The Mazza Medallion of Excellence for Artistic Diversity

Outside, the night is cold and Ohioans are still adjusting to the early hour at which darkness comes, thanks to last weekend’s time change. Winter coats are out of closets. I wonder where my gloves could be.

But, inside? Inside the Mazza Museum in Findlay, Ohio the night is not cold or dark at all. There is warmth and light and color and texture and story and art and the man who brought all of this, not just to the room tonight, but to children and parents and teachers and librarians and readers of all ages for more than 20 years,

Peter Sis.

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Three-time Caldecott Honor winner and recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, Robert Sibert Medal, and four-time Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, Peter Sis came to the United States in 1982 from his home in Czechoslovakia. He worked in film before finding a passion for art and illustration in children’s literature.

His body of work is eclectic and enormous. He brought us Madlenka, The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin, and The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtin, and so much more.

And tonight, we honor Peter Sis the illustrator with the Mazza Medallion of Excellence for Artistic Diversity.
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We thank him for sharing his life’s story with us and his talent with children and adults around the world.

And when I leave and go back out into the cold, dark night, maybe it won’t seem quite so cold. Or so dark. With Peter’s stories fresh in my mind, I will look up into the Starry Night, and instead of wondering where my gloves are, maybe I’ll wonder about what Peter Sis will bring us next.

Whatever it is, it will be brilliant. Just like those stars. Absolutely brilliant.

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