Obituary: Ronni Solbert, artist and illustrator of many books including "The Pushcart War"

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Obituary: Ronni Solbert, artist and illustrator of many books including "The Pushcart War"

Jul 25 2022

Ronni Solbert, an artist whose "joyful illustrations" helped make The Pushcart War--a children's novel about peaceful resistance to injustice, written by her partner, Jean Merrill--a classic, died June 9. She was 96. Solbert's illustrations, "at once urbane and emotional, very much in the vein of midcentury New Yorker cartoons, were likely to have contributed to its rapid elevation into the pantheon of children's literature." Merrill died in 2012...

...As a painter, Solbert "was fairly successful, with 17 of her works included in the Museum of Modern Art's 'New Talent' exhibition in 1959," the New York Times wrote. She had also started illustrating children's books. Solbert met Merrill soon after arriving in New York. They released their first book together, Henry the Hand-Painted Mouse, in 1951, and went on to collaborate on 17 more, including The Black Sheep (1969). In addition to writing three books of her own, she also illustrated the poet Gwendolyn Brooks's Bronzeville Boys and Girls (1956) and The Two Runaways by Aline Havard (1959).

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