2010 Ludington Award Winner
"(A) synthesis of literature and the visual arts, and the relationship of the written word and the picture is its essence." These are the words Steven Kellogg uses to define a picture book. As an author, he has to his credit over thirty stories that he has created or adapted. As an illustrator, he has twice that, clearly qualifying as an expert on picture books.
His love for the genre began in childhood in Connecticut when he used to sit between his two sisters with a stack of paper and a pencil, telling stories and illustrating as he went along, until his sisters were restless or buried in paper. Mr. Kellogg's fascination with drawing, particularly animals, continued throughout his school days, culminating in a degree from Rhode Island School of Design. While attending college, he won a fellowship to spend his senior year studying and working in Florence, Italy. After that influential opportunity, Mr. Kellogg did some graduate work and teaching at American University and he began to submit picture book ideas to publishers. His efforts paid off with the publication in 1967 of his first illustrated children's book Gwot! Horribly Funny Hair Ticklers by George Mendoza.
Since that initial success, Mr. Kellogg has continued to delight readers of all ages with his work. Some of his best-loved books include The Island of the Skog and the Pinkerton series (published by Dial Books) and a series of American tall tales, including Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed (published by Morrow Junior Books). On the launch list for SeaStar Books is Give the Dog a Bone, which uses that classic counting song as a premise for a story full of frolicking fun.
For three decades, Mr. Kellogg has lived with his wife, Helen, in a colonial-era farmhouse in rural Connecticut. Over the years, this has been home for his six stepchildren, many Great Danes (including the original Pinkerton), and a wide array of inspirational cats. Mr. Kellogg also credits his memories of his own childhood as an important source of his ideas for books. With all his work, he tries to capture the feeling of the story, often focusing on the humor that he sees as so important to children. "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."
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