Authors & Illustrators Born in the Month of April: Garth Williams, 16 April 1916

Garth Williams

A Laughing Elephant card using Garth Williams' illustration from "Sailor Dog."

A Laughing Elephant card using Garth Williams' illustration from "Sailor Dog."

Garth Montgomery Williams is the renowned illustrator of almost one hundred books for children, including the beloved Stuart Little by E. B. White, Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban, and the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Williams was born in 1912 in New York City but raised in England. He founded an art school near London and served with the British Red Cross Civilian Defense during World War II. Williams worked as a portrait sculptor, art director, and magazine artist before doing his first book Stuart Little, thus beginning a long and lustrous career illustrating some of the best known children's books.

We at the Laughing Elephant have long been an admirer of Williams illustrations, and have a good number of his books in our collection.

Recently we have entered into an agreement with Random House to publish some of the illustrations he made for Little Golden Books. We find this very exciting, as his wonderful talent for giving animals life and character means that his charming illustrations make wonderfully expressive greeting cards.

In the latter part of his life, Williams lived primarily in Marfil, a small town west of Guanajuato, Mexico. He was part of a colony of expatriates who built or rebuilt homes in the ruins of the silver mines of colonial Mexico. At 81, he estimated that he had illustrated 97 books.

He died in 1996 at his home in Marfil.

Laughing Elephant card #02494, illustration by Garth Williams

Laughing Elephant card #02494, illustration by Garth Williams

On the Banks of Plum Creek, cover by Garth Williams

On the Banks of Plum Creek, cover by Garth Williams

Illustration by Garth Williams, Laughing Elephant card #13208

Illustration by Garth Williams, Laughing Elephant card #13208

Illustration by Garth Williams. Laughing Elephant card #13321

Illustration by Garth Williams. Laughing Elephant card #13321