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The Stray Dog
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About the Author

Marc Simont was born in 1915 in Paris. His parents were from the Catalonia region of Spain, and his childhood was spent in France, Spain, and the United States. Encouraged by his father, Joseph Simont, an artist and staff illustrator for the magazine L'Illustration, Marc Simont drew from a young age. Though he later attended art school in Paris and New York, he considers his father to have been his greatest teacher. When he was nineteen, Mr. Simont settled in America permanently, determined to support himself as an artist. His first illustrations for a children's book appeared in 1939. Since then, Mr. Simont has illustrated nearly a hundred books, working with authors as diverse as Margaret Wise Brown and James Thurber. He won a Caldecott Honor in 1950 for illustrating Ruth Krauss's The Happy Day, and in in 1957 he was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his pictures in A Tree is Nice, by Janice May Udry. Internationally acclaimed for its grace, humor, and beauty, Marc Simont's art is in collections as far afield at the Kijo Picture Book Museum in Japan, but the honor he holds most dear is having been chosen as the 1997 Illustrator of the Year in his native Catalonia. Mr. Simont and his wife have one grown son, two dogs and a cat. They live in West Cornwall, Connecticut. Marc Simont's most recent book is The Stray Dog. Marc Simont was born in 1915 in Paris. His parents were from the Catalonia region of Spain, and his childhood was spent in France, Spain, and the United States. Encouraged by his father, Joseph Simont, an artist and staff illustrator for the magazine L'Illustration, Marc Simont drew from a young age. Though he later attended art school in Paris and New York, he considers his father to have been his greatest teacher. When he was nineteen, Mr. Simont settled in America permanently, determined to support himself as an artist. His first illustrations for a children's book appeared in 1939. Since then, Mr. Simont has illustrated nearly a hundred books, working with authors as diverse as Margaret Wise Brown and James Thurber. He won a Caldecott Honor in 1950 for illustrating Ruth Krauss's The Happy Day, and in in 1957 he was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his pictures in A Tree is Nice, by Janice May Udry. Internationally acclaimed for its grace, humor, and beauty, Marc Simont's art is in collections as far afield at the Kijo Picture Book Museum in Japan, but the honor he holds most dear is having been chosen as the 1997 Illustrator of the Year in his native Catalonia. Mr. Simont and his wife have one grown son, two dogs and a cat. They live in West Cornwall, Connecticut. Marc Simont's most recent book is The Stray Dog.

Reviews

PreS-Gr 2-Based on a friend's experience adopting a stray dog, Marc Simont has written and illustrated a gentle book (HarperCollins, 2001) about a stray that finds a loving home. When the family first saw Willy they played with him, but left him behind. The next week he was there again, however, and they saved him from the dog-catcher and brought him home with them. The story is simple, yet elegant. It speaks to the child in every reader. The narrator, William Dufris, creates different voices for each character. Light background music and the occasional barking dog sound effect add to the production. Considerable time is given between page-turn signals, perhaps so that readers have time to enjoy the illustrations. Listeners can hear the narrator turning the pages of his book before the official "page-turn signal" occurs. Despite this minor quibble, this is a sweet book that children will enjoy listening to as they read along.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

In this slender but engaging volume, Caldecott Medalist Simont (A Tree Is Nice) retells and illustrates a true story told to him by a friend. Picnicking in the country, a family spies a friendly dog. The brother and sister play with him and even name him, but their parents will not let them take Willy back to their city home. "He must belong to somebody," their mother explains, "and they would miss him." Returning to the same spot the following weekend, they once again see Willy, this time being chased by a dog warden who deems him a stray: "He has no collar. He has no leash." In the tale's most endearing scene, the boy removes his belt and the girl her hair ribbon, which they identify to the warden as Willy's collar and leash: "His name is Willy, and he belongs to us." Simont's art and narrative play off each other strategically, together imparting the tale's humor and tenderness. The final scenes are simple gems of understatement and wit. "They took Willy home" accompanies a full-bleed picture of the children energetically and messily bathing the dog; "And after that... they introduced him to the neighborhood, where he met some very interesting dogs" captions a busy scene of a park full of pooches. A charmer. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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