Click the link below to view our selection of books by Leo Politi. Or go to our home page and type "Politi" in the search box on the left under "Illustrator or Keyword."

Leo Politi books for sale

Leo Politi
California Artist and Author

From the Los Angeles Daily News, March 11, 1950
California was fortunate to have Leo Politi as a resident during his wonderful career as an illustrator and author of children's books. And perhaps Mr. Politi was also fortunate to live in the Golden State, for he certainly drew much inspiration from it. Politi wrote and illustrated two books which were awarded Caldecott Honors: Pedro, The Angel of Olvera Street in 1947 and Juanita in 1949. Following this early success, Leo's beautiful Song of the Swallows was awarded the 1950 Caldecott Medal, making him the first California artist to win the award. Mr. Politi's lovely stories, with their colorful California settings, are considered modern classics and rank among the best picture books for children from the last century.

But that is only a very small part of the story. Mr. Politi endeared himself to Californians, both young and old alike. Mention Leo's name to most booklovers in Los Angeles and there is immediate recognition. In fact, along with a smile of delight, you'll often get an anecdote. These usually begin with "I met Politi once!" or "I knew Leo Politi!" or "Mr. Politi autographed my son's book for him!" People sought Leo out and he, being a generous and friendly soul, made himself available on many occasions to autograph his books and meet the children and adults who loved and appreciated his work.

Several libraries in California cities have children's rooms which are visually enriched with delightful murals painted by Mr. Politi and his "Blessing of the Animals" mural is at the entrance to the Eugene Biscailuz Building on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. A local elementary school was named in Leo's honor. Los Angeles wholeheartedly embraced Leo Politi and his joyful, gentle art and he, in his turn, gave us back sensitive, warm portrayals of Angelenos and other Californians.

Mr. Politi's Juanita played a big part in the history of Appleby Books. In our early days as booksellers, we acquired a beautiful first edition of this title. Our copy was signed and inscribed with watercolor embellishments by Leo Politi. We fell in love with Politi's beautiful story of a Los Angeles child and the Blessing of the Animals and soon after decided to specialize in children's literature and illustrated books. We've been happy with our choice ever since and feel we have Leo Politi to thank for it.

The Politi family put up a wonderful website to commemorate the
Leo Politi 2008 Centennial. 2008 was a year of excitement in Los Angeles and all over California with many celebrations honoring Leo Politi and his wonderful art. Similar events took place in cities all over the country and continued on into 2009!

Some of the Jack and Jill covers illustrated by Leo Politi in the 1940's and 50's



The April, 1966 Horn Book Magazine featured an article entitled "To the Children With Love, From Leo Politi" by Roberta Nichols wherein the Caldecott Award-winning artist discussed painting Bunker Hill and Angel's Flight for Piccolo's Prank.


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