Mordicai Gerstein, author and illustrator of dozens of works for young readers, among them The Night World, Sleeping Gypsy, and I Am Pan, died September 24. Gerstein provided the artwork for numerous works by other writers, and was awarded the 2004 Caldecott Medal for his picture book The Man Who Walked between the Towers.
Richard Michelson, his gallerist, confirmed Gerstein's death in a Facebook post: "RIP my friend--I will miss our monthly lunches sharing poetry, fiction, and children's book industry gossip; along with stories about our shared passion: the many bicycle trip adventures we each enjoyed; Caldecott-winning artist Mordicai Gerstein was one of the first illustrators to join R. Michelson Galleries, and one of the kindest, gentlest men I have ever met." R. Michelson Galleries will pay tribute to Gerstein at its 30th annual Illustration Celebration on November 10. Gerstein has been with the gallery for more than three decades.
In a tribute on the Horn Book's Calling Caldecott blog, Julie Danielson observed that to say Gerstein "had a distinctive artistic style would be a massive understatement. What stands out to me is his especially eloquent, fluid line work. He had a way of drawing in pen and ink that was so... Gerstein-esque. That's my inelegant way of saying you could spot a Mordicai Gerstein book in no time flat. No one else drew and painted quite like him."
Among the titles Danielson cited from his "impressive bibliography" are Tales of Pan; Stop Those Pants!; The Night World; The Old Country; How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers; I Am Hermes!; Eden Ross Lipson's Applesauce Season; The Sleeping Gypsy; The First Drawing; Jacques Prévert's How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird; The Story of May; Elizabeth Levy's Something Queer Is Going On, "and so, so much more."
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass., posted on Facebook: "Our deepest sympathies to Mordicai Gerstein's family, from the staff at the Carle. Mordicai was a brilliant illustrator, and a true gentleman--and he will be missed by all of us in the children's literature community. Mordicai's work is in our permanent collection and will be enjoyed by future generations."
"I'm always looking for things that puzzle and disturb or amuse me, things that are fun to make pictures of," Gerstein staid in his Caldecott acceptance speech. "I make books for people, most of who happen to be children, and I try to address the most essential parts of all of us."
David Roy Chaplin, founding manager of Bookstore1Sarasota, Sarasota, Fla., died on August 23 at age 69.
Throughout his professional life, which began in Portland, Maine, Chaplin managed bookstores. He moved to Sarasota in 1993, where he managed Kingsley's Book Emporium for several years, then Shakespeare & Company and Sarasota News and Books. When Sarasota News and Books closed in 2010, he was hired to lead the start-up of Bookstore1Sarasota. Even though he was in a difficult fight with prostate cancer, David continued to work as often as he could at Bookstore1, retiring finally in 2018.
Bookstore1Sarasota owner Georgia Court said, "The wonderful, intelligent, patient David Chaplin is no longer with us and I miss him greatly. He had endured years of illness, yet when he came to see us at the bookstore a couple of months ago, hugging each of us and smiling, he gave no hint of the struggle he was going through. But that was just like David. He was always a calming, warm presence and there it was again--that presence--during that final visit. I am forever grateful to David, who led Bookstore1 into existence with kindness and generosity of spirit. It was David who accomplished this while playing French music that we came to love because it was a sign that David was 'in the house.' All of us at Bookstore1--staff, customers, vendors--are richer for having known David Chaplin."