Kurt Wiese born in Germany in 1887. As a young man, he travelled in China selling merchandise. On the outbreak of WWI, he was captured by the Japanese and turned over to the British. He spent five years as a prisoner, most of them in Australia, where his fascination for the animal life inspired him to start sketching. Completely self-taught, upon his return to Germany, Wiese worked for an animated film company for several years, where he developed the innovation of completing drawings on transparent material to avoid redrawing the background with every frame. He began story-writing and illustration during this time.
After a few years in Brazil, Wiese migrated to the US and began illustrating Walter R. Brooks 'Freddy the Pig' books. The collaboration continued until Brooks' death in 1958. Of the over 300 children's books Wiese illustrated, his other most notable work includes books by authors such as Zane Grey and Rudyard Kipling. His most well-known work are the illustrations for the original Bambi book. Wiese wrote and illustrated many children's books himself, and among many honours in his career, he won the Caldecott Medal for Children's Literature twice. [Source]