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Press Office

children's book illustrator
and teaching artist
Michael Hays

Born: Iowa City, Iowa, 1956

Raised: Pittsburgh PA, 1960-1973

Lived: Providence, RI 1974-1979
Stamford, CT 1980-1982
New York City 1982-1988
Oak Park, IL 1988-1993
Rogers Park, Chicago 1994-2022

BFA Illustration RISD 1979, Graduated with Honors

Trailside Country School 1973 (now the Expedition Institute, Lesley University)

Carnegie-Mellon University 1972 - Life Drawing - Calligraphy with Arnold Bank

Professional influences:
Pete Seeger
N.C. Weyth
Jack Kirby
David Macaulay
David Wiesner

Published books:
19 picture books illustrated by Michael Hays

3 illustrated middle grade readers

60+ Young Adult book jackets

Best known published books:
Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger

Jonathan and his Mommy by Irene Smalls

The Gold Cadillac by Mildred Taylor

Books most recently published:
W is for Windy City, A Chicago Alphabet (Sleeping Bear Press 2010) by Steven Layne and Deborah Dover Layne, illustrated by Michael Hays and Judy MacDonald

Picture books illustrated by Michael Hays:
Stop the Horses! Faith in Christ Arrives in Ethiopia by Evelyn McNeil Woodson, M. Ed. illustrated by Michael Hays, EveEden Press Fall 2023

W is for Windy City, A Chicago Alphabet by Steven L. Layne and Deborah Dover Layne, illustrated by Michael Hays and Judy MacDonald, Sleeping Bear Press 2010

Some Friends to Feed, The Story of Stone Soup by Pete Seeger and Paul Dubois Jacobs, Putnam 2005

The Boy Who Was Generous with Salt by Corinne Demas, Marshall Cavendish 2002

Abiyoyo Returns by Pete Seeger and Paul Dubois Jacobs, Simon and Schuster 2001

The History of Counting by Denise Schmandt-Besserat, William Morrow 1999

Kevin and His Dad by Irene Smalls, Little Brown and Company 1999

Because You’re Lucky by Irene Smalls, Little Brown and Company 1997

Pedro and the Monkey by Robert San Souci, William Morrow 1996

The Hundredth Name by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim, Boyds Mills Press 1995

K is For Kiss Goodnight by Jill Sardegna, Bantam Doubleday Dell 1994

Storm by W. Nikola-Lisa, Atheneum 1993

The Boy Who Loved Morning by Shannon Jacobs, Little Brown and Company 1993

Jonathan and His Mommy by Irene Smalls, Little Brown and Company 1992

Three Wishes by Lucille Clifton, Bantam Doubleday Dell 1992

Hello, Tree! by Joanne Ryder, Lode Star Books 1991

The Tin Heart by Karen Ackerman, Atheneum 1990

A Birthday for Blue by Kerry Lydon, Albert Whitman 1989

My Father Doesn’t Know About the Woods and Me by Dennis Haseley, Atheneum 1988

Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger, Macmillan 1986

Middle grade readers illustrated by Michael Hays
Jackie Robinson, by Ken Rudeen, illustrated by Michael Hays, Harper Trophy 1996

Holding on to Sunday, by Kathryn O. Galbraith, illustrated by Michael Hays, McElderry Books 1995

The Gold Cadillac by Mildred Taylor illustrated by Michael Hays, Dial Press 1987

Jonathan and his Mommy by Irene Smalls available on iTunes

W is for Windy City, Sleeping Bear Press

The Gold Cadillac by Mildred Taylor

Teaching experience:
33 years teaching picture book illustration, drawing and digital illustration classes at Columbia College Chicago

30 years K-12 speaker and workshop leader

School visits, assembly programs and workshops:
Email mh@michaelhays.com to request info about speaking fee and availability for your event.

Home and family:
Lives with life partner Judy MacDonald on the far north side of Chicago. Judy is both children’s book illustrator and children’s horse riding instructor.

Web Sites:

Abiyoyo's Villian Wiki page:

About Michael’s professional illustration work

Michael’s old desk top web site

Michael’s professional social media site

More about Pete Seeger’s life and work, the story of Abiyoyo and how Pete and Michael create the picture book Abiyoyo, plus student Abiyoyo art and student video performances

M Hays Academic CV available here: Download Michael Hays Academic CV

Original art gallery:
Past sales through Elizabeth Stone Gallery
Inquiries: email mh@michaelhays.com

Sales of Abiyoyo picture books directly benefit Xhosa children and families in South Africa. Visit Pete Seeger's South African partner at Ubuntu Pathways.