Acclaimed children’s author and illustrator Philip Dey Eastman was born on November 25, 1909 in Amherst, Massachusetts. He attended preparatory school at Phillips Academy and Williston Academy and graduated from Amherst College in 1933. Later, he would go on to obtain design training from the National Academy of Design.
Eastman spent the bulk of his career writing stories for television. Between 1936 and 1953, he worked for such major entertainment studios as Walt Disney Productions, Warner Bros. Cartoons, and United Productions of America. Some of his high-profile animation projects included the famous Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing-Boing series.
In addition to his studio experience, Eastman indulged his creativity by authoring and illustrating children’s books. Writing under the pen name of P.D. Eastman, the author was inspired by the style of the famous Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss). Born in 1904, Dr. Seuss was Eastman’s contemporary; the two even collaborated on The Cat in the Hat Dictionary. Although Eastman wrote in his own unique voice, his books were branded as Dr. Seuss™ Beginner Books.
In 1941, Eastman married Mary Louise Whitman. The couple had two sons, Alan Eastman and Peter Anthony (Tony) Eastman. Tony went on to become a children’s author and animator himself, providing some of the illustrations for his father’s book Big Dog… Little Dog.
Eastman joined several eminent organizations throughout his career, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Westport Artists, the Screen Cartoonist’s Guild, and the Audubon Society. By the time of his death on January 7, 1986, Phil (P.D.) Eastman had written and/or illustrated 18 children’s books, many of which enjoyed national acclaim. His titles continue to inspire, educate, and entertain beginning readers in homes, schools, and libraries across the country.
Among P.D. Eastman's most popular titles are: