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Mason, Cherie

Mason, Cherie

Personal

Born in Milwaukee, WI; married, 1962; husband's name Kenneth (a business executive). Education: Northwestern University, B.S. (speech and journalism), 1947.

Addresses

Home—P.O. Box 39, Sunset, ME 04683.

Career

Writer, journalist, and wildlife advocate. Worked in advertising in Chicago, IL, 1950–70; Defender of Wildlife, Chicago, lobbyist, 1967–70; freelance voice actress, 1970–80; Marine Environmental Research Institute, public spokesperson and advisor, beginning 2001; host of Wildlife Journal (radio program), WERU-FM, for thirteen years. Former trustee, Nature Conservancy's Maine chapter; former board member, Humane Society of the United States; member of board of directors, Marine Environmental Research Institute, 2003–.

Awards, Honors

Lupine Award, Maine Library Association, 1993; honorary doctorate, University College of Maine, 1999.

Writings

Wild Fox: A True Story, illustrated by Jo Ellen McAllister Stammen, Down East Books (Camden, ME), 1993.

Everybody Is Somebody's Lunch, illustrated by Gustav Moore, Tilbury House (Gardiner, ME), 1998.

Adaptations

Wild Fox was adapted as an audiobook, music by Paul Sullivan, River Music, 1994.

Sidelights

A long-time wildlife advocate who hosted the local radio program Wildlife Journal for over a dozen years, Cherie Mason shares her love of nature with young people through the pages of her books Wild Fox: A True Story and Everybody Is Somebody's Lunch. Avoiding the sugar-coated view of nature present in many children's books, Mason attempts to give young people a realistic portrait of the natural world, where every creature is part of the food chain. Using its young narrator's pragmatic discussion of the fate of the late great family cat Mouser as a starting point, Everybody Is Somebody's Lunch discusses the importance of life and death among young and old throughout the natural world, creating a book that, according to Science Activities contributor James O'Leary, "will give students and teachers alike a greater appreciation for wildlife."

In Wild Fox Mason describes her experience with a red fox who entered her life while she was living on Deer Isle, off the Maine coast. The fox had lost one of its legs, most likely by becoming snared in a hunter's trap. As Mason watched it over the coming months, the creature learned to thrive in spite of its handicap. Impressionistic illustrations accompany the storybook text, in which the author also presents animal facts and discusses the threats poised against North America's diverse wild areas and the need for preserving regions untouched by humans. "Mason's respect and fascination for this wild creature … is dearly evident, as is her enthusiasm for her subject," commented a Publishers Weekly critic. Another Publishers Weekly contributor noted that the author "communicates her innate awe" at tapping into the day-to-day rhythms of a wild creature, "and her riveting book pinpoints that charged, mysterious intersection where humans can meet the wild without taming it."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1993, Carolyn Phelan, review of Wild Fox: A True Story, p. 1824; September 15, 1995, Denise Perry Donavin, review of Wild Fox, p. 184.

Fifty Plus, October, 1988, Susan Hand Shetterly, "She's Wild about the Wild," p. 92.

Language Arts, October, 1994, review of Wild Fox p. 463.

Newsweek, November 22, 1993, review of Wild Fox, p. 55.

New York Times Book Review, November 14, 1993, Sara Stein, review of Wild Fox, p. 1993.

Publishers Weekly, June 7, 1993, review of Wild Fox, p. 70; October 17, 1994, review of Wild Fox (audiobook), p. 38.

School Library Journal, August, 1993, Lynnea McBurney, review of Wild Fox, p. 160; May, 1995, Linda W. Braun, review of Wild Fox (audiobook), p. 67; April, 1999, review of Everybody Is Somebody's Lunch, p. 105.

Science Activities, fall, 1999, James O'Leary, review of Everybody Is Somebody's Lunch, p. 45.

Science Books & Films, March, 1999, review of Wild Fox, p. 55.

Smithsonian, November, 1993, review of Wild Fox, p. 183.

ONLINE

Marine Environmental Research Institute Web site, http://www.meriresearch.org/ (March 27, 2003), "Cherie Mason Joins MERI's Board of Directors."

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