Lois Ehlert

Lois Ehlert, the Wisconsin author and illustrator, was born in 1934 in the city of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.  She was best known for her collage work as an illustrator, incorporating torn or cut paper, cloth, textiles. and found objects into her imagery.  Ms. Ehlert wrote and illustrated her own books as well as illustrating the works of other authors.  All told, she was involved in at least 38 books for children. Her books have received numerous awards, including a Caldecott Honor in 1990 (for Color Zoo) and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in 2006 (for Leaf Man), as well as appearing on many best-of-the-year lists.

Ms. Ehlert had a long history with the Cooperative Children’s Book Center and the Friends of the CCBC prior to her death in 2021, sharing her creative expertise in numerous ways. She designed the CCBC logo and the cover that graced CCBC Choices from 2000 to 2020. Additionally, her dynamic, singular, brilliant aesthetic informs the look and feel of our library. Perhaps most noticeable are the flower vinyl decals that adorn the glass wall between the CCBC and MERIT Library and the CCBC entranceway, based on artwork by Ms. Ehlert from Planting a Rainbow. She also selected furniture (including the Eames chairs in the Reading Room), created CCBC fabric pieces, and donated signed posters and original cut-paper collages.

Lois Ehlert sitting in Eames chair
Lois Ehlert sitting in one of the red Eames chairs she selected for the CCBC. This photo was taken in the early 2000s, when the CCBC was located in Helen C. White Hall on the UW-Madison campus.
CCBC Lois Ehlert window
A close-up of the "Planting a Rainbow" window at the CCBC's location in the Teacher Education Building on the UW-Madison campus.