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Michel Gay (1947–) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Sidelights

Born 1947, in Lyon, France.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Clarion Books, 215 Park Ave., New York, NY 10003.


Author and illustrator.



Rabbit Express, Morrow (New York, NY), 1982.

The Christmas Wolf, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 1983.

Take Me for a Ride, William Morrow (New York, NY), 1983.

Biboundé, L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1984, translated as Bibi Takes Flight, Morrow Junior Books (New York, NY), 1984.

La surprise de Biboundé, L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1985, translated as Bibi's Birthday Surprise, Morrow (New York, NY), 1985.

Little Plane, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1985.

Little Truck, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1985.

Little Shoe, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1986.

Night Ride, Morrow (New York, NY), 1986.

Little Helicopter, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1986.

Little Auto, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1986.

Papa trop, L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1997.

Zou, L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1998, translated as Zee, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Les fileuses d'or (title means "Gold Ropemaking Machines"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 2001.

Zee Is Not Scared, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2004.


Jean Joubert, Hibou blanc et souris bleue, L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1978, translated by Denise Levertov as White Owl and Blue Mouse, Zoland Books (Cambridge, MA), 1990.

Gérard Pussey, Les citrouilles du diable (title means "Pumpkins of the Devil"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1981.

Gerard Pussey, Nicholas et son robot (title means "Nicolas and His Robot"), Centurion, 1985.

Florence Seyvos, L'erreur de Pascal (title means "The Error of Pascal"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1990.

Beatrice Tanaka, La course, Kaleidoscope, 1990, translated as The Chase: A Kutenai Indian Tale, Crown (New York, NY), 1991.

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Chris Donner, Copain trop copain (title means "Buddy to Buddy,"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1990.

Yvette Toubeau, Eric perd tout (title means "Eric Loses All"), Gautier-Languereau, 1991.

Yvette Toubeau, Petit ver luisant et les étoiles (title means "Small Glow-Worm and Stars"), Gautier-Languereau, 1991.

Chris Donner, La nouvelle voiture de papa (title means "Dad's New Car"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1991.

Gérard Pussey, Fiston Marie gros papa, Pocket Jeunesse, 1995.

Chris Donner, Trop copines (title means "Too Much Girlfriend"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1998.

Jean-Michel Billioud, Une affreuse rage de dents (title means "A Dreadful Tooth Ache"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1999.

Marie-Sophie Vermot, Le pousières ont de mauvaises idées (title means "Dust Has Bad Ideas"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 2001.

Genevieve Brisac, Le pique-nique des ours (title means "The Picnic of the Bears"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 2001.

Genevieve Brisac, Olga et la chewing-gum magique (title means "Olga and the Magic Chewing-Gum"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 2001.

Ane-Marie Passaret, Contes russes (title means "Russian Tales"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 2001.

Anne-Marie Passaret, editor, Contes russes d'Afanassiev (title means "Russian Tales of Afanassiev"), L'École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 2003.


French author and illustrator Michel Gay has created art for numerous books, including many self-authored titles. Among Gay's works translated into English are Zee, Zee Is Not Scared, and a series of books for toddlers that focus on helicopters, trucks, cars, and planes.

In Zee a young zebra named Zee awakens early in the morning and wants to snuggle with his parents. However, he is not allowed to climb into his parents' bed until they are awake, which they are not. To move things along, Zee decides to make his parents some coffee, but even this does not successfully wake them up. However, the gesture rouses them long enough to allow the young zebra to attain his goal: a warm spot between mom and dad. Gay's "airy watercolor illustrations are delightful," commented Genevieve Gallagher in a review of Zee for School Library Journal.

Gay follows Zee with Zee Is Not Scared. This time around the young zebra is scared to go to bed, but when he asks his parents for permission to stay up and watch television with them they refuse and tell him he will be fine. Frustrated, Zee decides to take his bedsheets and pretend to be a ghost, scaring his parents and making them think that danger truly lurks in the dark of his bedroom. Linda L. Walkins, writing in School Library Journal, stated that Gay's "bedtime adventure is illustrated with charming, shadowy watercolor paintings executed in subdued shades. The pictures depict the various emotions of the characters, helping to build the suspense as the story unfolds."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2003, review of Zee, p. 963; February 15, 2004, review of Zee Is Not Scared, p. 178.

Publishers Weekly, August 11, 2003, review of Zee, p. 278.

School Library Journal, August, 2003, Genevieve Gallagher, review of Zee, p. 128; April, 2004, Linda L. Walkins, review of Zee Is Not Scared, p. 111.


Michel Gay Home Page, http://www.richot-jeunes.org/ (June 11, 2005).

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) Biography