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Keith DuQuette (1960-) Biography - Personal, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

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Born 1960, in Freeport, NY; Education: Attended Art Students League, 1979, and Yale University at Norfolk, VA, 1981; State University of New York at Purchase, B.F.A. (painting), 1982.

Career

Author and illustrator. Library preservationist at the Brooklyn Museum Library.

Honors Awards

Happy as a Tapir named a Junior Library Guild selection, 1992; International Reading Association Children's Choice designation, 1995, for Hotel Animal.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

A Ripping Day for a Picnic, Viking (New York, NY), 1990.

Hotel Animal, Viking (New York, NY), 1994.

The House Book, Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.

They Call Me Woolly: What Animal Names Can Tell Us, Putnam (New York, NY), 2002.

Cock-a-Doodle Moooo!: A Mixed-up Menagerie, Putnam (New York, NY), 2004.

ILLUSTRATOR

Terry Carbone, Happy as a Tapir, Viking (New York, NY), 1992.

Sidelights

"I was fortunate to grow up in a home where drawing was seen as a way of life," author and illustrator Keith DuQuette once told Something about the Author. "My father is a cartoonist and my mother, brother, and sisters are all visually-oriented people with remarkable and varied talents." In his own career as an artist, DuQuette has created books that include Hotel Animal, The House Book, and Cock-a-Doodle Moooo!: A Mixed-up Menagerie, the last which School Library Journal reviewer Lee Bock praised as a "wild and imaginative treat complete with alarmingly believable hybrid creatures … that are sure to elicit gasps and giggles."

"It's hard to say exactly when I began working on children's books because the desire to draw and tell stories has been with me as long as I can remember," DuQuette once explained. "I do know my first serious attempt was made in 1982 when graduating from college. I attended an art school where I received an excellent foundation from a few marvelous and challenging teachers. Since then I've tried my hand at many forms of expression; abstract and landscape painting, cartooning, sculpture, decorative arts, animation, and writing have all played a role in my artistic development."

In his book illustrations, DuQuette uses watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil, and also includes ink drawings and pencil sketches. He has been praised for the detail he includes in creating animal characters, such as those in Cock-a-Doodle Moooo! and They Call Me Woolly: What Animal Names Can Tell Us. Praising the latter title as a "satisfying combination of wordplay and breezy animal facts" in her Booklist review, Gillian Engberg cited the illustrations in particular as "handsome" and "realistically detailed," while a Kirkus Reviews contributor described them as "skillfully composed," noting that the black background reveals "every scale and feather to great advantage."

"I've been working in museums and libraries all of my adult life," DuQuette also explained. "I can think of no better environment to inspire a developing artist. They have been ideal places to stimulate and influence the work in my studio. In children's books, I've found an ideal form to use these stimuli to find my voice as an artist and writer."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 15, 1994, Mary Harris, review of Hotel Animal, p. 1371; July, 1999, Carolyn Phelan, review of The House Book, p. 1950; January 1, 2002, Gillian Engberg, review of They Call Me Woolly: What Animal Names Can Tell Us, p. 861.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2001, review of They Call Me Woolly, p. 1757; February 1, 2004, review of Cock-a-Doodle Moooo!: A Mixed-up Menagerie, p. 131.

Publishers Weekly, March 14, 1994, review of Hotel Animal, p. 71; May 31, 1999, review of The House Book, p. 92.

School Arts, November, 1999, Ken Marantz, review of The House Book, p. 52.

School Library Journal, June, 1994, p. 98; February, 2002, Margaret Bush, review of They Call Me Woolly, p. 118; February, 2004, Lee Bock, review of Cock-a-Doodle Moooo!, p. 111.

ONLINE

Penguin Putnam Web site, http://www.penguinputnam.com/ (October 21, 2004).*

Suzanne Duranceau (1952–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Illustrator, Sidelights [next]

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