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David Small (born February 12, 1945) is an American writer and illustrator who is best known for children's picture books.

David Small
Born (1945-02-12) February 12, 1945 (age 73)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Illustrator, writer
Nationality American
Education Cass Technical High School
Wayne State University
Yale University
Genre Children's literature
Notable works The Gardener (1998)
Stitches (2009)
Spouse Sarah Stewart (author)



David Small was born in Detroit, Michigan. He began drawing at the age of two years and health problems having kept him home for much of his childhood.[1] He attended Cass Technical High School, wrote plays throughout his teenage years, but at age 21 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, which he wrote and illustrated, Eulalie and the Hopping Head, was published in 1981.[2]

Small earned a 1997 Caldecott Honor and The Christopher Medal for The Gardener,[3] with Sarah Stewart, his wife, recipient of the 2007 Michigan Author Award. In 2001 he 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 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[11][12] It was also 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 illustratorEdit

As illustrator with Sarah StewartEdit

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 writersEdit


  1. ^ Online biography from Parent's Choice Foundation
  2. ^ "David Small: Biography". Authors/Illustrators. Pippin Properties, Inc ( 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]
  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.  . Multnomah County Library. October 24, 2002. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
  7. ^ Feiffer, Jules. Blurb in "About the Book: Early Praise". 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.
  13. ^ National Book Awards – 2009.

External linksEdit