Dillon, Diane 1933-

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Dillon, Diane 1933-


Born March 13, 1933, in Glendale, CA; daughter of Adelbert Paul (a teacher) and Phyllis (a pianist) Sorber; married Leo Dillon (an artist and illustrator), March 17, 1957; children: Lionel ("Lee"). Education: Attended Los Angeles City College, 1951-52, and Skidmore College, 1952-53; attended American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1955; Parsons School of Design, degree, 1956; attended School of Visual Arts, 1957.


Home—Brooklyn, NY.


Artist and illustrator. Dave Fris Advertising Agency, Albany, NY, staff artist, 1956-57; freelance artist and illustrator, 1957—; School of Visual Arts, instructor, 1971-74. Exhibitions: Gallery on the Green, Boston, MA; Metropolitan Museum, New York, NY; Boulder Center for the Visual Arts, Boulder, CO; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Bratislava Book Show, Bratislava, Slovakia; American Institute of Graphic Arts, New York, NY; Art Directors Club of New York; Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY; New York Historical Society; Earthlight Gallery, Boston; The Pentagon, Washington, DC; Delaware Museum, Washington, DC; Society of Illustrators, NY; and National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, Abilene, TX. Artist of stained-glass ceiling in Eagle Gallery, New York, NY.


Society of Illustrators (president, 1987-89), Graphic Artists Guild (president, 1981-83).

Awards, Honors

All with husband, Leo Dillon: Children's Spring Book Festival Honor Book designation, New York Herald Tribune, 1963, for Hakon of Rogen's Saga; certificates of

merit, Society of Illustrators, 1968-77; Children's Book of the Year designation, Child Study Association, 1968, for Dark Venture, 1971, for The Untold Tale, 1973, for Behind the Back of the Mountain, 1974, for Burning Star and Songs and Stories from Uganda, 1975, for The Hundred Penny Box, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, and Song of the Boat, 1976, for Ashanti to Zulu, and 1986, for Brother to the Wind; Hugo Award, International Science Fiction Association, 1971; Outstanding Book of the Year citation, New York Times, 1975, for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears and The Hundred Penny Box, and 1990, for The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks; Newbery Honor Book designation, 1996, for The Hundred Penny Box; Caldecott Medal, American Library Association (ALA), 1976, for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, and 1977, for Ashanti to Zulu; Best Illustrated Children's Book designation, New York Times, 1976, for Ashanti to Zulu, and 1985, for The People Could Fly; Illustration Honor, Boston Globe/ Horn Book Awards, 1976, for Song of the Boat, and 1977, for Ashanti to Zulu; Hamilton King Award, Society of Illustrators, 1977, for Ashanti to Zulu; Art Books for Children citation, Brooklyn Museum/Brooklyn Public Library, 1977, for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears; Highly Commended designation, Hans Christian Andersen Medal, International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), 1978; Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, 1978, for Who's in Rabbit's House?; Balrog Award, 1982, for lifetime contribution to sci-fi/fantasy art; honor list for illustration, IBBY, and honorable mention, Coretta Scott King Award, ALA, both 1986, both for The People Could Fly; Coretta Scott King Award for illustration, 1991, for Aïda, and 1996, for Her Stories; Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for illustration, 1991, for The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks; Chesley Award, 1997; inducted into Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame, 1997; Best Books designation, Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, both 1998, both for To Every Thing There Is a Season; Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for body of work, 2002; Coretta Scott King Honor Book designation, 2005, for The People Could Fly, and 2008, for Jazz on a Saturday Night; Knickerbocker Award for body of work, New York Library Association, 2006; honorary D.F.A., Montserrat School of Art, 2006; Life Achievement Award, World Fantasy Convention, 2008.



Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles—Think of That!, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Jazz on a Saturday Night, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Mother Goose: Numbers on the Loose, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2007.


Erik C. Haugaard, Hakon of Rogen's Saga, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1963.

Erik C. Haugaard, A Slave's Tale, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1965.

Basil Davidson and the editors of Time-Life, African Kingdoms, Time-Life Books (New York, NY), 1966.

Sorche Nic Leodhas (pseudonym of Leclair G. Alger), Claymore and Kilt: Tales of Scottish Kings and Castles, Holt (New York, NY), 1967.

F.M. Pilkington, Shamrock and Spear: Tales and Legends from Ireland, Holt (New York, NY), 1968.

Erik C. Haugaard, The Rider and His Horse, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1968.

Audrey W. Beyer, Dark Venture, Knopf (New York, NY), 1968.

Frederick Laing, Why Heimdall Blew His Horn: Tale of the Norse Gods, Silver Burdett, 1969.

John Bierhorst and Henry R. Schoolcraft, editors, The Ring in the Prairie: A Shawnee Legend, Dial (New York, NY), 1970.

Alta Jablow, Gassire's Lute: A West African Epic, Dutton (New York, NY), 1971.

Alma Murray and Robert Thomas, editors, The Search, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1971.

Erik C. Haugaard, The Untold Tale, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1971.

Verna Aardema, Behind the Back of the Mountain: Black Folktales from Southern Africa, Dial (New York, NY), 1973.

Eth Clifford (pseudonym of Ethel C. Rosenberg), Burning Star, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1974.

W. Moses Serwadda, Songs and Stories from Uganda, Crowell, 1974.

Jan Carew, The Third Gift, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1974.

Natalie Belting, Whirlwind Is a Ghost Dancing, Dutton (New York, NY), 1974.

Lorenz Graham, Song of the Boat, Crowell, 1975.

Harlan Ellison, editor, Dangerous Visions, New American Library (New York, NY), 1975.

Sharon Bell Mathis, The Hundred Penny Box, Viking (New York, NY), 1975, reprinted, Puffin (New York, NY), 2006.

Verna Aardema, reteller, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale, Dial (New York, NY), 1975.

Margaret W. Musgrove, Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions, Dial (New York, NY), 1976.

Verna Aardema, reteller, Who's in Rabbit's House?: A Masai Tale, Dial (New York, NY), 1977.

Eloise Greenfield, Honey, I Love: And Other Love Poems, Crowell, 1978.

Frederick Laing, Tales from Scandinavia, Silver Burdett, 1979.

P.L. Travers, Two Pairs of Shoes, Viking (New York, NY), 1980.

Jan Carew, Children of the Sun, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1980.

Dorothy S. Strickland, editor, Listen Children: An Anthology of Black Literature, Bantam (New York, NY), 1982.

Mildred Pitts Walter, Brother to the Wind, Lothrop, 1985.

Virginia Hamilton, reteller, The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales, Knopf (New York, NY), 1985, adapted as The People Could Fly: The Picture Book, Knopf (New York, NY), 2004.

Michael Patrick Hearn, The Porcelain Cat, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1987, reprinted, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.

Barbara A. Brenner, The Color Wizard: Level 1, Bantam (New York, NY), 1989.

Alice Bach and J. Cheryl Exum, Moses' Ark: Stories from the Bible, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.

Leontyne Price, editor, Aida: A Picture Book for All Ages, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1990.

Katherine Paterson, The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks, Dutton (New York, NY), 1990.

Alice Bach and J. Cheryl Exum, Miriam's Well: Stories about Women in the Bible, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1991.

Claire Martin, The Race of the Golden Apples, Dial (New York, NY), 1991.

Nancy Willard, Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1991.

Nancy White Carlstrom, Northern Lullaby, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

Nancy Willard, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1993.

Virginia Hamilton, Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom, Knopf (New York, NY), 1993.

Ray Bradbury, Switch on the Night, Knopf (New York, NY), 1993.

N.N. Charles, What Am I?: Looking through Shapes at Apples and Grapes, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1994.

Virginia Hamilton, Her Stories: African-American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1995.

Howard Norman, The Girl Who Dreamed Only Geese, and Other Tales of the Far North, Harcourt Brace (New York, NY), 1997.

To Every Thing There Is a Season: Verses from Ecclesiastes, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Wind Child, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1999.

Virginia Hamilton, The Girl Who Spun Gold, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, translated by Anthony Bonner, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Sylvia Louise Engdahl, Enchantress from the Stars, foreword by Lois Lowry, Walker (New York, NY), 2001.

Margaret Wise Brown, Two Little Trains, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Khephra Burns, Mansa Musa: The Lion of Mali, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2001.

John Herman, One Winter's Night, Philomel (New York, NY), 2003.

Howard Norman, Between Heaven and Earth: Bird Tales from around the World, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2004.

Margaret Wise Brown, Where Have You Been?, new edition, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.

Ellen Jackson, Earth Mother, Walker & Company (New York, NY), 2005.

Rob D. Walker, Mama Says, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2008.

Mem Fox, The Night Goblin, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2009.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, The Secret River, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2009.

Contributor to books, including Mitsumasa Anno, compiler, All in a Day, Dowanya (Japan), 1986; Once upon a Time: Celebrating the Magic of Children's Books in Honor of the Twentieth Anniversary of Reading Is Fundamental, Putnam, 1986; and On the Wings of Peace: Writers and Illustrators Speak out for Peace, in Memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995. Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including Ladies' Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post, and Washington Post.

Work included in the Kerlan Collection, University of Minnesota.


Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears was adapted as a filmstrip with audiocassette and as a motion picture, Weston Woods, 1977; Ashanti to Zulu was adapted as a filmstrip with audiocassette, Weston Woods, 1977; Brother to the Wind was adapted as a filmstrip with audiocassette, Weston Woods, 1988; The People Could Fly was released on audiocassette, Knopf, 1988; The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks was produced on video cassette by Weston Woods, 1998; Rap a Tap Tap was adapted as an audiobook by Live Oak Media, 2005.


Husband and wife Leo and Diane Dillon are a prolific and acclaimed team of American illustrators and artists. They are noted for producing imaginative, bold drawings and illustrations which range from the highly realistic to the abstract. Since the 1960s, the Dillons have gained renown for their collaborative book illustrations, which stretch across genres such as science fiction, medieval writings, literary classics, and folk tales. They are best known, however, for their contributions to children's picture books and are the only illustrators to receive consecutive Caldecott medals, the highest illustration achievement in children's literature. Unique in that they always work in collaboration, the Dillons describe their creative output as emanating from a "third artist." As they once related to SATA: "After a work is finished, not even we can be certain who did what. The third artist is a combination of the two of us and is different than either of us individually."

Though the Dillons work together as illustrators, they bring to their art very different personal backgrounds and experience. Leo Dillon was born in 1933, in the East New York section of Brooklyn, the son of immigrant parents from Trinidad. Both of his parents—his father owned a small trucking business and his mother was a dressmaker—encouraged him in his drawing. Family friend Ralph Volman soon became Leo's "mentor—a painter, a draftsman, a writer, a world traveler," as the artist once recalled. "It was Ralph Volman who took me to Greenwich Village for the first time to see the annual sidewalk art show…. Volman gave me a drawing board. He came to our house every Sunday and would show me his pen-and-ink drawings, a very tight ‘English style.’ He also spent a good deal of time with my drawings, giving me criticism and encouragement."

Captivated by the work of the Old Masters and showing promise as an artist, Leo later attended New York City's High School of Industrial Design, where he trained for a commercial art career. There he was particularly influenced by one teacher, Benjamin Clements, who "realized that I could do more than illustrate Coke bottles, and pushed me to expand my mind," as Leo once told SATA. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, in order to eventually attend college on the GI Bill. "For the three years I spent in the service, I drew lots of por- traits on ‘commission’ from guys who wanted pictures of their girlfriends," he related. "I painted in the ship's hold, and mixed my pigments from nautical paint." After completing his service, Dillon enrolled at the prestigious Parsons School of Design, where he would meet his future wife and working partner.

Born the same year as her husband, Diane Dillon grew up in Los Angeles, where her schoolteacher and inventor father possessed a working knowledge of drafting that helped guide her early interest in drawing. She was also encouraged by her mother, a concert pianist and organist. "As a child I drew all the time," she once told SATA, "and my parents encouraged me, particularly my father, who had artistic talent. He would look carefully at what I'd done and then offer corrections, telling me which side the shadow should fall on, for example. He was away for a year during the war from 1943 to 1944, and he sent me a set of pastels in a wood box, which meant a lot. It was not only permission to do what I wanted to do, but the tools I needed to do it with." As a young girl, Diane was also influenced by the fashion illustrations of the famous Dorothy Hood, whose drawings appeared in the newspapers. "Hood was way ahead of her time," Diane said. "Her drawing style was very modern. I loved the look of her line, so different from anything else being done then. The fact that those wonderful figures were drawn by a woman was an inspiration for me."

Although Diane demonstrated artistic talent throughout high school, she did not receive serious art training until college, when she attended Los Angeles City College and studied advertising art. After a year she contracted tuberculosis and was forced to withdraw, recuperating for a year in a sanitarium where she spent most of her time reading, drawing, and knitting. After her recovery, Diane attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, transferring to Parsons in her junior year.

At Parsons, Diane and Leo became instant competitors, yet also discovered an immediate and mutual admiration for each other's work. "I walked into a classroom and saw a student painting of various pieces of fabric and a sewing machine," Diane once related. "It was very realistic—the subtle shadows of the pins in the cloth and the way the folds were done gave it an extraordinary three-dimensional quality. I was immediately overcome by two feelings: ‘I'm in over my head,’ and ‘Here is a challenge I must meet.’ The painting was Leo's, and to this day, his work sets a standard for me." In Horn Book Leo recalled a similar experience on first encountering Diane's work. "One day I noticed a painting hanging on the wall at a student exhibition. It was a painting of a chair … and I knew it had to be by a new student because nobody in our class at the time could paint like that…. This artist knew perspective, which is one of the most difficult things a beginner has to learn…. This artist was a whole lot better than I. I figured I'd better find out who he was. He was Diane."

"We spent a lot of time and energy trying to prove ourselves to each other," Leo recalled to SATA. "In the midst of all this, born of the mutual recognition of our respective strengths, we fell in love. We tried to keep our relationship a secret because in those days interracial couples were not easily accepted. We knew of couples like us who had been beaten up walking down the street." After graduation, Diane went to work for an advertising firm in Albany, New York, but returned the following year to be with Leo. They were married in 1957, and Leo went to work as an art director for West Park Publications in New York. Diane stayed home, "determined to be the model 1950s housewife, and that didn't include drawing or painting," she wrote in Horn Book. The two soon started collaborating professionally, however. Leo "casually began bringing work home, encouraging me to work with him on design problems, easing me back into art," Diane told Horn Book. "That was the beginning of our working together as one artist."

Beginning in the late 1950s, the Dillons worked as freelance artists under the name Studio 2. "Because we wanted to work in a variety of styles, we thought it better not to use our names," Diane explained. "We figured, rightly, that we would have more variety if clients thought we were a studio full of artists." By the early 1960s, they began attracting kudos for their drawings and illustrations for textbooks, book jackets, album

covers, and prints, their subjects ranging from African folk tales and Scandinavian mythology to science fiction and fantasy, medieval literature, and Shakespeare. They also had the opportunity to experiment in their style through their collaboration with Harlan Ellison, a Chicago-based magazine editor who assigned the Dillons illustration assignments for texts by Nat Hentoff and Ben Hecht, as well as their groundbreaking cover illustration for Gentleman Junkie and Other Stories of the Hung-Up Generation.

Still constantly experimenting, the Dillons employ such unusual elements as embroidery, plastic, and leading into their art, creating a stained-glass effect. Many of their drawings have the appearance of woodcuts, an effect the Dillons achieve through an innovative use of the frisket—a type of cut stencil. "Because we both work on every piece of art, we favor techniques that give us a lot of control," the couple explained. "We don't leave ourselves open to ‘accident.’ We need a technique so sure that a line begun by one of us can be completed by the other with no visual hint of interruption. We are constantly experimenting with various types of media. This is exhilarating, but there are times when it's extremely frustrating, trying to overcome technical problems. That period of not knowing what is wrong can be excruciating. But over the years we've come to accept that trial and error is part of the process. Technique is to the graphic artist what words are to the writer."

The Dillons won their first Caldecott Medal for their first picture-book assignment: Verna Aardema's 1976 text for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale. "We were delighted that this book was perfect for reading aloud," the couple once commented to SATA. "It is an illustrator's job to go beyond the text, to illustrate what is between the lines, not just to repeat the words. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears is a repetitive tale in which the events are interpreted by different animals, each with a distinct point of view. We found ourselves concentrating on the play between the animals." The Dillons expand upon the original story by accenting several of the minor animal characters; in one case, they introduce a new character, a little red bird. "We began to think of her as the observer or reader and added her to the other spreads," they explained in their Caldecott Medal acceptance speech, reprinted in Horn Book. "Thus on each page you will find her watching, witnessing the events as they unfold. On the last page, when the story is over, she flies away. For us she is like the storyteller, gathering information, then passing it on to the next generation." Commenting on the Dillons' achievement, Horn Book reviewer Phyllis J. Fogelman praised "their talent as artists who collaborate so completely," and cited "their amazing ability to capture so sensitively such warmth, humor, and feeling in art so stylized as that for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears."

The Dillons' work for Margaret Musgrove's Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions garnered them a second Calde-

cott medal in 1977. An alphabet book, Ashanti to Zulu describes different traditions among the diverse cultures of Africa, focusing on such aspects as dwellings, clothing, hairstyles, and family life. "We wanted our illustrations … to be something other artists could look to as source material," the Dillons once explained to SATA. "We strove for realism, for we wanted to be absolutely accurate with the details as well as have the elegance one normally associates with fairy tales." While the Dillons accurately depict the differences among African cultures, they also impart universal aspects. "We began to appreciate the grandeur in ordinary living, in what actually exists," they stated in the Caldecott Medal acceptance speech for this work. "It is the intelligence in a person's eyes or the nuances of body language—things shared by all people—that make for real beauty. We strove to be accurate with the factual details but especially wanted to stress the things we all have in common—a smile, a touch, our humanity. We took artistic license with particular situations so that they reflected the tenderness that exists among all people."

As their career has progressed, the Dillons have continued to collaborate with distinguished authors to produce outstanding illustrated books for children. Reviewing the couple's work for Michael Patrick Hearn's sorcerer's apprentice tale, The Porcelain Cat, Patricia MacLachlan wrote in the New York Times Book Review that the "Dillons' extraordinary pictures add great depth and meaning" to Hearn's story. In School Library Journal Patricia Dooley dubbed the collaboration between the Dillons and Hearn "a ‘smashing’ success."

The Dillons' most acclaimed collaborations have been with eminent children's author Virginia Hamilton. The first of these highly praised books, The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales, retells two dozen tales that originated in black slave communities within America; the book has more-recently been adapted as a picture book for younger children. A companion volume, Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom, relates the history of slavery in the United States and profiles the lives of familiar figures such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman as well as lesser-known figures remembered only by their first name. School Library Journal contributor Lyn Miller-Lachmann praised the Dillons' "refreshingly original" illustrations for Many Thousand Gone, noting that the "text and visuals combine to create a powerful and moving whole." The Dillons' third collaboration with Hamilton, Her Stories: African-American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales, is a unique collection of tales centered around black American females that earned both author and illustrators Coretta Scott King awards, while The Girl Who Spun Gold retells the Rumplestiltskin story in a West Indian setting. "The Dillons' glowingly detailed acrylic illustrations extend the horror, comedy, rhythm, and spirit of the tales," wrote Hazel Rochman in a Booklist review of Her Stories, and the critic dubbed The Girl Who Spun Gold a "stirring picture book" brought to life in "exquisite illustrations" "in the style of Gustav Klimt's patterned compositions."

Other award-winning books illustrated by the Dillons include Katherine Paterson's picture book The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks, for which they received the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award, and Nancy Willard's Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. About the last, Nancy Vasilakis wrote in Horn Book: "The whole enterprise is a masterful and creative meeting of the minds between author and illustrators." Another acclaimed collaboration is Nancy White Carlstrom's Northern Lullaby, which features a young Native-American narrator saying goodnight to the world around her as she drifts off to sleep. Cooper, writing in Booklist, called Northern Lullaby "a felicitous collaboration" and asserted that the "Dillons' art here is as fine as any work they've done before." In their art for Ellen Jackson's Earth Mother, a porquois story set in Africa, the couple contributes "watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations [that are] filled with geometric patterns, are magical; [and are] … soft and elegant and as artfully composed as an art nouveau poster," according to Booklist critic Karin Snelson.

Turning to traditional fare, the Dillons' art brings to life a beloved Bible verse in To Every Thing There Is a Season: Verses from Ecclesiastes, while popular nursery rhymes are captured in what a Kirkus Reviews critic

dubbed "gorgeously rendered illustrations" in Mother Goose: Numbers on the Loose. Called by Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books reviewer Janice M. Del Negro "a visual extravaganza," the art in To Every Thing There Is a Season draws from cultures and artistic styles ranging from ancient to modern. For example, the illustration paired with the line "A time to kill, and a time to heal," reflects a style inspired by seventh-century Mexican Mixtec culture. Although Del Negro found the book somewhat "overproduced" due to the contrast between the Dillons' sophisticated illustrations and the simple verse, School Library Journal critic Patricia Pearl Dole appreciated To Every Thing There Is a Season for its "ecumenical, artistic, and cultural experience" and its "intrinsic plea for worldwide understanding."

In addition to their work with noted writers, the Dillons have also created original self-illustrated stories. Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles—Think of That! profiles the life of Bill Robinson, who gained fame for his tap dancing in the early twentieth century. Featuring what Cooper described as "a bouncy text, and eye-catching art," the Dillons' picture book also depicts the energetic Mr. Bojangles as "practically dancing off the edge of the page" in collage illustrations featuring a colorful city background. Another musical offering, Jazz on a Saturday Night, allows young readers to enjoy a concert by be-bop greats John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Max Roach, Stanley Clarke, and Ella Fitzgerald. A "rhythmic tribute to traditional jazz," according to School Library Journal reviewer Joyce Adams Burner, Jazz on a Saturday Night is enriched by artwork "rendered in deep matte tones with a suggestion of collage, [that] switch between stage and audience, with swirling background patterns portraying the flow of music." Praising the Dillons for introducing jazz to a new generation, a Publishers Weekly critic described Rap a Tap Tap as a colorful ticket to "what might be termed the king of all jam sessions."

Biographical and Critical Sources


The Art of Leo and Diane Dillon, edited by Byron Preiss, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1981.

Children's Literature Review, Volume 44, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1997, pp. 17-49.

Newbery and Caldecott Medalists and Honor Book Winners, compiled by Jim Roginski, Libraries Unlimited, 1982.


Booklist, June 15, 1992, Ilene Cooper, review of Northern Lullaby, p. 1834; December 1, 1992, Hazel Rochman, review of Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom, p. 665; November 1, 1993, Hazel Rochman, review of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, p. 529; November 15, 1994, Carolyn Phelan, review of What Am I? Looking through Shapes at Apples and Grapes, p. 605; November 1, 1995, Hazel Rochman, review of Her Stories: African-American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales, p. 470; September 15, 1997, Karen Morgan, review of The Girl Who Dreamed Only Geese, and Other Stories of the Far North, p. 233; October 1, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of To Everything There Is a Season: Verses from Ecclesiastes, p. 344; August, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of The Girl Who Spun Gold, p. 2134; April 15, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Two Little Trains, p. 1550; December 1, 2001, Gillian Engberg, review of Mansa Musa: The Lion of Mali, p. 642; October 15, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles—Think of That!, p. 406; September 14, 2003, Julie Cummins, review of One Winter's Night, p. 245; May 1, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of Where Have You Been?, p. 156; August, 2005, Karin Snelson, review of Earth Mother, p. 2023; September 1, 2007, John Peters, review of Mother Goose: Numbers on the Loose, p. 122; September 15, 2007, Bill Ott, review of Jazz on a Saturday Night, p. 62.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November, 1998, Janice M. Del Negro, review of To Every Thing There Is a Season, p. 89; December, 2002, review of Rap a Tap Tap, p. 151.

Horn Book, August, 1976, Phyllis J. Fogelman, "Leo and Diane Dillon," pp. 378-383, and Diane and Leo Dillon, "Caldecott Award Acceptance"; August, 1977, Di- ane and Leo Dillon, "Caldecott Award Acceptance," Leo Dillon, "Diane Dillon," pp. 422-423, and Diane Dillon, "Leo Dillon," pp. 423-425; September-October, 1993, Hanna B. Zeiger, review of Many Thousands Gone, p. 621; March-April, 1994, Nancy Vasilakis, review of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, p. 193; January-February, 1996, Maria B. Salvadore, review of Her Stories, pp. 81-82; September-October, 1998, Roger Sutton, review of To Every Thing There Is a Season, pp. 619-620; November-December, 2001, Anita L. Burkam, review of Mansa Musa, p. 733; September-October, 2007, Robin Smith, review of Jazz on a Saturday Night, p. 559; November-December, 2007, Joanna Rudge Long, review of Mother Goose, p. 691.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 1998, review of To Every Thing There Is a Season, p. 1383; May 1, 2002, review of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, p. 655; August 1, 2002, review of Rap a Tap Tap, p. 1126; September 1, 2007, reviews of Jazz on a Saturday Night and Mother Goose.

New York Times Book Review, November 8, 1987, Patricia MacLachlan, review of The Porcelain Cat, p. 50; November 15, 1998, Valerie Sayers, review of To Every Thing There Is a Season, p. 55.

Publishers Weekly, June 28, 1991, review of The Race of the Golden Apples, p. 101; August 8, 1994, review of What Am I Looking For? p. 428; November 13, 1995, review of The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks, p. 60; July 27, 1998, review of To Everything There Is a Season, p. 76; July 31, 2000, review of The Girl Who Spun Gold, p. 95; October 22, 2001, review of Mansa Musa, p. 74; August 12, 2002, review of Rap a Tap Tap, p. 299; August 6, 2007, review of Jazz on a Saturday Night, p. 187; October 8, 2007, review of Mother Goose, p. 51.

School Library Journal, November, 1987, Patricia Dooley, review of The Porcelain Cat, p. 90; October, 1990, Kay Vandergrift, review of The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks, p. 111; January, 1992, Patricia Dooley, review of Miriam's Well: Stories about Women in the Bible, p. 118; May, 1993, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, review of Many Thousand Gone, p. 116; January, 1994, Patricia Dooley, review of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, pp. 116-117; September, 1998, Patricia Pearl Dole, review of To Every Thing There Is a Season, p. 198; September, 2000, Carol Ann Wilson, review of The Girl Who Spun Gold, p. 217; September, 2002, Wendy Lukehart, review of Rap a Tap Tap, p. 189; June, 2004, Sophie R. Brookover, review of Where Have You Been?, p. 103; September, 2007, Joyce Adams Burner, review of Jazz on a Saturday Night, p. 162.


Embracing the Child Web site,http://www.embracingthechild.org/ (October 20, 2008), "Leo and Diane Dillon."

Locus Online,http://www.locusmag.com/ (April 1, 2000), interview with Leo and Diane Dillon.

Teaching Books Web site,http://www.teachingbooks.net/ (September 2, 2005), interview with Leo and Diane Dillon.