Lane Smith (illustrator)

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Lane Smith (born August 25, 1959) is an American illustrator and writer of children's books, known best for picture books created with other writers.

Two works created by Jon Scieszka and Smith were ranked among the 100 best all-time picture books in a 2012 survey published by School Library Journal: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, number 35, and The Stinky Cheese Man, 91.[1]


Smith was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but moved to Corona, California at a young age.[2] He spent summers in Tulsa, and cites experiences traveling there via Route 66 as inspirations for his work, saying that "[o]nce you've seen a 100-foot cement buffalo on top of a donut-stand in the middle of nowhere, you're never the same."

He studied at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, at the encouragement of his high-school art teacher, Dan Baughman, helping to pay for it by working as a janitor at Disneyland. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration, and moved to New York City, where he was hired to do illustrations for various publications including TIME, Mother Jones and Ms.

Smith is married to Molly Leach, who has designed many award-winning books, including nearly all of Smith's.

Children's books[edit]

Smith is most noted for his work on children's books. He has illustrated works by Florence Parry Heide, Judith Viorst, Bob Shea, Dr. Seuss, Jack Prelutsky, Eve Merriam, Roald Dahl and George Saunders. He has both written and illustrated several books, most notably It's a Book (2010), which was a New York Times bestseller for over six months and has been translated into over twenty-five languages; Madam President (2008); and John, Paul, George, and Ben (2006). He received his second Caldecott Medal honor for Grandpa Green (2012).

On May 5, 2015, Roaring Brook Press published Smith's first middle-grade novel, Return to Augie Hobble, which received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.

He is also known for several children's picture books created with writer Jon Scieszka. The two teamed up The Stinky Cheese Man, which was a New York Times "Best Illustrated Book" and a Caldecott Honor Book, and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. Smith has also illustrated some volumes of Scieszka's The Time Warp Trio novels.

He is a four-time recipient of the New York Times' Best Illustrated Book award.

In 2012 he was named a Carle Honor Artist for lifelong innovation in the field of children's books.[3]

In 2014 he received the Society of Illustrators' Lifetime Achievement award.[4]

Smith's artistic talents have also been featured in other books and mediums. He illustrated one edition of Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, and was Conceptual Designer for the 1996 Disney movie adaptation. He contributed conceptual designs for Disney and Pixar's Monsters, Inc. and the film adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


Some listings may not be first editions.

As writer and illustrator[edit]

As illustrator[edit]

Written by Jon Scieszka

Smith has also illustrated some installments of Scieszka's The Time Warp Trio series of novels.[clarification needed]

By other writers


  1. ^ Bird, Elizabeth (July 6, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". A Fuse #8 Production. Blog. School Library Journal ( Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  2. ^ "Lane Smith". Penguin Books. Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Carle Honors Past Honorees - Carle Museum". 
  4. ^ [1] Archived March 23, 2015, on Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]