Duval, Kathy 1946–

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Duval, Kathy 1946–


Born January 21, 1946, in Enid, OK; daughter of Tom Hall (an electrical engineer) and Gloria (an occupational therapy assistant) Robb; married Glen Duval (a project information manager), December 13, 1974; children: Jon Paul Hamilton, Kara. Education: University of Houston, B.S. (art education), 1970, M.A. (behavioral science), 1978. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, art, yoga, making jewelry, spending time with grandchildren.


Home—TX. Agent—Erin Murphy, 2700 Woodlands Village Blvd., Flagstaff, AZ 86001. E-mail—[email protected]


Art teacher, art therapist, and author of children's books. Art teacher in Houston, TX public schools, 1970-78; art

therapist in Houston, beginning 1981. House of Tiny Treasures, Houston, art therapist for homeless children.


Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators, Author's Guild, American Art Therapy Association.



The Three Bears' Christmas, illustrated by Paul Meisel, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2005.

The Three Bears' Halloween, illustrated by Paul Meisel, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of poems to periodicals, including Ladybug and Babybug, and to anthologies, including "I Invited a Dragon to Dinner," and Other Poems to Make You Laugh out Loud, Philomel, and Ladybug, Ladybug, and Other Favorite Poems, Cricket Magazine Group.


Kathy Duval told SATA: "When I was a kid I wanted to be an archaeologist. I read books like Swiss Family Robinson and Treasure Island and dreamed of exploring. I ended up being an art teacher and art therapist, exploring inner worlds instead of outer. For ten years, I satisfied my itch for the exotic by being a weekend gypsy at the Texas Renaissance festival as a musician in a balalaika orchestra. I also went to art school and exhibited my art.

"I suffered a particularly nasty mid-life crisis, and thought I needed a new career. I seriously investigated horticulture, landscape architecture, medical illustration, art conservation, and at least a half dozen more I can't remember now.

"Then I took a writing course. What an awesome discovery to find out how much I love writing!

"Although I'd identified myself as an artist since I won an art contest in the sixth grade, looking back I see that a writer lurked inside me, too. In high school, I wrote poetry and loved rewriting my poems until the rhythm felt just right. When my husband asked me where I'd like to go on Saturday night, I'd tell him the bookstore. I've taken zillions of books to the Half-Price Bookstore to make more room in my house for new ones. In graduate school, I secretly enjoyed researching and writing papers while other students complained. I bought picture books for myself long after my two children had

moved on to sci-fi and historical fiction. And for years before I started writing for publication, I wrote and illustrated my dreams in journals. A while back, I stacked my dream journals, and the stack reached my elbow. I'm only 5′2″, but its still an impressive amount of writing for someone who didn't know she was a writer."

Asked to pass along some advice for aspiring young writers," Duval suggested: "Read lots and lots of children's books! Several times a week I go to a bookstore and read with a critical eye. What makes this book good? Publishers receive thousands and thousands of submissions a year. What made someone want to publish this one? You will learn what children today are interested in reading and what types of books are being published. If you want to write picture books, you will get the feel for the rhythm and conciseness of picture books. Writing picture books is very much like writing poetry.

"The most important bit of advice I can give to aspiring writers is to keep writing. A beginning piano student doesn't expect to play on a concert stage right away, but for some reason beginning writers often have unrealistic expectations about how long it takes to get published. I think talent for something is really having passion for it, so that you are willing to spend whatever time it takes to learn to do it well. Without that passion, you give up."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, September 1, 2005, Ilene Cooper, review of The Three Bears' Christmas, p. 124.

Horn Book, November-December, 2005, review of The Three Bears' Christmas, p. 692.

Houston Chronicle, November 17, 2005, Flori Meeks, "Town and Country Bookstore to Host Writer," p. 6.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2005, review of The Three Bears' Christmas, p. 1192.

School Library Journal, October, 2005, review of The Three Bears' Christmas.


Kathy Duval Home Page,http://www.kathyduval.com (July 17, 1997).