Kate Seredy was born on November 10, 1899, in Budapest. She grew up in a highly charged atmosphere of individual opinions. Her grandparents were French, German, Slovakian, and Turkish, and all were active in some sort of rebellion - political, religious, or personal.

At various times, Seredy's family advised her to become a teacher, a nurse, a dress designer, a housemom, a general thorn in the side of government, and a painter. Seredy did a little of each.

Seredy earned her art teacher's degree at the Academy of Arts in Budapest. She served as a war nurse in World War I, then studied all over Europe. In 1922 she came to the US and settled on a farm in Montgomery, New York. She ran a children's book store, then worked as a freelance illustrator and artist. She painted everything from book covers to greeting cards to lampshades.

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 accepted and published as soon as it was submitted. She'd learned English quickly, and her stories give no hint that English was not her native language.

Over her career, Seredy illustrated about sixty textbooks and children's books for various authors. She wrote more than a few books of her own, though she never truly considered herself a writer, claiming that she thought in pictures, and that her stories were just "an excuse for making pictures." Seredy died on March 7, 1975.


"Each thing she learned became part of herself, to be used over and over in new adventures."


The Good Master

The Singing Tree

The White Stag   (1938 Newbery Award)

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