TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Mary Calhoun

Mary Calhoun

Mary Calhoun was born in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1926, where she grew up in a large red brick house on a bluff above the Mississippi. Her Welsh mother told her stories of fairies, witches, and magical doings. She decided at the age of seven that she wanted to be a writer, and she wrote poetry and fantasies and became a storyteller. As a teenager, she worked in the local public library conducting their story hour. In 1948 she earned a B.A. degree in Journalism at the University of Iowa. She worked for the Omaha World-Herald in 1948 and for the Gresham Outlook in Gresham, Oregon, as a society editor in 1948 -- 1949.

Calhoun wrote more than forty children's books, as well as stories for children's magazines. An avid student of folklore, she wrote many stories based on folklore. A cat-lover as well, many of her books feature cats. Mary Calhoun is a versatile writer and has written picture books for the very young to titles for teens. She says, "A picture-book story is a portrayal of an inspiration. Its impact is conveyed in a very few words, combined with the illustrations. I try to put as much thought and effort into each of my stories as Shakespeare must have put into a sonnet."


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