Lois Lenski

From Ohio History Central

Lois Lenski was an artist and one of the best-known American book illustrators of the twentieth century.

Lenski was born on October 14, 1893, in Springfield, Ohio. She spent most of her youth in Anna, Ohio. Lenski attended The Ohio State University, studied art, and graduated in 1915. She continued her studies at the Art Students' League of New York and the Westminster School of Art in London, England. While she lived in Great Britain, Lenski illustrated her first books.

Lenski returned to the United States in 1921. She married Arthur Covey, a well-known muralist. Lenski continued to illustrate books for other authors. During the 1920s, she began to write her own books for children. Her first books, including A Little Girl of 1900, drew heavily on her childhood experiences in Ohio. Lenski continued to write book-length monographs through the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Most of her works dealt with historical topics. She commonly described how children in the past experienced life. Lenski also tried to provide her readers with descriptions of various parts of the United States; She wrote her books about many different places and used dialects common to those regions. Her books won critical acclaim. She was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1946 for Strawberry Girl, a book about strawberry pickers in Florida. Beginning in the 1950s, Lenski began to focus more on poetry rather than prose in her writings.

Over the course of her life, Lenski authored more than one hundred books. She also illustrated fifty-seven books for other authors. She died on September 11, 1974.

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