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Esther Averill

Esther Averill

Real Name
Esther Holden Averill
Employers
Titles
Gender
Female
Year of Birth
July 24, 1902
Place of Birth
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
Official Website
Gallery
Year of Death
May 19, 1992

Esther Averill (July 24, 1902 – May 19, 1992) was an American writer and illustrator best known for the Cat Club picture books, a collection of 13 stories featuring Jenny Linsky, a small black cat who always wears a red scarf. She was also an editor and publisher.

PersonalHistory Edit

LifeEdit

Averill was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on July 24, 1902, daughter of Charles Ketchum and Helen (Holden) Averill,[1] where she was a teenage cartoonist for a local newspaper.[2] After graduating from Vassar College with honors in 1923,[3] she joined the editorial staff of Women's Wear Daily. In 1925 she moved to Paris, France to work as a photojournalist's assistant. In 1931, Averill founded the Domino Press, which specialized in "children's picture books illustrated by gifted young artists and reproduced by means of the excellent color processes that were available". Domino's first publication was a book entitled Daniel Boone : les adventures d'un chasseur americain parmi les peaux-rogues, illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky (who later won a U.S. Caldecott Medal for picture book illustration). Averill worked on an English edition of the same title also released in 1931.[4] Domino published several other children's books before it ceased operations in 1938.

Averill returned to the United States in 1941,[5] continuing with Domino press until it ceased operations and then working in the children's department at the New York Public Library.[1] In 1944, she wrote and illustrated The Cat Club, the first in a series of stories about a cat, Jenny Linsky, who lived in New York City with her master, the benevolent Captain Tinker. Between 1944 and 1972, Averill wrote and illustrated a dozen more stories about Jenny Linsky and her cat friends, all of whom were based on cats Averill owned or knew. The cat club books proved to be Averill's most popular works, and were eventually translated into six languages.[6] Starting in 2003,[7] a series of reissues by the New York Review Children's Collection brought all the cat club titles except for Jenny's Bedside Book back into print.

Averill died in New York City on May 19, 1992.


ProfessionalHistoryEdit

Cat Club seriesEdit

The Cat Club, 1944
The School For Cats, 1947
Jenny's First Party, 1948
Jenny's Moonlight Adventure, 1949
When Jenny Lost Her Scarf, 1951
Jenny's Adopted Brothers, 1952
How the Brothers Joined the Cat Club, 1953
Jenny's Birthday Book, 1954
Jenny Goes to Sea, 1957
Jenny's Bedside Book, 1959
The Fire Cat, 1960
The Hotel Cat, 1969
Captains of the City Streets, 1972

Other worksEdit

Daniel Boone, 1931 (with Lila Stanley; illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky)
Powder: The Story of a Colt, a Duchess, and the Circus, 1933 (with Lila Stanley; illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky)
Fable of a Proud Poppy, 1934 (as John Domino; illustrated by Emile Lahner)
Flash: The Story of a Horse, a Coach-Dog, and the Gypsies, 1934 (illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky)
Political Propaganda in Children’s Books of the French Revolution, 1935
The Voyages of Jacques Cartier, 1937 (illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky)
The Adventures of Jack Ninepins, 1944
Daniel Boone, 1945 (new text for the 1931 title, same illustrations by Feodor Rojankovsky)
King Philip: The Indian Chief, 1950 (illustrated by Vera Belsky)
Cartier Sails the St. Lawrence, 1956 (new text of the 1937 title, same illustrations by Feodor Rojankovsky)
Eyes on the World: The Story and Work of Jacques Callot, 1969

NotesEdit

TriviaEdit

AwardsEdit

New York Times Best Children’s Book of the Year, for "Jenny's Birthday Book" (1954)

RecommendedEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Esther (Holden) Averill." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2003.
  2. "Esther Averill Papers". de Grummond Children's Literature Collection. University of Southern Mississippi. Retrieved 2013-08-28. A small collection of materials dated 1953–1971; processed November 12, 1997. With biographical sketch, no date.
  3. Vassar Miscellany News, Volume VII, Number 58, 15 June 1923
  4. Catalog of Copyright Entries. New Series: 1946
  5. http://www.nybooks.com/books/authors/esther-averill/
  6. Rollyson, Carl. Guide to Literary Masters & Their Works, January 2007, p1, 1p
  7. Schwarz, Christina. Atlantic Monthly (10727825). Dec2003, Vol. 292 Issue 5, p131-132. 2p.
Other sources

External linksEdit


LinksEdit

Creator GalleryEdit

Esther Averill Gallery


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