An American children's book writer and illustrator, he is known for his art work in such children's classics as The Story of Ferdinand and Mr. Popper's Penguins. He also illustrated numerous original works, including Rabbit Hill and Ben and Me.
He studied art for three years under illustrator Howard Giles at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art.
He was the first person to be given both the Caldecott Medal and the Newbery Medal.
He was born in New York City and raised in New Jersey. In 1922, he married Mary Abrams.
He wrote a book about Christopher Columbus.