Gregory John Rogers (19 June 1957 – 1 May 2013) was an illustrator and writer of children's books, especially picture books. He was the first Australian to win the annual Kate Greenaway Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book illustration by a British subject. The book was Way Home by the Australian writer Libby Hathorn, published in the U.K. by Andersen Press in 1994. In the unnamed city, a boy makes his way home at night and adopts a stray cat en route. The "picture book for older readers" was controversial on grounds both that it was "hardboiled" and that it "romanticised the plight of the homeless".
Life and career
Rogers was born in Brisbane, Queensland and grew up in Coorparoo. He studied at the Queensland College of Art (fine art) and worked as a graphic designer before taking up freelance illustration in 1987.
Rogers has illustrated many books including Margaret Card's Aunty Mary's Dead Goat, Ian Trevaskis's The Postman Race, Gary Crew's Tracks and Lucy's Bay, Libby Hathorn's Way Home, and Nigel Gray's Running Away From Home. Beside the Greenaway Medal, Way Home also won a Parents' Choice Award in the U.S. and was shortlisted for the APBA book design awards.[clarification needed]
Nevertheless, his most widely held work in WorldCat participating libraries is the first book he both wrote and illustrated, The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, and the Bard. The picture book was published by Allen & Unwin of Australia in 2004 and by Roaring Brook Press that same year in the U.S. It features a timeslip to Shakespeare's London by a boy who follows a soccer ball from Shakespeare's Globe, the modern reconstruction, to the original Globe Theatre. With Midsummer Knight (2006) and The Hero of Little Street (2009) it constitutes a "wordless picture book series" that Publishers Weekly calls his work best known in the U.S.
Rogers played several musical instruments—the cornetto, recorder, and the baroque guitar—performing music of the 16th and 17th centuries. He collected "CDs, antiques, books, and anything that might attract dust". He was also an avid collector of Art Deco items.
According to Publishers Weekly, Rogers was "best known in [the U.S.] for his sequence of three wordless picture books".
- The Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard (Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin, 2004)
- Midsummer Knight (2006)
- The Hero of Little Street (2009)
- Omar the Strongman, text and illustrations (Scholastic Press, 2013), OCLC 849998521
- "Gregory Rogers". Allen & Unwin – Children Author Display. Allenandunwin.com. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
- "Gregory Rogers, 1957–2013". Publishers Weekly. May 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
- (Greenaway Winner 1994). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "Libby Hathorn". AUSTLIT (austlit.edu.au). Retrieved 2015-03-16.
- "Fryer Folios, July 2013" (PDF). University of Queensland (uq.edu.au). Retrieved 2014-12-03.
- "Formats and Editions of The boy, the bear, the baron, the bard". WorldCat. Retrieved 2012-08-30.