Symeon Shimin (1902–1984), noted artist and illustrator of children’s books, was born in Astrakhan, Russia, on the Caspian Sea in 1902. His family immigrated to the United States ten years later, living in two small rooms behind their delicatessen in Brooklyn, New York. Already interested in drawing for a living, Shimin apprenticed himself to a commercial artist at age sixteen to help support his family. He attended art classes at Cooper Union Art School at night, although he was primarily self-taught. Early in his career, Shimin painted large scale posters for Hollywood films, including creating the original poster for the film Gone With the Wind. In 1938, he was hired to paint a mural, Contemporary Justice and the Child, in the Department of Justice building in Washington, DC. It took four years to complete and can still be seen today. Shimin illustrated over fifty books for children, including Christopher Award–winning Gorilla Gorilla and A New Baby a New Life. He died in 1984 in New York City.
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