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Famous Author : Gerald McDermott

Gerald McDermott is an award-winning filmmaker, children’s book author & illustrator as well as an expert on mythology. His work often combines bright colors and styles with ancient imagery. His picture books encompass folktales and cultures from all around the world.

He began studying art at the tender age of 4 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. McDermott continued pursuing his passion in arts at Cass Technical, a public high school for the gifted with a notable art program. In 1959 he was awarded a National Scholastic Scholarship to the Pratt Institute of Design in New York City. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1964. 

Upon graduation, he produced 3 short films : Sunflight (1966), Anansi the Spider (1969) and The Magic Tree (1970). George Nicholson, a children's book editor, contacted McDermott and suggested adapting his films into picture books. In 1972 McDermott published his first illustrated retelling of a folktale, Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti. The Magic Tree and Arrow to the Sun soon followed in picture book form. Arrow to the Sun released in 1974 was also developed simultaneously in film and would be McDermotts last animated film.

In the 1980s he published two books that paid homage to the traditions of his Irish heritage: Daniel O'Rourke and Tim O'Toole and the Wee Folk. During this time he also illustrated some books written by Marianna Mayer. In the early 1990s McDermott began working on a series of trickster tales and two works of mythological creation stories.

Notable Works: 
Anansi the Spider : A Tale from the Ashanti - Caldecott Honor 1972
Arrow to the Sun - Caldecott Medal 1974
Raven : A Trickster Tale - Caldecott Honor 1993 & Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award

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