Posted in Children's Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Leo Lionni

About Leo Lionni

Leo Lionni was born in Holland in 1910, and had a tremendously successful career in advertising in the United States before settling in Italy in 1959.

Lionni began his career as a children’s book author after he made up a story for his grandchildren using torn colored paper while riding on a train.  That story eventually became Little Blue and Little Yellow, and was the first of many treasures to come.

He wrote over 40 picture books for children, and recieved Caldecott Honor Awards for Inch By Inch, Swimmy, Frederick, and Alexander And The Wind-Up Mouse.

The messages in Leo Lionni’s books are simple and easy for children to understand.  They gently teach children about kindness, empathy, courage, and acceptance of others and yourself.


Some of Our Favorites

(descriptions via

9780679880844It’s Mine features three selfish frogs live together on an island in the middle of Rainbow Pond. All day long they bicker: It’s mine! It’s mine! It’s mine! But a bad storm and a big brown toad help them realize that sharing is much more fun. With characteristic clarity, simplicity and exuberance, Leo Lionni makes it possible for kids to see themselves through the antics of others who share our world.



Deep in the sea lives a happy school of fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and team work—they can overcome any danger.Winner of the 1964 Caldecott Honor, this beloved tale of a brave little fish has been a favorite to generations of readers.



9780375836978A Color of His Own
Elephants are gray. Pigs are pink. Only the chameleon has no color of his own. He is purple like the heather, yellow like a lemon, even black and orange striped like a tiger! Then one day a chameleon has an idea to remain one color forever by staying on the greenest leaf he can find. But in the autumn, the leaf changes from green to yellow to red . . . and so does the chameleon. When another chameleon suggests they travel together, he learns that companionship is more important than having a color of his own. No matter where he goes with his new friend, they will always be alike.

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