Glen Rounds, 96; Author, Artist Depicted Life in Big Sky Country

Glen Rounds, 96, an author and illustrator who described life in his home state of Montana through stories and drawings, died Friday of natural causes in Pinehurst, N.C.

A character in his own life, Rounds was born in a South Dakota sod house, moved to Montana as an infant in a covered wagon, and in his youth worked as mule skinner, cowboy and carnival medicine man.

He grew up drawing the animals and people on ranches, and attended Kansas City Art Institute and night classes at the Art Students League in New York.

Once he succeeded in having a few illustrations published in the early 1930s, Rounds found steady work and produced dozens of books.

Written for children, his tall tales and stories of Paul Bunyan and loggers, cowboys and animals appealed to adults as well.

His first book, "Ol' Paul, the Mighty Logger," was published in 1936 and is still in print.

When severe arthritis in his right hand curtailed his drawing in 1989, Rounds learned to draw with his left, in his words, "rather than take up horseshoeing."

His most recent books were "Sod Houses on the Great Plains" in 1995 and "Beaver" in 1999.

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