Meindert De Jong was a Grand Rapids, Michigan, author of children’s books. He was born in the Netherlands in 1906, and came to Grand Rapids as a child in 1918. De Jong attended Grand Rapids Christian High School and received his B.A. from Calvin College.
During World War II, De Jong served three years as a sergeant and historian for Gen. Chennault’s 14th Air Force in China.
De Jong won wide recognition for his children’s books, and received many awards. In 1962, he won the Hans Christian Anderson Award, the highest honor for children’s books. De Jong was the first American to win this award. Eventually, De Jong won the Hans Christian Anderson Award for: (the) Easter cat; (The) Wheel on the school; Hurry home, Candy; Along came a dog; and (the) House of sixty fathers.
In 1954, De Jong was awarded the Newberry Medal, an award for the most distinguished contribution to American Literature for children. On two other occasions he was runner-up for the Newberry. Also, De Jong won the 1956 annual Children’s Book Award of the Child Study Association of America. His books were translated into 21 languages. Although De Jong had no children of his own, he drew upon his childhood experiences to write the many incidents found in his books. De Jong’s last book, the Easter cat, was published in 1991.
DeJong died in 1991. (This information is from the collection and Anderson Award winners website.)