Philip Dey "Phil" Eastman (November 25, 1909 – January 7, 1986) was an American screenwriter, children's author, and illustrator. As an author, he is known primarily as P. D. Eastman.
Eastman was born in Amherst, Massachusetts to Clarence Willis and Ann Hull (Dey) Eastman. After studying at Phillips Academy, Andover and Williston Academy, he graduated from Amherst College in 1933 and later from the National Academy of Design, NYC.
In film and animation
From 1936 to 1941, Eastman worked at Walt Disney Productions in assistant animation, story-sketch and production design. From 1941 to 1942 he worked in the story department of Leon Schlesinger Productions (Warner Brothers Cartoons).
In 1942 Eastman was inducted into the Army. He was assigned to the Signal Corps Film Unit, which was headed by Ted Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss). Here he did picture planning for animated sequences in orientation and training films and wrote and did storyboards for the "Private Snafu" series for Army-Navy Screen Magazine.
From 1945 to 1952 he worked at United Productions of America (UPA). He was a writer and storyboard artist for the Mr. Magoo series. Eastman co-wrote, with Bill Scott, the screenplay for Gerald McBoing-Boing, which won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Subject in 1951. Eastman also directed educational films and worked on the Flight Safety series for the Bureau of Aeronautics, U.S.N. while at UPA.
A protégé of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Eastman wrote many books for children, in his own distinct style under the Dr. Seuss brand of Random House, many of which were in the Beginner Books series. His titles include:
- Are You My Mother? (ISBN 0-394-80018-4) (Beginner Book #18)
- Go, Dog. Go! (ISBN 0-394-80020-6) (Beginner Book #20)
- The Best Nest (ISBN 0-394-80051-6) (Beginner Book #51)
- Flap Your Wings (ISBN 0-375-80243-6) (Beginner Book #88)
- The Cat in the Hat Beginner Book Dictionary (ISBN 0-394-81009-0)
- What Time Is It? (ISBN 0-375-81362-4) (Bright and Early Board Books)
- Sam and the Firefly (ISBN 0-394-80006-0) (Beginner Book #6)
- Big Dog...Little Dog (ISBN 0-375-82297-6), with additional illustrations by Peter Anthony Eastman (Beginner Book #92)
- Red, Stop! Green, Go! (ISBN 0-375-82503-7) (Bright and Early Playtime Books)
- Sam and Gus Light Up the Night (ISBN 0-375-82926-1) (Bright and Early Playtime Books)
- My Nest Is Best (ISBN 0-375-83267-X) (Bright and Early Playtime Books)
- The Alphabet Book" (ISBN 0-375-80603-2) (Bright and Early Board Books)
- Big Dog...Little Dog: A Bedtime Story (ISBN 394-83312-0) (Pictureback Series)
He was the illustrator for:
- A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer Geisel (ISBN 0-394-80023-0) (Beginner Book #23)
- Robert the Rose Horse by Joan Heilbroner (ISBN 0-394-80025-7) (Beginner Book #25)
- I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words by Michael K. Frith (ISBN 0-394-82692-2) (Bright and Early Books #17))
- I'll Teach My Dog a Lot of Words by Michael K. Frith (ISBN 0-375-80099-9) (Bright and Early Board Books)
His work is included in:
- The Big Red Book of Beginner Books
- The Big Blue Book of Beginner Books
- The Big Purple Book of Beginner Books
Eastman was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Westport Artists, the Screen Cartoonists Guild, and the Audubon Society.
Eastman was married in 1941 to Mary Louise Whitham of Glendale, California. He had two sons, Alan Eastman and Peter Anthony (Tony) Eastman, an animator, who himself directed video adaptations of Richard Scarry's children's books. Peter has also written and illustrated Fred And Ted Go Camping (2005), Fred And Ted Like To Fly (2007), Fred and Ted's Road Trip (2011) and contributed new illustrations to several reissues of his father's books, The Alphabet Book (2000), Big Dog... Little Dog (2003), Red Stop! Green Go! (2004), and The Cat In The Hat Beginner Book Dictionary (2007).