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Phillis Gershator (1942-) Biography

Awards, Honors, SidelightsPersonal, Career, Member, Writings, Work in Progress

Born 1942, in New York, NY; Education: Attended University of California, Berkeley, 1959-63; Douglass College, B.A., 1966; Pratt Institute, M.L.S., 1975. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, gardening, cooking.

St. Thomas Public Library, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, librarian, 1974-75, 1988-89; Enid M. Baa and Leonard Dober Elementary School libraries, Brooklyn, NY, children's librarian, 1977-84; Department of Education, St. Thomas, children's librarian, 1984-86. Has also worked as a secretary and in library promotion for various New York City publishers. Reading Is Fundamental volunteer in St. Thomas, 1984–; secretary of Friends of the Library, St. Thomas, 1985-95.

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, American Civil Liberties Union.


Honi and His Magic Circle, Jewish Publications Society of America (Philadelphia, PA), 1979 revised edition published as Honi's Circle of Trees, illustrated by Mim Green, 1994.

Rata-pata-scata-fata: A Caribbean Story, illustrated by Holly Meade, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1994.

(Reteller) Tukama Tootles the Flute: A Tale from the Antilles, illustrated by Synthia St. James, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1994.

(Reteller) The Iroko-Man: A Yoruba Folktale, illustrated by Holly Kim, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1994.

Sambalena Show-off, illustrated by Leonard Jenkins, Macmillan Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1995.

(With husband, David Gershator) Bread Is for Eating, illustrated by Emma Shaw-Smith, Holt (New York, NY), 1995.

Sweet, Sweet Fig Banana, illustrated by Fritz Millevoix, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1996.

(With husband, David Gershator) Palampam Day, illustrated by Enrique O. Sánchez, 1997.

Sugar Cakes Cyril, Mondo (Greenvale, NY), 1997.

(With husband, David Gershator) Greetings, Sun, illustrated by Synthia St. James, DK Ink (New York, NY), 1998.

Zzzng! Zzzng! Zzzng!: A Yoruba Tale, illustrated by Theresa Smith, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1998.

When It Starts to Snow, illustrated by Martin Matje, Holt (New York, NY), 1998.

Tiny and Bigman, illustrated by Lynne Cravath, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1999.

Only One Cowry: A Dahomean Tale, illustrated by David Soman, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Someday Cyril, Mondo (Greenvale, NY), 2000.

(With husband, David Gershator) Moon Rooster, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2001.

The Babysitter Sings, illustrated by Melisande Potter, Holt (New York, NY), 2004.

(Reteller) Wise and Not so Wise: Ten Tales from the Rabbis, Jewish Publication Society (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.

(With husband, David Gershator) Kallaloo: A Caribbean Tale, illustrated by Diane Greenseil, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2005.


A Bibliographic Guide to the Literature of Contemporary American Poetry, 1970-1975, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ),1976.

Contributor of poems, stories, and book reviews to periodicals, including Cricket, Ladybug, Spider, Home Planet News and Caribbean Writer.

Author's works have been translated into Japanese, French, and Spanish.

Summer Is Summer Is Summer, with David Gershator, for Holt; Who's Awake?, with Mim Green, for Holt; This Is the Day We Give Babies Away, for Houghton Mifflin, 2006; Sky Sweeper, for Farrar Straus, 2006; Listen, Listen, for Barefoot Books, 2007.

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