Dušan Petričić was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and grew up in Zemun, an old city located just across the river (and now a part of Belgrade). As a boy he did all the forbidden things that children do, but what Dušan loved most was to draw.
He started drawing at age four and, encouraged by his parents, he never stopped. He found inspiration in everything, and drawing became a way to communicate with the people around him. Two books that were very important to his childhood were an old encyclopedia with lots of pictures and The Boys from Pavel’s Street by Ferenc Molnár. Early on, he was moved by the drawings found within the encyclopedia. As he grew older, he adored many artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer, and Picasso.
Dušan has been illustrating children’s books for many years. He has received numerous honors and awards for his work, in North America and internationally, including an IBBY Certificate of Honour and an Alberta Book Award for On Tumbledown Hill (Red Deer Press). The Longitude Prize (FSG) was selected as a Robert F. Siebert Honor Book for a Distinguished Informative Book for Children in the US. His beautiful, evocative illustrations for Mattland (2009) by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert garnered Dušan the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award from the Canadian Library Association as well as the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award.
In Snap! (2015), written by Hazel Hutchins, he created a riot of color and movement to capture both the frustration and joy of a young boy whose new set of crayons break, get crushed, or simply disappear. Snap! was also the recipient of many awards, including the Ontario Library Association’s Top Ten Best Bets list.
Written by Kathy Stinson, The Man with the Violin (2013), was greeted with rave reviews, including starred reviews in Kirkus and Quill & Quire. It went on to win the TD Children’s Literature Award, among many, many other honors. His latest book with Annick Press, The Dance of the Violin (Spring 2017), features the same energetic art style as in its predecessor.
Some of his new books with other publishers include My Family Tree and Me (Kids Can Press, 2015), which he both wrote and illustrated, and Invisibill (Tundra Books, 2015).
Luckily for Dušan, his profession is his favorite hobby and he is happy when at work. To young artists he would give this advice: “Think, think, think, think, draw!”
Dušan lives in Toronto and Zemun.