In 1928 Wanda Gag wrote and illustrated the book Millions of Cats, considered today a classic in children’s literature. The book has never been out of print and is the oldest American picture book still in print.
In Millions of Cats, Wanda initiated the double-page spread, designing two facing pages as one panoramic scene. She had a sense of movement from left to right in order to urge the reader on to the next page. Because of her dislike of machine print, she had her brother, Howard, hand-letter the text. It is an “enchanting tale”, written in folk-art style, with simple black and white illustrations, lyrical language, and a catchy refrain. The book won a Newbery Honor award, one of the few picture books to do so, and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award. Learn more about Millions of Cats here.
She also wrote, illustrated and translated several other books. Among them ABC Bunny, which also won a Newbery Honor Award. Her books Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Nothing at All each won a Caldecott Honor Award.
In 1940 a book of edited excerpts from Wanda’s diaries (covering the years 1908 to 1917) was published as Growing Pains; it received wide acclaim.
Other biographies of the Gags include:
- The Story of an Artist, by Alma Scott
- Wanda Gag, A Catalogue Raisonne of the Prints, by Audur Winnan
- The Gag Family, German-Bohemian Artists in America, by Julie L’Enfant
For a full list of Wanda’s children’s books and Gag family books go to Shop.Shop for Books