P. D. Eastman

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P. D. Eastman
Photo of P. D. Eastman.jpg
BornPhilip Dey Eastman
(1909-11-25)November 25, 1909
Amherst, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedJanuary 7, 1986(1986-01-07) (aged 76)
Cresskill, New Jersey, U.S.
OccupationWriter, illustrator, storyboard artist
GenreChildren's literature
Notable works
Years active1936–1986
SpouseMary Louise Whitham

Philip Dey "Phil" Eastman (November 25, 1909 – January 7, 1986) was an American screenwriter, children's author, and illustrator. As an author, he is known primarily as P. D. Eastman.

Early life[edit]

Eastman was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to Clarence Willis and Ann Hull (Dey) Eastman. After studying at Phillips Academy Andover and Williston Academy, he graduated from Amherst College in 1933 and later from the National Academy of Design in New York City.


Film and animation[edit]

From 1936 to 1941, Eastman worked at Walt Disney Productions in assistant animation, story-sketch, and production design. From 1941 to 1942, he worked in the story department of Leon Schlesinger Productions, Warner Bros.'s cartoon unit, and was a member of Local Number Eight Hundred And Thirty-Nine of Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, the trade union representing cartoonists in the United States.

In 1942, Eastman was drafted by the Army and assigned to the Signal Corps film unit, which was headed by Theodor Geisel, who later became known as Dr. Seuss. Here, Eastman conducted picture planning for animated sequences in orientation and training films, and he also wrote scripts and drew storyboards for the Private Snafu series for Army-Navy Screen Magazine.

From 1945 to 1952, Eastman worked at United Productions of America (UPA). He was a writer and storyboard artist for the Mr. Magoo series. Eastman and Bill Scott co-wrote the screenplay for the animated comedy Gerald McBoing-Boing, which won an Academy Award for Short Subject, Cartoons, in 1950. Eastman also directed educational films and worked on the Flight Safety series for the United States Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics while at UPA.[1]

Author and illustrator[edit]

Eastman, a protégé and colleague of Theodor Geisel (pen name Dr. Seuss), wrote many books for children in his own distinct style. He worked with the Dr. Seuss brand of Random House, many of which were in the Beginner Books series. His titles include:

  • Are You My Mother? (ISBN 0-394-80018-4) (Beginner Book #18) (written and illustrated by)
  • Go, Dog. Go! (ISBN 0-394-80020-6) (Beginner Book #20)
  • The Best Nest (ISBN 0-394-80051-6) (Beginner Book #51) (written and illustrated by)
  • Flap Your Wings (ISBN 0-375-80243-6) (Early Bird Book, later reissued as Random House Pictureback Book formerly and Beginner Book #88 currently)
  • The Cat in the Hat Beginner Book Dictionary (ISBN 0-394-81009-0) (Beginner Book special)
  • What Time Is It? (ISBN 0-375-81362-4) (Bright and Early Board Books) - currently only available as an ebook
  • Sam and the Firefly (ISBN 0-394-80006-0) (Beginner Book #6) (written and illustrated by)
  • Big Dog...Little Dog (ISBN 0-375-82297-6), 30th anniversary edition with additional story, words and illustrations by Peter Anthony Eastman (Beginner Book #92)
  • Red, Stop! Green, Go! (ISBN 0-375-82503-7) (Bright and Early Playtime Book)
  • Sam and Gus Light Up The Night (ISBN 0-375-82926-1) (Bright and Early Playtime Book)
  • My Nest Is Best (ISBN 0-375-83267-X) (Bright and Early Playtime Book)
  • The Alphabet Book (ISBN 978-0-553-51111-6) (Random House Pictureback Book, later Bright and Early Book #41 (ISBN 0-375-80603-2) with additional materials by Tony Eastman from the Bright and Early Board Book edition)
  • Are You My Mother? (ISBN 0-679-89047-5) (Bright and Early Board Book, later reissued as Big Bright and Early Board Book)
  • Big Dog...Little Dog: A Bedtime Story (ISBN 0-394-83312-0) (Random House Pictureback Book)
  • Big Dog...Little Dog (ISBN 0-375-87539-5) (Bright and Early Board Book with additional materials by Peter Anthony Eastman)
  • Aaron is a Good Sport (ISBN 978-0-553-50842-0) (Step into Reading level 1) adapted from Everything Happens to Aaron in the Spring (Take Along Books)
  • Aaron Has a Lazy Day (ISBN 978-0-553-50844-4) (Step into Reading level 1) adapted from Everything Happens to Aaron in the Summer (Take Along Books)
  • Aaron Loves Apples and Pumpkins (ISBN 978-0-553-51234-2) (Step into Reading level 1) adapted from Everything Happens to Aaron in the Autumn (Take Along Books)
  • Aaron is Cool (ISBN 978-0-553-51237-3) (Step into Reading level 1) adapted from Everything Happens to Aaron in the Winter (Take Along Books)

He was the illustrator for:

He wrote but Eastman did not illustrate:

His work is included in:

Other affiliations[edit]

Eastman was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Westport Artists, the Screen Cartoonists Guild, and the Audubon Society.


In 1941 Eastman married Mary Louise Whitham of Glendale, California. He had two sons, Alan Eastman and Peter Anthony (Tony) Eastman, an animator, who himself directed video adaptations of Richard Scarry's children's books. Peter has also written and illustrated Fred and Ted Go Camping (2005), Fred and Ted Like to Fly (2007), and Fred and Ted's Road Trip (2011), and contributed new illustrations to several reissues of his father's books, The Alphabet Book (2000), Big Dog... Little Dog (2003), Red Stop! Green Go! (2004), and The Cat in the Hat Beginner Book Dictionary (2007).


  1. ^ von Schmidt, Caitlin. "P.D. Eastman". P.D. Eastman Books. Retrieved 10 March 2018.

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