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African American Illustrators for Children

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Leo & Diane Dillon

Leo and Diane Dillon were a husband and wife team who illustrated children’s books together. It is very rare for two artists to collaborate on book illustrations. They passed each work back and forth until they were satisfied with the result, which appeared to be the work of another person, whom they nicknamed “It.” Their work is important because of the range of people they depicted, which sprang from their experience as an interracial couple. Their inclusive nature led them to color the skin of the white characters in their son’s picture books to make the characters multicultural.