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Maira Kalman

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Title: Maira Kalman  
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Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman
Kalman at the 2010 Texas Book Festival
Born Maira Kalman
1949 (age 65–66)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Nationality American
Known for Illustrator, writer

Maira Kalman (born 1949) is an American illustrator, writer, artist, and designer. Her work most widely held in WorldCat libraries is Fireboat: the heroic adventures of the John J. Harvey, a picture book she both wrote and illustrated. It won the annual Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003.[1]

Born in Tel Aviv, Kalman came to New York City with her family at age 4.[2] She attended the High School of Music and Art, now LaGuardia High School.[3]

Kalman has written a series of children's books about Max Stravinsky, the poet-dog. She has done covers for The New Yorker, including one she did with Rick Meyerowitz called New Yorkistan. She created the sets for the Mark Morris Dance Group production of Four Saints in Three Acts, an opera by Virgil Thompson and Gertrude Stein.

Kalman is also known for her illustrations for the 2005 edition of The Elements of Style, the popular guide to writing style, by William Strunk and E. B. White.

Maira Kalman was married to the designer Tibor Kalman until his death in 1999. Together, the two ran the design company M&Co. The company remains successful today.

Ms. Kalman wrote the monthly illustrated blog The Principles of Uncertainty for the New York Times for one year, ending in April 2007.[4] The blog was published in a book of the same title, which was released in 2007 to critical acclaim. During 2009, Kalman wrote another illustrated blog in the New York Times called "And the Pursuit of Happiness" about American democracy. The blog was published as a book in 2010. The first chapter chronicles her visit to Washington, D.C. for President Barack Obama's inauguration. Kalman's work is also featured on Rosenbach Museum and Library's 21st Century Abe project.

Kalman is represented by the Julie Saul Gallery in New York City.

More recently she illustrated Daniel Handler's picture book 13 Words.


  • Hey Willie, See the Pyramids (1988) Viking/Penguin ISBN 978-0-14-050840-6
  • Sayonara, Mrs. Kackleman (1989) Viking Kestrel/Penguin ISBN 0-670-82945-5
  • Max Makes a Million (1990) Viking/Penguin ISBN 978-0-670-83545-4
  • Roarr, Calder's Circus (1991) Delacorte Press/Bantam Dell/Random House ISBN 978-0-385-30916-5
  • Max In Hollywood, Baby (1992) Viking/Penguin ISBN 978-0-670-84479-1
  • Chicken Soup, Boots (1993) Viking/Penguin ISBN 978-0-670-85201-7
  • Ooh-la-la, Max in Love (1994) Viking/Penguin ISBN 978-0-14-055537-0
  • Swami on Rye: Max in India (1995) Viking/Penguin ISBN 978-0-670-85646-6
  • Max Deluxe (1996) Viking/Penguin ISBN 978-0-670-86837-7
  • Next Stop Grand Central (1999) Putnam/Penguin ISBN 978-0-399-22926-8
  • (un)Fashion (with her husband Tibor Kalman) (2005) Harry N. Abrams ISBN 978-0-8109-9229-0
  • What Pete Ate From A to Z (2001) Putnam/Penguin ISBN 978-0-14-250159-7
  • Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey (2002) Putnam/Penguin ISBN 978-0-399-23953-3
  • Colors: Tibor Kalman, Issues 1–13 (with her husband Tibor Kalman) (2002) ISBN 0-8109-0414-4
  • Smartypants (Pete In School) ISBN 0-399-23478-0
  • The Illustrated Elements of Style (with William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White) (2008) Penguin ISBN 978-0-14-311272-3
  • The Principles of Uncertainty (2009) Penguin Press ISBN 978-1-59420-134-9
  • Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World) (2010) DelMonico Prestel München 2010 ISBN 978-3-7913-5035-6
  • 13 words (2010) by Lemony Snicket HarperCollins Children's Books ISBN 9780061664656
  • And the Pursuit of Happiness (2010) Penguin Press ISBN 978-1594202674
  • Food Rules (2011) by Michael Pollan Penguin Group ISBN 9781594203084


  1. ^ "Kalman, Maira". WorldCat. Retrieved 2014-10-02.
  2. ^ Overview of Maira Kalman from Julie Saul Gallery
  3. ^ Master of the Month: Maira Kalman from
  4. ^ The Principles of Uncertainty from the New York Times

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