(1892-1957) US illustrator and writer who became active in the early 1920s with illustrations for The Wonderful Adventures of Little Prince Toofat (1922) by George Randolph Chester (1869-1924); other illustrated tales include The Unicorn with Silver Shoes (1932) by Ella Young, The Story of Ferdinand (1935) and others by Munro Leaf (1905-1976), Mr Popper's Penguins (1938) by Florence Atwater (1896-1979) and Richard Atwater (1892-1938), One Foot in Fairyland (1938) by Eleanor Farjeon and Poo-Poo and the Dragons (1942) by C S Forester (1899-1966). His work is strongly narrative, and he conveys his effects through a tightly etched technique.
RL's own fiction, which he also illustrated, includes four Talking-Animal fantasies Ben and Me (1939) – filmed by Disney as an animated featurette in 1953 – in which a mouse (> Mice and Rats) describes how he kept Benjamin Franklin from trouble; the similar I Discover Columbus (1941); Mr Revere and I (1953); and Captain Kidd's Cat (1956). The Rabbit Hill Beast-Fable sequence for younger children runs Rabbit Hill (1944), Robbut, a Tale of Tales (1948), Edward, Hoppy and Joe (1952) and The Tough Winter (1954). Other titles include: They Were Strong and Good (1940), associational; Mr Wilmer (1945); Mr Twigg's Mistake (1947), about a bear-sized mole; McWhinney's Jaunt (1947), a Tall Tale featuring an itinerant peddler; The Fabulous Flight (1949), sf; Smeller Martin (1950); and The Great Wheel (1957). [JC]