On this day, May 9, 1916, author and illustrator William Pène du Bois was born in Nutley, New Jersey. Son of the painter Guy Pène du Bois, William was to has studied architecture but he sold a book he’d written and illustrated at age 19. In addition to illustrating his own books, he also illustrated books by Jules Verne, John Steinbeck, and Isaac Bashevis Singer. He won the Newbery Medal for The Twenty-One Balloons.

21 Balloons