Peter Sís is an internationally acclaimed illustrator, author, and filmmaker. He attended the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, and the Royal College of Art in London. Soon after a film project, commissioned by the Czech government in 1982 for the 1984 Winter Olympics, was cancelled due to Czechoslovakia’s boycott of the event, Sís moved to New York City in 1984 to begin a new career. He has since become the first children’s book illustrator to win the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, and he won the 2012 Hans Christian Anderson Award, considered the most prestigious in international children’s literature.
Born in Czechoslovakia, Sís gained notoriety as a leading artist in the field with the publication of the 1986 Newbery Medal Winner, The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleishman. With more than 20 books to his credit and numerous honors, Sís received seven New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year awards, two Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Books, Society of Illustrators gold and silver medals, the Robert F. Sibert medal, three New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Books of the Year, and three Caldecott Honors. International awards include the Golden Bear Award at the 1980 West Berlin Film Festival, the Grand Prix Toronto, the Cine Golden Eagle Award, Bologna Ragazzi Non-Fiction Award, Deutscher Jugendbuchpreis, Prix Sorcières, and Most Beautiful Czech Book of the Year. Sis began making animated films in 1975, drawing each image and frame entirely by hand.