Kate Seredy (pronounced SHER-edy)
is one of my all-time favorite children's authors.
Her writing is charming and sensible, but her art is
some of the most lovely in children's illustration.
My favorites of her books are "The Chestry Oak" and
"A Tree for Peter".
Kate was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1899.
She studied art throughout Europe, served as a
nurse during WWI, and finally came to the United States
in 1922. She learned English quickly; her books, all
written in English, show no hint that it was not her
native language. After working for many years as a
commercial illustrator, at the suggestion of an editor,
she wrote a story drawing from memories of her own
childhood in Hungary. The Good Master was published in 1935.
Seredy went on to write 10 other books, which she also
illustrated. Her most famous is The White Stag, which
won the Newberry Award in 1938. She never truly
considered herself a writer, claiming that she thought
in pictures, and that her stories were "an excuse for
making pictures." She passed away in 1975. I wish
that I could have met her (but I think that I will).