Simms Taback

Simms Taback (February 13, 1932 December 25, 2011) was an American writer, graphic artist, and illustrator of more than 35 books. He won the 2000 Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book illustration, recognizing Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, and was a runner-up in 1998 for There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.[1]

Simms Taback
Born(1932-02-13)February 13, 1932
The Bronx, New York
DiedDecember 25, 2011(2011-12-25) (aged 79)
Ventura, California, USA
OccupationIllustrator, writer, graphic designer
Period1964–2011 (illustrator)
Genrechildren's picture books
Notable worksJoseph Had a Little Overcoat (1999)
Notable awardsCaldecott Medal

Taback graduated from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and served in the United States Army. He was a designer for CBS Records and The New York Times. He was the founder and president of the Illustrators Guild (later the New York Graphic Artists Guild) and taught art at the School of Visual Arts and Syracuse University.

Taback designed the first McDonald's Happy Meal box in 1977. He died in 2011 of pancreatic cancer.[2][3]

Selected works

  • Jabberwocky and other nonsense (Harlin Quist, 1964), three poems by Lewis Carroll, 1871 to 1889[4]
  • Too Much Noise (1967), by Ann McGovern
  • Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (Random House, 1977), movable book based on a Yiddish folk song[5]
  • Jason's Bus Ride (1987), by Harriet Ziefert
  • Road Builders (1994), by B. G. Hennessy
  • Sam's Wild West Show (1995), by Nancy Antle
  • Two Little Witches: a Halloween counting story (1996), by Harriet Ziefert
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (1998), illustrating the American folk poem[6]
  • Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (Viking, 1999)[7] —the Caldecott Medal-winning edition
  • This is the House that Jack Built (2002), based on the nursery rhyme
  • Kibitzers and Fools: tales my zayda (grandfather) told me (2005), traditional Jewish tales[6]
  • I Miss You Every Day (2007)

Original works

  • Animal Parade
    • City Animals
    • Dinosaurs
    • Farm Animals
    • Safari Animals
  • Quack Like A Duck!
  • Who Am I?
  • Who Said Moo?
  • Where Is My Baby?
  • Where Is My Friend?

See also

Reynold Ruffins


  1. "Caldecott winner All he can say is, Wow, wow, wow". 2000-01-18. Archived from the original on 2012-09-30. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
  2. Heller, Steven (January 1, 2012). "Simms Taback, Writer and Illustrator of Children's Books Dies at 79". The New York Times. p. A24.
  3. "Biography of Simms Taback". About Simms Taback ( Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  4. "Jabberwocky and other frabjous nonsense" (1967 edition). Library of Congress Catalog Record (LCC). Retrieved 2013-02-14.
    This is Taback's earliest work listed in the U.S. national library catalog.
  5. "Joseph had a little overcoat" (1977 ed.). LCC record. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  6. "Taback, Simms". WorldCat. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  7. "Joseph had a little overcoat" (1999 ed.). LCC record. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
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