Tomi Ungerer arrived in New York City in 1956 with $60 in his pocket and a trunk full of jazzy, acid-etched manuscripts and drawings. His first children’s book, The Mellops Go Flying, about a family of daring French pigs, was published to glowing reviews in 1957, and the illustrations born in his frenzied studio on West 42nd Street were ubiquitous: Esquire, Life, Harper’s Bazaar, The Village Voice, and the New York Times. In 1968, he donated many of the manuscripts and artwork for his early books to the Children’s Literature Research Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia, including the much-loved The Mellops series and subversive classics like Moon Man and The Three Robbers. A recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, Ungerer has published more than 140 books. The Musée Tomi Ungerer, devoted exclusively to his work, opened in France in 2007.
Tony Auth, editorial cartoonist for The Philadelphia Inquirer interviewed Tomi Ungerer.