Roger Duvoisin

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Roger Antoine Duvoisin
Born(1900-08-28)August 28, 1900
Geneva, Switzerland
DiedJune 30, 1980(1980-06-30) (aged 79)
Occupation(s)Writer and illustrator
Known forChildren's picture books
SpouseLouise Fatio

Roger Antoine Duvoisin (August 28, 1900 – June 30, 1980)[1] was a Swiss-born American writer and illustrator best known for children's picture books. He won the 1948 Caldecott Medal for picture books[2] and in 1968 he was a highly commended runner-up for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award for children's illustrators.[3]


Duvoisin was born in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1900. He learned to draw early having been encouraged by his father, who was an architect, and his godmother, a well-known painter of enamels.[4] He studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. His first job was designing scenery, making posters, and painting murals. He also became a manager of an old French pottery plant before becoming involved with textile design, an occupation that eventually brought him to the United States.[4] He married Louise Fatio, another artist from Switzerland. In 1927, they moved to New York City where he worked on children's books and magazine illustrations. He became an American citizen in 1938.[5]

Duvoisin died in June 1980. He sometimes gave 1904 as his year of birth but he was nearly 80 at his death, born in 1900—the US Library of Congress learned from a publisher, indirectly from his widow.[1] Jeanne Blackmore, Duvoisin's granddaughter, is also an author with her first children's book, How Does Sleep Come? published in 2012.[6]

Books and awards[edit]

Duvoisin wrote his first book in the U.S.

He won the Caldecott Medal for White Snow, Bright Snow, written by Alvin Tresselt (D. Lothrop Co., 1947). The annual American Library Association award recognizes the illustrator of the year's "most distinguished American picture book for children".[2] Their 1965 collaboration Hide and Seek Fog was one of three Caldecott runners-up.[2]

Fatio wrote and Duvoisin illustrated The Happy Lion, a picture book published by McGraw-Hill in 1954. It was her first book and the first of ten Happy Lion books they created together (1954–1980). Its German-language edition (Der glückliche Löwe) won the inaugural 1956 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.[a]

Duvoisin both wrote and illustrated a successful series featuring Petunia the goose and Veronica the hippopotamus,[8] inaugurated by Petunia (Alfred A. Knopf, 1950) and Veronica (Knopf, 1961; The Bodley Head, 1961). Duvoisin's works also include translation and illustration of medieval European folk tales such as The Crocodile in the Tree (1973).

In 1961, he received an award from the Society of Illustrators. In 1966, he received the Rugers Bi-Centennial award.

His books were published by The Bodley Head Ltd in London, Sydney and Toronto.[clarification needed]


As writer and illustrator[edit]

  • A Little Boy Was Drawing (1932)
  • Donkey–donkey (1934)
  • All Aboard! (1935)
  • And There Was America (1938)
  • The Three Sneezes and Other Swiss Tales (1941); published in the UK as Fairy Tales from Switzerland (1941)
  • The Christmas Cake In Search of Its Owner (1941)
  • They Put Out to Sea: The Story of the Map (1944)
  • The Christmas Whale (1945)
  • The Christmas Voyage (1947)
  • Chanticleer (1947)
  • The Petunia series (1950–75)
    • Petunia (1950)
    • Petunia and the Song (1951)
    • Petunia's Christmas (1952)
    • Petunia Takes a Trip (1953)
    • Petunia, Beware! (1958)
    • Petunia, I Love You (1965)
    • Petunia's Treasure (1975)
  • A for the Ark (1952)
  • Easter Treat (1954)
  • Two Lonely Ducks (1955)
  • One Thousand Christmas Beards (1955)
  • The House of Four Seasons (1956)
  • Day and Night (1960)
  • The Happy Hunter (1961)
  • The Veronica series (1961–71)
    • Veronica (1961)
    • Our Veronica Goes to Petunia's Farm (1962)
    • Veronica's Smile (1964)
    • Lonely Veronica (1964)
    • Veronica and the Birthday Present (1971)
  • The Miller, His Son, and Their Donkey, a retelling of the fable (1962)
  • Spring Snow (1963)
  • The Missing Milkman (1967)
  • What Is Right for Tulip (1969)
  • The Crocodile in the Tree (1972)
  • Jasmine (1973)
  • See What I Am (1974)
  • Periwinkle (1976)
  • Crocus (1977)
  • Snowy and Woody (1979)
  • The Importance of Crocus (1981)

As illustrator[edit]

With Alvin Tresselt:

  • White Snow, Bright Snow (1947) – Caldecott Award
  • Johnny Maple-Leaf (1948)
  • Follow the Wind (1950)
  • Autumn Harvest (1951)
  • Follow the Road (1953)
  • Wake up, Farm! (1955)
  • Wake up, City! (1957)
  • The Frog in the Well (1958)
  • Under the Trees and Through the Grass (1962)
  • Hi, Mister Robin! (1963, new edition from 1950 version)
  • Hide and Seek Fog (1965) – Caldecott Award, Honor
  • Timothy Robbins Climbs the Mountain (1967)
  • It’s Time Now (1969)
  • The Beaver Pond (1971)
  • What Did You Leave Behind? (1978)

With Louise Fatio:

  • The Happy Lion (1954)
  • The Happy Lion in Africa (1955)
  • The Happy Lion Roars (1957)
  • The Three Happy Lions (1959)
  • The Happy Lion's Quest (1961)
  • The Happy Lion and the Bear (1964)
  • The Happy Lion's Holiday, aka The Happy Lion's Vacation (1967)
  • The Happy Lion's Treasure (1970)
  • The Happy Lion's Rabbits (1974)
  • The Happy Lioness (1980)


  • Mother Goose: A Comprehensive Collection of Rhymes by William Rose Benét (1936)
  • The Happy Time by Robert Louis Fontaine (1945)
  • The Camel Who Took a Walk by Jack Tworkov (1951)
  • The Talking Cat and Other Tales of French Canada by Natalie Savage Carlson (1952)
  • The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore (1954)
  • Houn' Dog by Mary Calhoun (1959)
  • The Poodle Who Barked at the Wind by Charlotte Zolotow (1964)
  • The Rain Puddle by Adelaide Holl (1965)
  • The Old Bullfrog by Berniece Freschet (1968)
  • Santa's Dream (unknown date), advertising piece for Peck's Toy Village; included a story and games for children


  1. ^ Published by Herder in 1955, Der glückliche Löwe is the earliest-dated of about 200 records for Duvoisin in the German National Library.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Duvoisin, Roger, 1900–1980". Library of Congress Authorities. Retrieved 2014-09-14.
  2. ^ a b c "Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938–Present". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). American Library Association (ALA).
      "The Randolph Caldecott Medal". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
  3. ^ "Candidates for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards 1956–2002". The Hans Christian Andersen Awards, 1956–2002. IBBY. Gyldendal. 2002. Pages 110–18. Hosted by Austrian Literature Online ( Retrieved 2013-07-15.
  4. ^ a b Silvey, Anita (1995). Children's Books and Their Creators. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 214. ISBN 0395653800.
  5. ^ Crocus (1977), cover. The Bodley Head Ltd: London, Sydney, Toronto, ISBN 0-370-30001-7.
  6. ^ Lodge, Sally (August 16, 2012). "Roger Duvoisin's Granddaughter Pens Debut Picture Book". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  7. ^ "Ergebnis ... 181–189 von 189". [Last page of search report; 1957 to 1955 publications.] Deutsche National Bibliothek ( Retrieved 2014-09-14.
  8. ^ "Guide to the Roger Duvoisin and Louise Fatio Papers 1934–1968". North West Digital Archives. 2006. Retrieved 2013-07-15. Small collection held by the University of Oregon Libraries Special Collections and Archives. With historical note.

External links[edit]