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 Picture Books Author of the Month
Steven Kellogg
Steven Kellogg
28 October 1941 -- ???

Steven Kellogg was born in Norwalk, Connecticut on October 26, 1941 to Robert E. and Hilma Marie (Johnson) Kellogg. He has two younger sisters named Patti and Martha.

Kellogg fell into a love of writing and drawing at an early age. He had a great appreciation for picture books as a child. He was particularly fond of the illustrations and the stories of Beatrix Potter and N.C. Wyeth. He found any kind of animal story irresistible.

His interest in animals may have started with the time that he spent with his grandmother. The two of them spent many hours together with her teaching him about the plants and animals that lived in the area. She helped him appreciate the magic and wonder of little things that other people might consider unimportant. He says that many of the things she taught him still show up in his books.

He often used his interest in animal stories to create his own. Kellogg and his sisters would often participate in an activity called "Telling Stories on Paper". "When it took place, I would sit between them [his sisters] 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 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." [3]

Considering his interest in this activity, it was of no surprise to his family that Kellogg had decided in his pre-school years to make drawing the center of his future career. He continued drawing throughout his school career and went on to get a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1963. He majored in illustration and was particularly interested in the few projects he did related to the creation of picture books. During his senior year, Kellogg won an honors fellowship allowing him to study abroad in Florence, Italy.

Upon returning to the United States in 1965, Kellogg started his graduate work at American University in Washington, D.C. The following year, he took a position as an instructor in etching with the school.

In 1967, Kellogg married his wife Helen Hill. She brought with her an instant family of six children that Kellogg helped her raise. Kellogg's new family included four girls (Pamela, Melanie, Kimberly, and Laurie) and two boys (Kevin and Colin). In fact, almost all of his books are dedicated to them.

It was at this time that Kellogg started submitting picture book ideas to various publishers. Kellogg started illustrating books for other children's book authors in 1969, but things really became exciting when his own books first started getting accepted by publishers. It was not long before he realized that he would be able to create picture books full time and make a living at it.

To this day, Kellogg still lives in the old farmhouse in Stoney Brook, Connecticut, where he helped raise his six stepchildren and where he has written most of his books. Also in residence at the farm over the years, 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 a cat owned by the family named Secondhand Rose, an independent and grouchy cat who had been born in the wilds of the Catskill Mountains.

Since the beginning of his writing career, Kellogg has authored nearly 90 books. Looking back on his career and his life-long interest in it, Kellogg once said, "I have always wanted to write and illustrate picture books, and, the more deeply involved in it I become, the more I find it to be an endlessly broad and fascinating art form. I enjoy illustrating my own books, and I love the challenge of devising the right visual accompaniment for the manuscripts of other authors." [2]

Information for this biography was taken from:
1) Tracy Chevalier (ed.). Twentieth Century Children Writers; St. James Press: New York, 1989.
2) Anne Commire (ed.).  Something About the Author, #8; Gale Research Company: Detroit, Mich., 1976.
3)"Steven Kellogg", Young Readers Catalog; http://www.penguinputnam.com/catalog/yreader/authors/2810_biography.html.
4)"Steven Kellogg Profile", Perma-Bound Profiles; http://www.perma-bound.com/kellogg.htm.

E-KEL Best Friends: Stories and Pictures (1986) -- Kathy is saddened when Louise moves away to the mountains, but learns she can make other friends when a neighbor moves in who has dogs.

E-KEL Can I Keep Him (1971) -- Mother objects to every pet Arnold asks to keep except one -- a person.

E-KEL The Island of the Skog (1973) -- To escape the dangers of urban life, Jenny and her friends sail away to an island, only to be faced with a new problem -- its single inhabitant, the skog.

E-Kellogg Johnny Appleseed: A Tale Retold and Illustrated by Steven Kellogg (1988) -- Presents the life of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, describing his love of nature, his kindness to animals, and his physical fortitude.

E-KEL Much Bigger Than Martin (1976) -- A little boy tries to think of all sorts of methods that would help him grow bigger than his bossy older brother.

E-Kellogg The Mysterious Tadpole (1977) -- It soon becomes clear the Louis's pet tadpole is not turning into an ordinary frog.

E-Kellogg The Mystery of the Flying Orange Pumpkin (1980) -- When a new owner takes over the garden where they have been growing a pumpkin, the neighborhood children find their Halloween plans for the pumpkin in jeopardy.

E-KEL The Mystery of the Magic Green Ball (1978) -- Timmy's long, frustrating search for his favorite green ball ends with a surprising turn of events.

E-KEL The Mystery of the Missing Red Mitten (1974) -- Annie searches the neighborhood for her red mitten,the fifth she's lost this winter.

E-KEL The Mystery of the Stolen Blue Paint (1982) -- When her can of blue paint mysteriously disappears, Belinda is determined to find out which one of the children took it.

E-Kellogg Paul Bunyan: A Tall Tale (1984) -- Recounts the life of the extraordinary lumberjack whose unusual size and strength brought him many fantastic adventures.

E-Kellogg Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale (1986) -- Incidents from the life of Pecos Bill, from his childhood with the coyotes to his unusual wedding day.

E-KEL A Rose for Pinkerton (1981) -- Pinkerton decides he needs a friend, but is a cat named Rose suitable?

E-Kellogg Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett (1995) -- Sally Ann, the wife of Davy Crockett, fears nothing. She proves it when braggart Mike Fink tries to scare her

E-Kellogg Steven Kellogg's Yankkee Doodle (1994) -- An illustrated version of the well known song about the American Revolution.

E-Kellogg The Three Little Pigs (1997) -- In this retelling of a well-known tale, Serafina Sow starts her own waffle-selling business in order to enable her three offspring to prepare for the future, which includes an encounter with a surly wolf.

E-KEL Won't Somebody Play With Me? (1972) -- A young girl imagines terrible punishments for her three best friends who won't play with her on her birthday.

Titles Illustrated by Steven Kellogg
E-Bach The Most Delicious Camping Trip Ever (1976) by Alice Bach -- Ronald and Oliver, the bear twins, go camping with Aunt Bear and learn how to get along with nature and each other.

E-BAY A My Name Is Alice (1984) by Jane Bayer -- This well-known jump rope ditty is built on the letters of the alphabet and is illustrated with animals from around the world.

E-Guarino Is Your Mama a Llama (1989) by Deborah Guarino -- A young llama asks his friends if their mamas are llamas and finds out, in rhyme, that their mothers are other types of animals.

E-Lund You Ought to See Herbert's House (1973) -- Herbert finally faces the consequences of his over-active imagination when his new friend suggests they visit the fabulous house Herbert lives in.

E-Noble The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash (1980) by Trinka Hakes Noble -- Jimmy's boa constrictor wreaks havoc on the class trip to a farm.

E-Noble Jimmy's Boa Bounces Back (1984) by Trinka Hakes Noble -- Jimmy's boa constrictor wreaks havoc on a posh garden party.

E-PAR Granny and the Desperadoes (1996) by Peggy Parish -- Catching two thieves who stole her pies, Granny Guntry puts them to work on her farm until they regret ever crossing paths with the woman.

ABC-Ehrlich Leo, Zack, and Emmie Together Again (1987) by Amy Ehrlich -- A trio of friends make the winter of their second grade making snowballs and Valentine cards, going to a Christmas party, and fighting a bout with chicken pox.

J-VAN The Great Christmas Kidnapping Caper (1975) by Jean Van Leeuwen -- In comfortable residence at Macy's during the Christmas season, Mercilous Marvin the Magnificent and his gang are convinced that the store's Santa Claus has been kidnapped and are determined to save him.

J-332.024-SCH If You Made a Million (1989) by David M. Schwartz -- Describes the various forms which money can take, including coins, paper money, and personal checks, and how it can be used to make purchases, pay off loans, or build interest in the bank.

"Steven Kellogg", Young Readers Catalog (http://www.penguinputnam.com/catalog/yreader/authors/2810_biography.html) -- The author himself presents some of the events that shaped his life and puts forth his ideas on writing for children.

"Steven Kellogg Profile", Perma-Bound Profiles (http://www.perma-bound.com/kellogg.htm) -- This is primarily a source for ordering books, but it does provide some information about the author as well as an annotated list of his books with estimated reading levels for each. 

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