
  • The Christmas Crocodile, Bonnie Becker (Simon & Schuster, 1998)
  • Huckabuck Family: And How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back, Carl Sandburg, (FSG, 1999) – one of the 1923 Rootabaga Stories, OCLC 38856059
  • So You Want to Be President?, Judith St. George (Penguin Philomel, 2000) – winner of the 2001 Caldecott Medal
  • Company's Going, Arthur Yorinks (Hyperion Books for Children, 2001)
  • The Mouse and His Child, Russell Hoban (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2001)
  • So You Want to Be an Inventor?, Judith St. George (Philomel, 2002)
  • The Essential Worldwide Monster Guide, Linda Ashman (Simon & Schuster, 2003)
  • So You Want to Be an Explorer?, Judith St. George (Philomel, 2005)
  • My Senator and Me: A Dog's Eye View of Washington, D.C., Ted Kennedy (Scholastic Books, 2006)
  • Once Upon a Banana, Jennifer Armstrong (Simon & Schuster, 2006)
  • When Dinosaurs Came with Everything, Elise Broach (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2007)
  • That Book Woman, Heather Henson (Atheneum, 2008)
  • The Underneath, Kathi Appelt (Atheneum, 2008)
  • One Cool Friend, Toni Buzzeo (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012) – Caldecott Honor Book


  1. ^ Online biography from Parent's Choice Foundation
  2. ^ "David Small: Biography". Authors/Illustrators. Pippin Properties, Inc (pippinproperties.com). Archived July 4, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c American Library Association: Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938–Present. Retrieved 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"). Archived May 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ [1] neustadtprize.org
  6. ^ "It's a David Small World: The Artwork of Caldecott Medal Winner David Small: Educator Guide". Archived from the original on January 5, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-26.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Multnomah County Library. October 24, 2002. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
  7. ^ Feiffer, Jules. Blurb in "About the Book: Early Praise" Archived 2013-02-12 at the Wayback Machine. Stitches official website. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  8. ^ Konigsberg, Eric. "Finding a Voice in a Graphic Memoir". The New York Times, September 6, 2009.
  9. ^ Woods, Paula L. "Book Review: 'Stitches: A Memoir' by David Small". Los Angeles Times. September 13, 2009.
  10. ^ Gustines, George Gene. Graphic Books Best Seller List. The New York Times. September 18, 2009.
  11. ^ Best Books of 2009. Publishers Weekly. November 2, 2009.
  12. ^ Best Books of 2009 – Editors' Picks: Top 100 Books. Amazon.com.
  13. ^ National Book Awards – 2009.

External links[edit]