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Marie Hall Ets
Photo of Marie Hall Ets.jpg
Born (1895-12-16)December 16, 1895
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Died January 17, 1984(1984-01-17) (aged 88)
Inverness, Florida
Nationality American
Education Lawrence University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Known for Illustration
Milton Rodig
(m. 1917⁠–⁠1918)
Awards Caldecott Medal (1960)

Marie Hall Ets (December 16, 1895 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – January 17, 1984 in Inverness, Florida) was an American writer and illustrator who is best known for children's picture books. She attended Lawrence College, and in 1918, Ets journeyed to Chicago where she became a social worker at the Chicago Commons, a settlement house on the northwest side of the city. There she met Ines Cassettari, an immigrant from Italy who worked at the settlement. Ets transcribed Cassettari's autobiography, and the book was later published as Rosa: The Life of an Italian Immigrant.

In 1960 Ets won the annual Caldecott Medal for her illustrations of Nine Days to Christmas, whose text she wrote with Aurora Labastida. She died in 1984. Just Me and In the Forest are both Caldecott Honor books. The black-and-white charcoal illustrations in Just Me "almost take on the appearance of woodcuts" and are similar in style to the illustrations in In the Forest. Constantine Georgiou comments in Children and Their Literature that Ets' "picture stories and easy-to-read books" (along with those of Maurice Sendak) "are filled with endearing and quaint human touches, putting them at precisely the right angle to life in early childhood." Play With Me, says Georgiou, is "a tender little tale, delicately illustrated in fragile pastels that echo the quiet mood of the story."


  • Mister Penny (Viking Press, 1935)
  • The Story of a Baby, 1939
  • In the Forest, 1944 ‡
  • My Dog Rinty, 1946, by Ellen Terry
  • Oley, the Sea monster, 1947
  • Little Old Automobile, 1948
  • Mr. T. W. Anthony Woo: the story of a cat and a dog and a mouse, 1951 ‡
  • Beasts and Nonsense, 1952
  • Another Day, 1953
  • Play With Me, 1955 ‡
  • Mister Penny's Race Horse, 1956 ‡
  • Cow's Party, 1958
  • Nine Days to Christmas' (Viking, 1959), text by Ets and Aurora Labastida ‡
  • Mister Penny's Circus, 1961
  • Gilberto and the Wind, 1963
  • Automobiles for Mice, 1964
  • Just Me, 1965 ‡
  • Bad Boy, Good Boy, 1967
  • Talking Without Words: I Can. Can You?, 1968
  • Rosa, the Life of an Italian Immigrant (transcribed by Ets), 1970
  • Elephant in a Well, 1972
  • Jay Bird, 1974

‡ As an illustrator Ets won the annual Caldecott Medal in 1960 for Nine Days to Christmas and she was one of the runners-up five times from 1945 to 1966 (exceeded only by Maurice Sendak). Since 1971 the runners-up are called Caldecott Honor Books, but some runners-up had been identified annually and all those runners-up were retroactively named Caldecott Honor Books. The number of Honors or runners-up had always been one to five, and it had been two to four since 1994, until five were named in 2013 and six in 2015. The Honor Books must be a subset of the runners-up on the final ballot, either the leading runners-up on that ballot or the leaders on one further ballot that excludes the winner.

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