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Pat Schories (1952-) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

biscuit york alyssa capucilli

Born 1952, in Batavia, NY; Education: Kent State University, B.F.A., 1974. Politics: Democrat.

Career

Children's book author and illustrator. Has also worked as a freelance graphic designer and botanical illustrator, 1976–.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Authors Guild, Authors League, Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.

Honors Awards

Parents magazine Best Children's Book of the Year designation, and New York Public Library Title for Reading and Sharing, both 1991, both for Mouse Around; Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children designation, Children's Book Council/National Science Teachers Association, 1997, for Over under in the Garden; Garden State Children's Book Award, 2001, for Bathtime for Biscuit.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Mouse Around, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1991.

He's Your Dog!, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1993.

Over under in the Garden: An Alphabet Book, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1996.

Pat Schories

Breakfast for Jack, Front Street (Asheville, NC), 2004.

Jack and the Missing Piece, Front Street (Asheville, NC), 2004.

ILLUSTRATOR

Louis Ross, Puddle Duck, Dutton (New York, NY), 1979.

Kit Schorsch, reteller, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, Checkerboard Press, 1989.

Kit Schorsch, reteller, Stone Soup, Checkerboard Press, 1989.

Linda Leuck, Teeny, Tiny Mouse, Bridgewater Books, 1998.

ILLUSTRATOR; "BISCUIT THE PUPPY" SERIES

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit (also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Finds a Friend, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Bathtime for Biscuit, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit's Picnic (also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1999.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Hello, Biscuit, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1999.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Happy Birthday, Biscuit! (also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1999.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Happy Halloween, Biscuit! (also see below), HarperFestival (New York, NY), 1999.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Happy Thanksgiving, Biscuit! (also see below), HarperFestival (New York, NY), 1999.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit's New Trick (also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit's Christmas: A Scratch-and-Sniff Book, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2000.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Happy Easter, Biscuit! HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2000.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Time to Paint, Biscuit! (also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Merry Christmas, from Biscuit, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2001.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit's Valentine's Day, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2001.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit's Day at the Beach (also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Wants to Play, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Visits the Farm, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2002.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Meets the Neighbors (also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Loves You, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Goes to the Park (also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Goes to School, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit and the Bunny (also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Happy Hanukkah, Biscuit!, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, What Is Love, Biscuit?, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Loves School, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2003.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit's Big Friend, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Is Thankful, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Wins a Prize (also see below), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Gives a Gift (also see below), HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2004.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2004.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Loves Father's Day, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2004.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Loves Mother's Day, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2004.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Meet Biscuit, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit's Graduation Day, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit's Fourth of July, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit and the Baby, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit's Snowy Day, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit: Storybook Collection (includes Biscuit, Biscuit Wins a Prize, Biscuit's New Trick, Biscuit's Picnic, Time to Paint, Biscuit!, Biscuit Goes to the Park, Happy Birthday, Biscuit!, Biscuit's Day at the Beach, Biscuit Meets the Neighbors, and Biscuit and the Bunny), HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2005.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit's Hanukkah, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Biscuit Visits the Big City, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.

Sidelights

Trained as a graphic artist, Pat Schories has gone on to expand her talents within the field of children's books. Although Schories has indulged in a lifelong love affair with books and bookbinding—as she once admitted to SATA, "I started writing and illustrating my own books early on [and] still have one from second grade, complete with cloth binding and endpapers"—her first efforts at writing a book of her own did not come until 1991 with Mouse Around. Since then, Schories has continued to write her own books and illustrate the texts of others. Among her most popular works are the illustrations she creates for Alyssa Satin Capucilli's "Biscuit the Puppy" series, which has become popular among the toddler set.

Born in 1952, Schories attended Kent State University after graduating from high school. There she majored in graphic design and illustration, realizing that she "wanted to make books," as she once told SATA. Following college, she moved from Ohio to New York City, intending to "live in a loft, create books, [and] live a bohemian lifestyle." In New York, Schories's dreams confronted reality: "I had no idea lofts were expensive or hard to come by and ended up in a shoe-box apartment, far from midtown." Undaunted by her less-than-ideal surroundings, she began freelancing for a small book design studio and searching for illustration assignments from book publishers. Schories's efforts were rewarded with her first job: a baby's cloth book, published in 1979. "Not the highbrow children's literature I had planned for myself, but a step in the door, and I was thrilled with the opportunity to illustrate anything!" Schories later recalled.

In 1989 Schories got her first book contract: a wordless picture book titled Mouse Around. "I was overjoyed!" she recalled. "It took me two years to complete, working full-time days as a graphic designer and working on the book nights and weekends. I had been used to working hard, but no one had prepared me for the minuscule advances first-time authors receive for a picture book! My obsessive love of this project kept me going, and I continued to do two more books in this manner, until finally I was able to quit my day job and work on my own books full time. Glorious!" Published in 1991, Mouse Around depicts a young mouse and his foray into the world outside his quiet mouse hole in the basement. Calling Schories's effort "an engaging, wordless" story, a Publishers Weekly reviewer described Mouse Around as a story told "effectively and with great charm,… offering [readers] the fun and challenge of hunting for the mouse on each page."

Schories followed Mouse Around with several other original stories, among them Over under in the Garden: An Alphabet Book, which draws on her expertise as a botanical illustrator. Featuring a text that consists of the names of twenty-six different plants and animals, each one beginning with a different letter of the alphabet, Over under in the Garden also serves as an introduction to nature. Praising the detail used by Schories in her drawings, Horn Book reviewer Elizabeth Watson noted that through the author/illustrator's "carefully drawn and faithfully colored" pictures, youngsters will "have their first encounter with kohlrabi and mandrake,… [and] will be able to recognize both if they ever meet them again." School Library Journal contributor Carolyn Noah praised Schories's "striking artwork" and "handsome design."

With the first "Biscuit the Puppy" book in 1996, Schories's image of a golden puppy have become an icon for beginning readers. Biscuit has appeared as a stuffed toy, and has made character appearances at story hours. The "Biscuit the Puppy" series has also won praise from critics: Booklist contributor Ilene Cooper considered Schories's illustrations "appealing" in Biscuit's Valentine's Day, while Wendy S. Carroll noted in her School Library Journal review of Biscuit Wants to Play, that Schories's "soft watercolor illustrations … convey the action of the text." In a review of the same book, Booklist contributor Hazel Rochman noted that "the pictures extend the words." Biscuit Goes to School is characterized by "a warmly and invitingly drawn
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school environment" according to a critic for Kirkus Reviews, while Ilene Cooper commented in Booklist that Schories's "friendly watercolor" illustrations bring out the story's action. The "Biscuit the Puppy" books have appeared as easy-readers, beginning-readers, and lift-the-flap books. Ten of the "Biscuit the Puppy" stories were collected in the 2005 book, Biscuit: Storybook Collection.

With the success of the "Biscuit the Puppy" books, Schories has begun another series of books about a puppy, this time on her own. "Jack is an appealing character with perky ears and a variety of beguiling expressions," a Kirkus Reviews contributor explained. The wordless books tell of the adventures of Jack the puppy and his family. In Breakfast for Jack Jack's family is busy rushing around, trying to get ready for school and work, but they seem to have forgotten to give him breakfast! Luckily, when all seems lost, Jack's boy comes back and puts food in Jack's dish. In Jack and the Missing Piece Jack's boy and his friend are playing with blocks when a piece goes missing! Is Jack to blame? "The suspenseful action—and the pacing of it—is just right," praised Jennifer M. Brabander in her review of both titles for Horn Book. A Publishers Weekly reviewer also praised the pacing, noting that the story is told "thanks to a skillful combination of spot drawings and full page renderings." Gay Lynn Van Vleck noted in a School Library Journal review that the books will "appeal to young listeners" and might "prove useful to teachers practicing story writing" in their classrooms.

Married at age forty-five to a fellow artist she met at the book design studio where she began her career several decades earlier, Schories is now a wife and a step-mother, in continuing her career as author and illustrator. "I make time to cook dinner, garden, exercise, play a little music," she remarked. "But books continue to occupy the largest space in my life, and I imagine they always will. I keep a notebook with ideas, and have a lifetime of picture book making ahead of me!"

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 1, 1994, p. 833; February 15, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of Biscuit's Valentine's Day, p. 1139; November 1, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Biscuit Wants to Play, pp. 485-486; August, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of Biscuit Goes to School, p. 1969; July, 2003, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Biscuit's Big Friend, p. 1899.

Horn Book, July-August, 1996, Elizabeth Watson, review of Over under in the Garden, pp. 455-456; January-February, 2005, Jennifer M. Brabander, review of Breakfast for Jack and Jack and the Missing Piece, p. 86.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2002, review of Biscuit Goes to School, p. 877; November 1, 2002, review of Happy Hanukkah, Biscuit! p. 1515; October 1, 2004, review of Breakfast for Jack, p. 968.

Publishers Weekly, May 24, 1991, review of Mouse Around, p. 56; December 20, 2004, review of Breakfast for Jack and Jack and the Missing Piece, p. 57.

School Library Journal, August, 1991, p. 154; August 30, 1993, p. 94; January, 1994, p. 98; May, 1998, p. 120; June, 1996, Carolyn Noah, review of Over under in the Garden, p. 118; December, 1999, Laura Santoro, review of Happy Thanksgiving, Biscuit, p. 88; June, 2000, Janie Schomberg, review of Biscuit's New Trick, p. 102; April, 2001, Wendy S. Carroll, review of Biscuit Wants to Play, p. 105; October, 2002, Ilene Abramson, review of Happy Hanukkah, Biscuit! p. 58; November, 2004, Gay Lynn Van Vleck, review of Breakfast for Jack, pp. 117-118.

ONLINE

Pat Schories Home Page, http://www.bolick.net/patschories/ or http://www.patschories.com/ (September 14, 2005).

Roni Schotter Biography - Awards, Honors, Sidelights - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Adaptations, Work in Progress [next]

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