Wanda Gág honored

Wanda Gág was born 125 years ago in New Ulm. She died in New Jersey in 1946 at the age of 53 after a prolific career as an artist and children’s book author. Today, 72 years after her death, she is still being recognized for her achievements as an author and artist.

Last week, the national Society of Illustrators presented her with their Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award. At the awards ceremony, the mention of her name drew warm and enthusiastic applause from the audience.

No doubt, most of them had grown up reading and re-reading Gág’s masterpiece, “Millions of Cats.” First published in 1928, it is the oldest children’s picture book still in print, and in print around the world. It is considered the first children’s picture book which incorporated art and text on the same page, making each page a work of visual joy. And the text, with its lilting cadence, “…Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats,” makes it a joy to read to children, too, and marks Gág as a talented storyteller as well as artist.

Wanda Gág’s work is a timeless classic, and she is deserving of honors and accolades as long as parents read to their kids.

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