Chayka, Doug

views updated

Chayka, Doug


Male. Education: Rochester Institute of Technology, degree, 1996; attended Berlin University of the Arts.


Home and office—969 Carroll St., Apt. B24, Brooklyn, NY 11225. E-mail—[email protected]


Illustrator. Has taught at Pratt Institute, City College of New York, and Rochester Institute of Technology. Exhibitions: Works included in "Original Art" exhibit, Society of Illustrators, New York, NY, 2008; and at Deutsches Haus, New York University, 2008.

Awards, Honors

Fulbright scholar.


Linda Oatman High, Beekeepers, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1998.

Shulamith Levey Oppenheim, Yanni Rubbish, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1999.

Deborah Blumenthal, The Pink House at the Seashore, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed, Four Feet, Two Sandals, Eerdmans Books (Grand Rapids, MI), 2007.

Also creator of Spree (self-published book of illustrations). Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including New York Times, Washington Post, Communication Arts, Cricket, Nation, and Step by Step.


Doug Chayka, an illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York, has contributed artwork to a number of well-received picture books. The picture book Four Feet, Two Sandals, with a text by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed, focuses on a pair of Afghani girls living in a refugee camp. "Earth tones predominate," remarked a critic in Kirkus Reviews, describing how Chayka's art "reflect[s] … the dusty environment while also offering … a sense of warmth." In an interview on the Seven Impossible Things before Breakfast Web log, Chayka stated that in his work for Four Feet, Two Sandals "I wanted the warm, dry color palette of the bare landscape to contrast with the accents of brightly colored clothing and the patterns of the makeshift tents. I think this contrast helps underline the difficult conditions in which the refugees of this vibrant culture are forced to live."

Other books featuring Chayka's art include Beekeepers, a story by Linda Oatman High that describes the relationship between a young girl and her grandfather as the man teaches the youngster how to care for a beehive. "The rich, golden color of honey saturates the illustrations," noted Booklist critic Stephanie Zvirin.

Set in a Greek village, Shulamith Levey Oppenheim's Yanni Rubbish centers on an eight-year-old boy whose father takes a job in another country, forcing the youngster to run the family business: collecting trash. In his work for this book, Chayka's "thick brush strokes in muted tones of brown, yellow and gray oils capture the feel of Yanni's town," commented a reviewer in Publishers Weekly.

Another family copes with the aftereffects of a natural disaster—a hurricane that destroys their summer home—in Deborah Blumenthal's The Pink House at the Seashore. Here Chayka's "horrifying tsunami images … add immediacy to this story," Hazel Rochman commented in Booklist.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, May 15, 1998, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Beekeepers, p. 1632; March 1, 1999, Hazel Rochman, review of Yanni Rubbish, p. 1222; April 1, 2005, Hazel Rochman, review of The Pink House at the Seashore, p. 1364; September 15, 2007, Hazel Rochman, review of Four Feet, Two Sandals, p. 72.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2007, review of Four Feet, Two Sandals.

Publishers Weekly, March 8, 1999, review of Yanni Rubbish, p. 68; October 29, 2007, review of Four Feet, Two Sandals, p. 55.

School Library Journal, September, 2005, Lisa Gangemi Kropp, review of The Pink House at the Seashore, p. 166.


Doug Chayka Home Page, (December 15, 2008).

Doug Chayka Web log, (December 15, 2008).

Seven Impossible Things before Breakfast Web log, (January 20, 2008), interview with Chayka.