Stephen Gammell is an American illustrator of children's books. He won the 1989 Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book illustration, recognizing Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman. In 1982 he was a runner-up for Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker.
Stephen Gammell grew up in Iowa. His father, an art editor for a major magazine, brought home periodicals that gave Stephen early artistic inspiration. His parents also supplied him with lots of pencils, paper, and encouragement. He is self-taught.
He started his career with freelance commercial work, but became interested in children's book illustration. His first picture book was published by G. P. Putnam's Sons in 1973: A Nutty Business by Ida Chittum, featuring a "war" between squirrels and a farmer. That same year he illustrated The Search, a juvenile biography of Leo Tolstoy by Sara Newton Carroll. Since then, he has illustrated over fifty titles.
Gammell is particularly well known for the surreal, unsettling illustrations he provided for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, a series of horror short stories by Alvin Schwartz that is still an adolescent favorite.
He and his wife, Linda, a photographer, live in St. Paul, Minnesota. He works daily in his studio, located over a restaurant.