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was born December 16, 1924, in Riga, Latvia, of Russian parents who had fled Russia during the Revolution. He studies in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in the 1940s, and in the 1950s worked as a freelance designer for the French movie industry, and in advertising. In 1954 he came to the United States with his family, where he continued to work in advertising. In the 1950s he also began to illustrate children’s picture books. His first such work was published in 1957, and in 1961 he won the Caldecott Award for Baboushka and the Three Kings by Ruth Robbins. The story, based on an old Russian legend, enabled Sidjakov to draw upon his own heritage and ‘Russian feelings.’ Throughout the 1960s and 70s he continued to illustrate various authors’ books on a variety of subjects, including folk literature.
Nicolas designed more than he illustrated and the advertising annuals of the period are littered with his design accolades.