Lillian Hoban biography

Lillian Hoban


1925 – 1998


Who was Lillian Hoban?

Lillian Hoban was an American illustrator and children's writer best known for picture books created with other writers.

Born Lillian Aberman in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1925, the youngest of three siblings, she attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, studied dance for ten years and danced with the Martha Graham troupe, taught Modern Dance and danced professionally in the 1950s. She was married to writer Russell Hoban for thirty years, from 1945 to 1975. She learned to draw still life and began to write her own stories only after having four children of her own. She based her tales on their experiences.

Her "I-Can-Read" books about Arthur the chimpanzee and his little sister Violet, and the series Frances the Badger written by Russell, continue to be extremely popular among children as time goes by, widely considered to be classics. Charlie the Tramp, about a wayward young beaver and his family, is out of print.

Hoban illustrated the Riverside Kids series including Russell Rides Again, Elisa In The Middle, Superduper Teddy, and Busybody Nora. The last Riverside Kids book she illustrated is Ever-Clever Elisa.


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May 18, 1925
  • United States of America
Jul 17, 1998

on July 23, 2013

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