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Kate Seredy


  Female      Hungarian      Writer



About Author

Kate Seredy (1899–1975) was a Hungarian-born writer and illustrator of children's books. She won the Newbery Medal once, the Newbery Honor twice, the Caldecott Honor once, and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award. Most of her books were written in English, which was not her first language. Seredy seems to be unknown (and untranslated) in her native Hungary, despite the fact that her story of the Good Master, and the sequel set in World War I are intensely about Hungary.

Kate Seredy was born November 10, 1899 in Budapest, Hungary. :299 She was the only child of a schoolteacher, Louis Peter Seredy, and his wife, Anna Ireny. Seredy received a diploma to teach art from the Academy of Arts in Budapest. During World War I Seredy traveled to Paris and worked as a combat nurse. After the war she illustrated several books in Hungary. :300

In 1922 Seredy moved from Budapest to the United States. She studied English language, working as an illustrator and artist to support herself, while preparing to illustrate children's books. From 1933 to 1934 Seredy owned a children's bookstore. Though the store wasn't a success, she later credited it with helping her to understand children and what made a good children's book. In 1935 Seredy met May Massee, the children's editor at Viking Press. Massee didn't have any illustration work for Seredy, but encouraged her to write about her childhood in Hungary, promising to publish the book for Christmas. After several months of work, Seredy submitted what would become The Good Master, which she also illustrated. Though not auto-biographical, Seredy did spend her summers as a child on the plains of Hungary. She used many of her impressions and experiences in the story about young Kate, who is sent by her widowed father from Budapest to the country to live with her Uncle and his family. 300 The Good Master was named a Newbery Honor book in 1935, a runner-up to Caddie Woodlawn, which Seredy illustrated for Simon and Schuster. In addition she designed the jacket and endpapers for Young Walter Scott, which was another Newbery runner-up that year...


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