Leo & Diane Dillon

Leo and Diane Dillon

Leo Dillon and Diane Sorber were born eleven days apart in 1933-Leo in Brooklyn, New York, and Diane near Los Angeles, California. When they met at Parsons School of Design in New York City in 1954, each already aspired to a life of art. Meeting first through one another’s artwork, they immediately recognized the talent and mastery of the other. Over the years, their competitive friendship evolved into a lasting marriage and artistic partnership. “We’ve worked together for 40 years. In 1997 we celebrated our 40th anniversary and we completed our 40th book, To Every Thing There Is a Season.”

The Dillons won the Caldecott Medal in 1976 and 1977 (for Ashanti to Zulu and Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears), the only consecutive awards of the premier honor in U.S. picture book illustration. In 1978 they were the highly commended runner-up for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award for children’s illustrators; they were the U.S. nominee again in 1996. In addition , the Dillons have received four New York Times Best Illustrated Awards, four Boston Globe/Horn Book Awards, two Coretta Scott King Awards, and the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal.