Kate Seredy (pronounced sher-edy) was born on November 10, 1899 in Budapest, Hungary. She received teaching certification in Budapest but worked as a nurse during WWI.
She moved to the U.S. in 1922. Seredy settled on a farm in Montgomery, New York, ran a children’s bookstore from 1933-34, and then worked as a freelance illustrator and artist. She designed book covers and greeting cards and also painted lampshades and designed fashions.
She illustrated 50 to 60 textbooks and children’s books before May Massee, editor at Viking Press, suggested she write a story about her childhood in Hungary. Her bulky manuscript, written in longhand in a recently-learned language, was accepted immediately. The Good Master was published in 1935 and won a Newbery Honor. She went on to write and illustrate a dozen more books for children. Seredy won the Newbery in 1938 for The White Stag and another Newbery honor for The Singing Tree in 1940. She died in 1975.