Peter Sís Murals at the Champaign Public Library

Peter Sis standing next to the murals in progress



Internationally acclaimed illustrator and author Peter Sís has created three spectacular murals for the Champaign Public Library children’s area. His more than 20 books have earned him numerous accolades, including 3 Caldecott Honors and 7 New York Review of Books Best Illustrated Book of the Year awards. His other murals grace the Washington/Baltimore airport and the New York subway system. A tapestry by Sís honoring Václav Havel was unveiled at the Prague airport in 2012. Read his complete biography.

Peter Sis mural being installed

A committee of library board and community members envisioned the use of artwork created by a children’s illustrator to enhance the children’s area. The library was extremely fortunate to gain the interest of Peter Sís. The murals were created using private funding. Sís says the imagery conveys the way that books open the world to young readers, combining familiar faces from children’s literature with the artist’s own characters.

In the Artist's Words

Sis says this about the murals:

Reading is a transforming experience…
Your mind works wonders…
The rooms change, the windows become a stage…
Dreams are spinning…
The new continents are being discovered…
The treasures unearthed…
the dragons conquered…
and heroes brought back to life…
Reading can be the best thing there is…old, young, she, he, rich, poor, blue, orange, purple…the best thing ever....
You can find yourself between the walls of the library and suddenly you float…like a butterfly, Madlenka or firetruck
In reading everything is possible, democratic and true pursuit of happiness...
Long Live The Books...

—Peter Sís

Exclusive Night Light Now Available

Peter Sís night light design

This beautiful night light, featuring the butterfly from our murals, is available at our Checkout Desk for $18. It makes a great gift.  Image size approx. 3 ½ x 2 ¾ inches; includes replaceable 5W bulb. Proceeds benefit the library.

More on Peter Sís

Peter Sis

Read our biography of Peter Sís.

See his 2012 Arbuthnot Lecture.

Hear an NPR interview with Sís from Nov. 16, 2011: "In 'Birds,' Sís Makes a Dream World for Grown-Ups"

Thank You

Thank you to the donors who made this project possible.

Follow the Dream book cover

Peter's Books

Find our Peter Sís titles in the catalog.

Comments

Let us know what you think of the murals. Send e-mail to comments@
champaign.org.