Betty Paraskevas

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Rita E. "Betty" Paraskevas (April 8, 1929 – April 7, 2010)[1] was a New York writer and lyricist best known for her work on Maggie and the Ferocious Beast.

Born in New Jersey, prior to becoming a children's author, Paraskevas worked for many years as a playwright and lyricist on Broadway, working with producer Harry Rigby[2] on shows such as Sugar Babies and No, No, Nannette.[3]

She was partnered with her son, illustrator Michael Paraskevas. Betty Paraskevas moved to Southampton in the mid-1980s.[2] Her collaboration with her son began in the early 1980s when Michael – already a successful illustrator[4] – encouraged her to write a story which he could then illustrate. They produced On the Edge of the Sea, which was published by Dial Books in 1982. Their second book, which she once again penned, was Junior Kroll. Published in 1993, it led to their first series.[3] Since then the pair has written over 20 books, three of which have been turned into television series.

Betty Paraskevas died on April 7, 2010, from complications due to pancreatic cancer; in Southampton, NY, one day before her 81st birthday. In addition to her son Michael, she is survived by her daughter.[1]


  1. ^ a b ""Ferocious Beast" author Betty Paraskevas dies, 81"., April 8, 2010
  2. ^ a b McGrath-Kerr, Debra (September 24, 1995). "East End Toon Getting Life On TV". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2008-10-06.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b Tagliaferro, Linda (May 19, 1996). "Writer Mother and Artistic Son Beget an Impish Offspring". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  4. ^ Stamler, Bernard (June 18, 2000). "Mother, Son and TV Animation". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-06.