Hoban, Tana 1917(?)-

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HOBAN, Tana 1917(?)-


Born c. 1917, in Philadelphia, PA; daughter of Abram T. (an advertising manager for the Jewish Daily Forward) and Jeanette (Dimmerman) Hoban; married Edward E. Gallob (a photographer), 1939 (divorced, 1982), married John G. Morris (a journalist), 1983; children: Miela. Education: Graduate of School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art), 1938.


Home—56, Rue des Tournelles, 75003 Paris, France.


Writer and photographer. Instructor in photography, University of Pennsylvania, 1966-69. Visiting lecturer at numerous schools throughout the United States, 1974-84; conducted children's photography workshop, Avioriaz, France, 1984. Photographs have been exhibited in one-woman shows at Neikrug Gallery, New York, NY, 1980, Photographs Unlimited, New York, NY, 1982, and Galerie Agathe Gaillard, Paris, 1985; work has also been included in exhibitions with that of Margaret Bourke-White, Esther Bubley, Dorothea Lange, and Helen Levitt, 1949, and in the "Family of Man" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1955, as well as in other group shows, including the White House Conference on Children and Youth, Washington, D.C., 1960, "What Is Man?" at the Museum of the Philadelphia Civic Center, 1966, and "Les Enfants" at Galerie Agathe Gaillard, 1984.


John Frederick Lewis fellowship, 1938; Gold Medal from Chicago Art Directors, 1958, from New York Art Directors, 1962 and 1963, and from Philadelphia Art Directors, 1962 and 1964; named one of ten top women photographers by Professional Photographers of America, 1959; Golden Eagle Award, Council on International Nontheatrical Events (CINE), 1967, for "Catsup"; Children's Book Showcase title, 1972, for Look Again!, and 1973, for Count and See; second place in Fourth Annual Children's Science Competition, 1975, for Circles, Triangles, and Squares; Dig, Drill, Dump, Fill named notable children's trade book in field of social studies, 1975; Big Ones, Little Ones named an outstanding science trade book, 1976; Is It Red? Is It Yellow? Is It Blue? named an American Library Association notable book and an International Reading Association/Children's Book Council children's choice, 1979; Take Another Look named an American Library Association notable book, 1981; More Than One named an outstanding science trade book, 1981; Washington Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award, 1982; Round and Round and Round named an American Library Association notable book, 1983; Drexel Citation, Drexel University, 1983, for body of creative work; New York Academy of Science Award honorable mention, 1984, for Is It Rough? Is It Smooth? Is It Shiny?, 1986, for Is It Larger? Is It Smaller?, and 1987, for Shapes, Shapes, Shapes; Boston Globe/Horn Book Special Award, 1985, for One, Two, Three, which was also named an American Library Association notable book, 1985, and was named to Horn Book 's Fanfare List, 1986; A Children's Zoo and Is It Larger? Is It Smaller? named outstanding science trade books, 1985; George C. Stone Recognition of Merit Award, 1986, for entire body of work; Annual Book Award, Please Touch Museum (Philadelphia, PA), 1986, for Is It Larger? Is It Smaller?; Special International Award (Geneva, Switzerland), 1987, for entire body of work.



Shapes and Things, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1970.

Look Again!, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1971.

Count and See, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1972.

Push, Pull, Empty, Full: A Book of Opposites, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1972.

Over, Under, and Through, and Other Spatial Concepts, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1973.

Where Is It?, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1974.

Circles, Triangles, and Squares, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1974.

Dig, Drill, Dump, Fill, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1975.

Big Ones, Little Ones, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1976.

Is It Red? Is It Yellow? Is It Blue?, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1978.

One Little Kitten, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1979.

Take Another Look, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1981.

More Than One, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1981.

A, B, See!, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1982.

Round and Round and Round, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1983.

I Read Signs, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1983.

I Read Symbols, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1984.

I Walk and Read, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1984.

Is It Rough? Is It Smooth? Is It Shiny?, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1984.

One, Two, Three, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1984.

What Is It?, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1985.

Is It Larger? Is It Smaller?, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1985.

A Children's Zoo, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1985.

Panda, Panda, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1986.

Red, Blue, Yellow Shoe, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1986.

Shapes, Shapes, Shapes, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1986.

Twenty-six Letters and Ninety-nine Cents, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1986.

Dots, Spots, Speckles and Stripes, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1987.

Look! Look! Look!, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1988.

Of Colors and Things, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1989.

Exactly the Opposite, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1990.

All About Where, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1991.

Look Up, Look Down, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1992.

Spirals, Curves, Fanshapes & Lines, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1992.

Black on White, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1993.

White on Black, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1993.

Who Are They?, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1994.

What Is That?, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1994.

Colors Everywhere, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1995.

Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1995.

Just Look, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1996.

Construction Zone, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1997.

Look Book, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1997.

More, Fewer, Less, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1998.

So Many Circles, So Many Squares, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1998.

Let's Count, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1999.

I Wonder, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1999.

Cubes, Cones, Cylinders and Spheres, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 2000.


How to Photograph Your Child (self-illustrated), Crown (New York, NY), 1953.

(Contributor) Famous Photographers Tell How (sound recording), Candid Recordings, 1958.

(Illustrator) Edna Bennett, Photographing Youth, Amphoto, 1961.

(Contributor) Encyclopedia of Photography, Greystone Press, 1963.

(Illustrator) Edith Baer, The Wonder of Hands, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1970.

(Illustrator) The Wonder of Hands, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1992.

(Illustrator) The Moon Was the Best, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1993.

(Illustrator) Little Elephant, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1994.

Also producer of film Catsup, 1967, and of other films, including Where Is It?, One Little Kitten, Panda, Panda, and Dancing Zoo Zebra. Also photographer of film strips titled Beginning Concepts, Scholastic, Inc.


Tana Hoban, according to an essayist for Contemporary Photographers, "is arguably one of the most successful photographers of childhood. Childhood, not just children, in that she has created an impressive and copious body of work for, as well as about, children." Hoban has received particular praise for her creative and well-designed photographic concept books for young children. With little or no text, these books of attractive photographs help youngsters identify, explore, and comprehend their world; they frequently offer adults an altered perspective of a child's world as well. Michael Dirda of the Washington Post Book World believed that Hoban "recognizes instinctively what will appeal to very young children."

Noted for their clarity and vibrance, Hoban's photographs distinctively reflect a child's experience. For instance, images of such familiar items as bowls, drinking cups, spoons, and socks comprise the infant's book What Is It?, which a New York Times Book Review contributor commended for "wit in the selection of objects and art in the design." And in I Walk and Read, images of various signs and symbols, from neon advertisements to directional signals not only "heighten children's visual awareness of the words they first encounter in the urban out-of-doors," wrote Carol Brightman in the New York Times Book Review, but encouraged them "to explore a larger world that they can touch and smell and see." Further, because the book also indicates for adults "some important subliminal facts about language," Brightman concluded: "No wonder, then, that it often takes a writer or a poet who is privileged with the sensory intelligence of a child to repossess the concreteness of language for the rest of us."

Speaking of So Many Circles, So Many Squares, in which Hoban presents twenty-nine photographs of geometric shapes as they are found in a child's ordinary, everyday surroundings, Martha V. Parravano claimed in Horn Book that "this is an extraordinary book—even for the extraordinary Tana Hoban." Reviewing Let's Count for Teaching Children Mathematics, David Whitin believed that "Hoban has created another visually exciting, mathematically rich counting book for readers of all ages."



Children's Literature Review, Volume 13, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1987.

Contemporary Photographers, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.

Something about the Author Autobiography Series, Volume 12, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1991.


Booklist, April 15, 1996, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Just Look, p. 1443; April 1, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of Construction Zone, p. 1335; July, 1997, Helen Rosenberg, review of Look Book, p. 1820; March 1, 1998, Carolyn Phelan, review of So Many Circles, So Many Squares, p. 1138; October 15, 1998, Susan Dove Lempke, review of More, Fewer, Less, p. 424; September 15, 1999, Helen Rosenberg, review of Let's Count, p. 263; October 15, 2000, Connie Fletcher, review of Cubes, Cones, Cylinders, and Spheres, p. 442.

Horn Book, May-June, 1996, Mary M. Burns, review of Just Look, p. 324; July-August, 1998, Martha V. Parravano, review of So Many Circles, So Many Squares, p. 474.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 16, 1986.

New York Times Book Review, May 2, 1971; April 8, 1984; April 14, 1985.

Parenting, fall-spring, 1999, Leonard S. Marcus, review of 1, 2, 3, p. 24.

Saturday Review, November 14, 1970.

School Library Journal, April, 1985; March, 1997, Ann Welton, review of Construction Zone, p. 175; August, 1997, Dina Sherman, review of Look Book, p. 135; March, 1998, Stephani Hutchinson, review of So Many Circles, So Many Squares, p. 196; November 1, 1998, Pamela K. Bomboy, review of More, Fewer, Less, p. 106; September, 1999, Patricia Manning, review of Let's Count, p. 212; October, 2000, Ellen Heath, review of Cubes, Cones, Cylinders, and Spheres, p. 148.

Scientific American, December, 1984; December, 1997, Phylis Morrison, review of Exactly the Opposite, p. 123.

Teaching Children Mathematics, April, 2000, David Whitin, review of More, Fewer, Less, p. 531; September, 2000, David Whitin, review of Let's Count, p. 52; January, 2002, David Whitin, review of Cubes, Cones, Cylinders, and Spheres, p. 299.

Washington Post Book World, January 8, 1984; August 11, 1985; March 8, 1987.*