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(Ann Mc)Kay (Sproat) Chorao (1936–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights

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Surname is pronounced "shoe-row"; born 1936, in Elkhart, IN; Education: Wheaton College, B.A., 1958; graduate study at Chelsea School of Art, 1958–59; studied book illustration at School of Visual Arts, 1966–68.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Harcourt International, 6277 Sea Harbor Dr., Orlando, FL 32887.

Career

Artist; illustrator and writer of children's books. Freelance art work includes educational filmstrips and a television commercial. Exhibitions: Montclair Museum, 1991–92; Art Associaton of Jacksonville (David Strawn Art Gallery), 1993; illustrations have appeared in several American Institute of Graphic Arts and Society of Illustrators exhibitions.

Honors Awards

Best books of the year citation, School Library Journal, 1973, for A Magic Eye for Ida; certificate of excellence, American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1974, for Ralph and the Queen's Bathtub; American Library Association notable book citation, and Society of Illustrators Certificate of Merit, both 1974, and Children's Book Showcase title, 1975, all for Albert's Toothache; Communicating with Children Award, 1976, for Henrietta, the Wild Woman of Borneo; Society of Illustrators Certificate of Merit, 1976, for Clyde Monster; Christopher Award, 1979, for Chester Chipmunk's Thanksgiving, and 1988, for The Good-bye Book; named among ten best books of the year, New York Times, 1988, for Cathedral Mouse; notable books for children citation, Smithsonian magazine, 1998, for Little Farm by the Sea; recipient of numerous other writing awards.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED; FOR CHILDREN

The Repair of Uncle Toe, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1972.

A Magic Eye for Ida, Seabury Press (New York, NY), 1973.

Ralph and the Queen's Bathtub, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1974.

Ida Makes a Movie, Seabury Press (New York, NY), 1974.

Maudie's Umbrella, Dutton (New York, NY), 1975.

Molly's Moe, Seabury Press (New York, NY), 1976.

Lester's Overnight, Dutton (New York, NY), 1977.

(Adapter) The Baby's Lap Book (nursery rhymes), Dutton (New York, NY), 1977, with color illustrations, 1990.

Molly's Lies, Seabury Press (New York, NY), 1979.

Oink and Pearl, Harper (New York, NY), 1981.

Kate's Car, Dutton (New York, NY), 1982.

Kate's Box, Dutton (New York, NY), 1982.

Kate's Quilt, Dutton (New York, NY), 1982.

Kate's Snowman, Dutton (New York, NY), 1982.

Lemon Moon, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1983.

(Compiler) The Baby's Bedtime Book (poems and rhymes), Dutton (New York, NY), 1984.

(Adapter) The Baby's Story Book, Dutton (New York, NY), 1985.

Ups and downs with Oink and Pearl, Harper (New York, NY), 1985.

(Compiler) The Baby's Good Morning Book (poems and rhymes), Dutton (New York, NY), 1986.

George Told Kate, Dutton (New York, NY), 1987.

(Adapter) The Child's Story Book (fairy tales), Dutton (New York, NY), 1987.

Cathedral Mouse, Dutton (New York, NY), 1988.

The Cherry Pie Baby, Dutton (New York, NY), 1989.

(Adapter) The Child's Fairy Tale Book, Dutton (New York, NY), 1990.

(Compiler) Baby's Christmas Treasury (poems, stories, and songs), Random House (New York, NY), 1991.

Ida and Betty and the Secret Eggs, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 1991.

(Compiler) Mother Goose Magic, Dutton (New York, NY), 1992.

Annie and Cousin Precious, Dutton (New York, NY), 1994.

Rock, Rock, My Baby, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.

Peekaboo! Was It You?, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.

Carousel Round and Round, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 1995.

(Editor) The Book of Giving: Poems of Thanks, Praise, and Celebration, Dutton (New York, NY), 1995.

Number One Number Fun, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1995.

(Adapter) Christmas Story, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1996.

(Compiler) Jumpety-Bumpety Hop: A Parade of Animal Poems, Dutton (New York, NY), 1997.

The Cats Kids, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1998.

Little Farm by the Sea, Holt (New York, NY), 1998.

Knock at the Door and Other Baby Action Rhymes, Dutton (New York, NY), 1999.

Pig and Crow, Holt (New York, NY), 2000.

Here Comes Kate, Dutton (New York, NY), 2000.

Shadow Night: A Picture Book with Shadow Play, Dutton (New York, NY), 2001.

Up and down with Kate, Dutton (New York, NY), 2002.

Grayboy, Holt (New York, NY), 2002.

The Baby's Book of Baby Animals, Dutton (New York, NY), 2004.

D Is for Drum: A Colonial Williamsburg ABC, Harry Abrams (New York, NY), 2004.

ILLUSTRATOR

Judith Viorst, My Mama Says There Aren't Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1973.

Madeline Edmonson, The Witch's Egg, Seabury Press (New York, NY), 1974.

Barbara Williams, Albert's Toothache, Dutton (New York, NY), 1974.

Barbara Williams, Kevin's Grandma, Dutton (New York, NY), 1975.

Winifred Rosen, Henrietta, the Wild Woman of Borneo, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1975.

Ann Schweninger, The Hunt for Rabbit's Galosh, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1976.

Barbara Williams, Someday, Said Mitchell, Dutton (New York, NY), 1976.

Daisy Wallace, editor, Monster Poems, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1976.

Robert Crowe, Clyde Monster, Dutton (New York, NY), 1976.

Marjorie Sharmat, I'm Terrific, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1977.

Jan Wahl, Frankenstein's Dog (also see below), Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1977.

Susan Pearson, That's Enough for One Day, J.P., Dial (New York, NY), 1977.

Jan Wahl, Dracula's Cat (also see below), Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1978.

Barbara Williams, Chester Chipmunk's Thanksgiving, Dutton (New York, NY), 1978.

Winifred Rosen, Henrietta and the Day of the Iguana, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1978.

Marjorie Sharmat, Thornton the Worrier, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1978.

Norma Klein, Visiting Pamela, Dial (New York, NY), 1979.

A. E. Hoffman, The Nutcracker, Dutton (New York, NY), 1979.

Barbara Williams, A Valentine for Cousin Archie, Dutton (New York, NY), 1980.

Marjorie Sharmat, Sometimes Mama and Papa Fight, Harper (New York, NY), 1980.

Robert Crowe, Tyler Toad and the Thunder, Dutton (New York, NY), 1980.

Marjorie Sharmat, Grumley the Grouch, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1980.

Winifred Rosen, Henrietta and the Gong from Hong Kong, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1981.

Steven Kroll, Giant Journey, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1981.

Barbara Joosse, The Thinking Place, Pantheon (New York, NY),1981.

Phyllis Naylor, The Boy with the Helium Head, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1982.

Barbara Joosse, Spiders in the Fruit Cellar, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1983.

Charlotte Zolotow, But Not Billy, Harper (New York, NY), 1983.

Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Valentine for a Dragon, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1984.

Maggie Davis, Rickety Witch, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1984.

Judith Viorst, The Good-bye Book, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1988.

Lois Duncan, Songs from Dreamland: Original Lullabies, Random House (New York, NY), 1989.

Jan Wahl, Dracula's Cat and Frankenstein's Dog, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1990.

Riki Levinson, Country Dawn to Dusk, Dutton (New York, NY), 1992.

Nancy Abraham Hall and Jill Syverson-Stork, editors, Los Pollitos dicen: juegos, rimas y canciones infantiles de países de habla hispaña = The Baby Chicks Sing: Tra-ditional Games, Nursery Rhymes, and Lullabies from Spanish-speaking Countries (bilingual collection), Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1994.

Jandelyn Southwell, The Little Country Town, Holt (New York, NY), 2000.

Bethany Roberts, Ruby to the Rescue, Holt (New York, NY), 2002.

Bethany Roberts, Rosie to the Rescue, Holt (New York, NY), 2003.

Barbara Seuling, Whose House?, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2004.

Jane Yolen, Grandma's Hurrying Child, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2005.

OTHER

Contributor of stories and essays to magazines.

Adaptations

The Baby's Lap Book, The Baby's Bedtime Book, The Baby's Story Book, and The Baby's Good Morning Book have been adapted as video cassettes and book/cassette packages.

Sidelights

An award-winning creator of self-illustrated children's books such as The Baby's Bedtime Book, Ida and Betty and the Secret Eggs, and Cathedral Mouse, Kay Chorao has also contributed her colorful artwork to books by authors Jane Yolen, Judith Viorst, Jan Wahl, and Marjorie Sharmat. In her own work, Chorao frequently uses gentle humor to address familiar childhood situations such as losing a toy, taking an overnight trip, or being caught in a lie. Populated by characters such as piglets, elephants, and whimsical monsters, Chorao's lighthearted picture books have gained widespread appeal, and she has been repeatedly praised by critics as a skillful and imaginative illustrator whose drawings suitably express the accompanying text.

In Little Farm by the Sea, which was selected by Smithsonian magazine as one of its notable books for 1998, Chorao presents a view of Small-holdings Farm on Long Island, New York, not far from her own summer home. Here Farmer Brown and his family tend their crops and animals through all four seasons of the year. As a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted, the author/illustrator's "sprawling, good-humored illustrations gracefully depict the colors and signs of the changing seasons." Of special appeal to children, the reviewer observed, are "endearing glimpses of animal mothers and their babies snoozing in unexpected spots." Maeve Visser Knoth, writing in Horn Book, dubbed the picture book a "loving look at one family farm," and described Chorao's gouache and pen-and-ink illustrations as "soft and almost sketchy. An abundance of spring flowers and fall vegetables fills the pages and even runs off the edges. The style … is well-suited to the earthy setting."

Similarly positive reviews greeted Chorao's Pig and Crow, a gentle fable about a too-clever crow who exchanges "magic" gifts for the delicious desserts Pig bakes to ease his loneliness. But the magic seeds only grow into ordinary pumpkins, and when a magic worm turns into a beautiful butterfly, the creature breaks Pig's heart when it flies away. Finally, a magic egg hatches, introducing a stay-at-home goose who finally does make Pig's loneliness vanish. A Horn Book reviewer commended Chorao's story, "with its original and engaging plot built around three natural wonders of genuine interest to young children." Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, writing in School Library Journal, dubbed Pig and Crow a "delightful tale" in which Chorao's "vivid … illustrations capture the characters perfectly, from Pig's dejection to Crow's tricky grin." As Booklist contributor Lauren Petersen wrote, "Chorao's illustrations are so wonderfully expressive that the joy on Pig's face when the butterfly hatches and the horror as it flies away tell the story as effectively as the words."

Other books by Chorao include Grayboy, which follows the efforts of two children to aid a wounded seagull discovered near their summer home on Peconic Bay, on Long Island, and Up and down with Kate, a beginning reader in which a loving grandmother helps encourage a young girl's art even though the woman has to move away. "More than an ecological plea," wrote Booklist reviewer Kathy Broderick, Grayboy is a "dramatic tale" that includes a tense episode in which a boy and his fa-
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ther are lost during a storm at sea as well as a loving reflection on an endangered landscape that is dear to Chorao's heart. While some children may enjoy the author's depiction of nature, Helen Foster James noted in School Library Journal that Grayboy will also be appreciated by "children grappling with the death of a beloved pet."

The Baby's Book of Baby Animals, one of several books Chorao has created for laptime sharing, collects poems, songs, and other short works by authors ranging from William Wordsworth and Alfred, Lord Tennyson to Mother Goose, all set off by colorful artwork. In School Library Journal Andrea Tarr deemed the book "delightful," calling The Baby's Book of Baby Animals "a treasure of a treasury." Praising the book as a "compelling mixture" of prose and verse, a Kirkus Reviews writer added that editor Chorao "sprinkles her illustrations with sly humor," and a "winsome assortment of cuddlesome creatures adds to the overall appeal." In Booklist Karin Snelson also had praise for the book's artwork, which she described as a "charmingly expressive" and "old-fashioned" menagerie of puppies, bunnies, piglets, ducklings, and toddlers.

Commenting in Horn Book, Chorao wrote of her work for children: "I hope my drawings and those of many other illustrators offer new ways of seeing and arouse the curiosity of the young."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, December 1, 1992, Hazel Rochman, review of Country Dawn to Dusk, p. 676; January 1, 1994, Ilene Cooper, review of Mother Goose Magic, p. 830; June 1, 1994, Isabel Schon, review of Los pollitos dicen The Baby Chicks Sing, p. 1849; June 1, 1994, Mary Harris Veeder, review of Annie and Cousin Precious, p. 1836; November 15, 1995, Susan Dove Lempke, review of The Book of Giving: Poems of Thanks, Praise, and Celebration, p. 561; September 1, 1996, Susan Dove Lempke, review of The Christmas Story, p. 135; May 15, 1998, Carolyn Phelan, review of Little Farm by the Sea, p. 1630; November 1, 1998, Shelley Townsend-Hudson, review of The Cats Kids, p. 501; July, 1999, GraceAnne DeCandido, review of Knock at the Door and Other Baby Action Rhymes, p. 1948; July, 2000, Lauren Peterson, review of Pig and Crow, p. 2032; January 1, 2001, Connie Fletcher, review of The Little Country Town, p. 974; August, 2002, Kathy Broderick, review of Grayboy, p. 1969; January 1, 2004, Karin Snelson, review of The Baby's Book of Baby Animals, p. 864.

Horn Book, August, 1979, Kay Chorao, "A Delayed Reply: Illustration and the Imagination," pp. 463-469; February, 1981; May-April, 1986; November-December, 1986; November-December, 1997, Liza Created to support the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, D Is for Drums frames the alphabet within Chorao's detailed vignettes focusing on everyday life in colonial America.Woodruff, review of Jumpety-Bumpety Hop: A Parade of Animal Poems, p. 692; March-April, 1998, Maeve Visser Knoth, review of Little Farm by the Sea, p. 211; May, 2000, review of Pig and Crow, p. 291.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2003, review of The Baby's Book of Baby Animals, p. 1448; August, 2004, review of D Is for Drum, p. 739.

Publishers Weekly, May 25, 1998, review of Little Farm by the Sea, p. 90.

School Library Journal, November, 1985; December, 1986; May, 1990; January, 1993, Kathleen Odean, review of Country Dawn to Dusk, p. 80; March, 1994, Mary Lou Budd, review of Mother Goose Magic, p. 218; July, 1994, Virginia Opocensky, review of Annie and Cousin Precious, p. 74; March, 1994, Heide Piehler, review of Number One Number Fun, p. 178; April, 1995, Linda Wicher, review of Peekaboo! Was It You?, p. 100; June, 1995, Virginia E. Jeschelnig, review of Carousel Round and Round, p. 78; January, 1996, Sally R. Dow, review of The Book of Giving, p. 100; October, 1996, Jane Marino, review of The Christmas Story, p. 34; November, 1997, Sarabeth Kalajian, review of Jumpety-Bumpety Hop, p. 105; June, 1998, Lee Bock, review of Little Farm by the Sea, p. 97; November 1, 1998, Marty Abbott Goodman, review of The Cats Kids, p. 77; October, 1999, Jane Marino, review of Knock at the Door and Other Baby Action Rhymes, p. 135; June, 2000, Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, review of Pig and Crow, p. 104; January, 2001, Carolyn Janssen, review of The Little Country Town, p. 108; February, 2001, Lisa Smith, review of Here Comes Kate, p. 93; May, 2001, Olga R. Kuharets, review of Shadow Night: A Picture Book with Shadow Play, p. 113; July, 2002, Helen Foster James, review of Grayboy, p. 85; January, 2004, Andrea Tarr, review of The Baby's Book of Baby Animals, p. 112; November, 2004, Gay Lynn Van Vleck, review of D Is for Drum, p. 123.

Lesley Choyce (1951–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights [next]

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over 1 year ago

daughter doing a book report on GrayBoy written by Kay Chorao. She needs a photo. Any photos of Kay Chorao.

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over 5 years ago

kay chorao is my nana!!