a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks

Kate Seredy

I have plenty to say about the weekend, but that's for later. For now, I need to remind you that not everything old is tired and worn. While in Baldwin's Book Barn, I picked up hardback copies of A Tree for Peter and The Chestry Oak, both by Kate Seredy. For anyone who chimed in about Robin McKinley because of her younger works, I want to point this out to you and recommend you find a quiet moment in your soul in which to put The Good Master and The Singing Tree, The Open Gate (hard to find), or A Tree for Peter.

Kate Seredy is one of my favorite children's book authors, because the books grew with me, and got richer as I got older. She crafted and built her books around the images in her head, which she has shared with four generations through her beautiful line illustrations which are faithfully reproduced even in today's paperback versions. Seredy came from Hungary, and many of her books are layered stories full of parables and folklore. She has a simple, wholesome perspective on people and The Land (wherever it may be) that rings like a bell in my heart. I have yet to read through an entire book of hers without crying -- and being completely fine with my tears -- despite having read it before.

"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." citation

The Good Master, Viking, 1935
Listening, Viking, 1936
The White Stag, Viking, 1937 -- Newberry Medal winner, 1938
The Singing Tree, Viking, 1939
A Tree for Peter, Viking, 1941
The Open Gate, Viking, 1943
The Chestry Oak, Viking, 1948
Gypsy, Viking, 1951
Philomena, Viking, 1955
The Tenement Tree, Viking, 1959
A Brand New Uncle, Viking, 1961
Lazy Tinka, Viking, 1962
Tags: books

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