Vale Tomi Ungerer, 1931-2019

Some books from your childhood just stick in your memory.

For me one of those books is The Three Robbers - a story of three black-clad robbers plundering the countryside - and on the cover that big red axe!

The Three Robbers

So, it was sad to hear that the artist behind that image, Tomi Ungerer, had passed away this week.

Jean-Thomas "Tomi" Ungerer was a French artist, illustrator and writer who had published over 140 books ranging from his much loved children's books through to adult works on sexuality, and political and social satire.

Ungerer had worked in many mediums and styles; from illustration to collage and sculpture, from architectural design to philosophical writings. During the 1960s he produced advertising campaigns for magazines such as Esquire, Life, Harper's Bazaar and the New York Times, and also self-published a series of political posters that protested against the Vietnam War and racial injustice. He would later produce posters for other causes including Amnesty International, Liberty of the Press, animal rights and nuclear disarmament.

He is perhaps best known for his children's books and illustrations, and in 1998 was awarded the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal for his contribution as a children's illustrator.

Moon Man


Ungerer received a number of awards and acknowledgments during his lifetime - including a Lifetime Achievement Award, from the Society of Illustrators - and in 2018 he was made a Commandeur de la Legion d’Honneur, in his native France.

Ungerer passed away on 9 February 2019, aged 87.

Vale Tomi Ungerer

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