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Steven Kellogg

Biography

Steven Kellogg

I have loved picture books ever since I was a child. The illustrations of Beatrix Potter and N. C. Wyeth were early favorites, and I always found any kind of animal story irresistible. I was an enthusiastic young artist as well, and I formulated pre-school plans to make drawing the center of my lifetime career. I used to dream up stories and illustrate them for my younger sisters, Patti and Martha. We called the activity: "Telling Stories on Paper." When it took place, I would sit between them with a stack of paper on my lap and a pencil in my hand, rattling off tales and scribbling illustrations to accompany them, and passing the pictures first to one of the girls and then to the other. I enjoyed these storytelling sessions enormously and I usually persevered until my sisters were too restless to sit there any longer, or until they were buried under pieces of paper.

I scribbled my way through elementary, junior- and senior-high school, and afterward I attended the Rhode Island School of Design, where I majored in illustration, and where I was particularly intrigued by the few projects we were given that related to the creation of picture books. I was fortunate enough to win a fellowship that made possible a senior year of work and study in Florence, Italy. It was an exciting and fulfilling period for me, and I find that I draw constantly on the experience and images that I stored during my time there.

Upon my return to the United States I did some graduate work and teaching at American University, and at the same time I began submitting picture book ideas to various publishers. It was an exciting moment when the first acceptances came in, and I realized that I would be able to "tell stories on paper" full-time and to a much larger audience. I loved the challenge of putting the first books together, guiding them through the various stages of the publishing process, and then watching them disperse into the lives of their readers. And now, twenty-five years and almost ninety books later, I still find every aspect of my involvement just as absorbing and enjoyable.

During the time that I've been working on the picture books, I've lived in an old farmhouse in the hills of Connecticut which I've shared with my wife, Helen, and where I've raised six stepchildren, to whom most of my books are dedicated. Also in residence have been numerous dogs and cats, including a beloved harlequin Great Dane named Pinkerton, whose stubborn unadaptability during puppyhood inspired the book Pinkerton, Behave! The heroine of the sequel, A Rose for Pinkerton, was our senior cat, Secondhand Rose, an independent old grouch who was born a wild thing in the Catskill Mountains, and who devoted her long life to harassing everyone in the world, including Pinkerton.

The ideas for the other books come from lots of different sources, but most of them have their roots in feelings and images that I retain from my own childhood. I try to blend illustrations and the words so that each book is a feast for the eye and ear. I want the time that the reader shares with me and my work to be an enjoyable experience -- one that will encourage a lifetime association with pictures, words, and books.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Steven Kellogg

Books by Steven Kellogg

written by Patricia MacLachlan with illustrations by Steven Kellogg - Children's
In Snowflakes Fall, Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan and award-winning artist Steven Kellogg portray life’s natural cycle: its beauty, its joy, and its sorrow. Together, the words and pictures offer the promise of renewal that can be found in our lives—snowflakes fall, and return again as raindrops so that flowers can grow.