Gary Taxali

Award-Winning Illustrator Gary Taxali Releases Children’s Book Encouraging Silliness!


Highly-anticipated first children’s book from major illustrator debuts this month.

TORONTO,ON. – AUGUST 03, 2010 – One of the most highly sought-after illustrators in the advertising, design and editorial world is lending his award-winning skill to a higher purpose and younger audience: silliness!

Gary Taxali, whose unique retro style has appeared on the covers of Newsweek, and with clients such as Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, Warner Brothers, Sony, and The New York Times, has entered the world of children’s literature with “This is Silly!,” published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. and released this week to rave reviews from kids, parents and critics alike.

“I wrote this book to give kids a license to be silly,” said Taxali “because not enough parents and teachers embrace that kind of creative expression.  My parents encouraged and laughed at my silliness whereas my teachers pointed to my silliness as a negative, but as it turned out, that was the key to my success.”

The book begins with a warning on the inside front cover that readers will giggle uncontrollably, and it delivers this message on every page, where we get to meet “The Sillies” –  Silly Willy, Silly Sol, Billy Rabbit, Manic Monkey and other fun wacky characters living harmoniously in Sill-eeville where the rules are relaxed and encourage children and adults alike to be silly – creative, fun, authentic and themselves – and believe that anything is possible.

Taxali takes the world of graphic communications and intertwines fine art, street culture and 1930s style packaging and typography with signature characters and graphics into a children’s book, introducing a new younger audience to Taxali’s pop culture sensibilities. 

“Gary Taxali has created a vibrant and visionary book for children and his boldly colorful art will surprise and delight anyone who loves picture books,” says David Saylor, VP and Creative Director of Trade Publishing at Scholastic Inc.

The book, the original artwork from the book and other licensed merchandise will be featured at a major Taxali event at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario next month.  The artist plans to develop a number of properties based on Silly Willy, Silly Sol, Silly Lilly and the other Sillies.

For more information on Gary Taxali, go to and For interviews and review copies of “This is Silly!”, please contact Vandana Taxali at or 416.865.0800

About Gary Taxali: 

Gary Taxali is an award-winning illustrator, fine artist and toy designer.  In addition to working for many clients in the advertising, design and editorial world, he devotes a portion of his time teaching and lecturing at various organizations and schools including Danmarks Designskole (Copenhagen), Istituto Europeo Di Design  (Rome) and OCAD University where he serves on the faculty.  He has won over 500 awards including a Gold from The Society of Illustrators, a National Gold Addy and Shortlist for a Cannes Lion and in 2009, received a Grammy nomination for Best Package  for Aimee Mann’s album” “@#%&*! Smilers”.  He lives and works in Toronto, Canada. 


Not surprisingly, it’s Taxali’s slickly produced retro spreads that draw all the attention in his picture book debut … with shades of Roy Lichtenstein and early Warner Bros. cartoons, its most appropriate home might be on a coffee tablePublishers Weekly

A bit Alice in Wonderland, a bit Dr. Seuss, … Taxali successfully melds a fun story with a design aesthetic rarely seen in children’s picture books”  —School Library Journal



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