(1927–1977), Ukrainian Canadian painter, illustrator, and writer, best known for A Prairie Boy's Summer (1975) and A Prairie Boy's Winter (1973). The books are autobiographical, reflecting his childhood on farms in Alberta and Manitoba. They celebrate games and parties as well as everyday hard work. The pictures and text are nostalgic, although Kurelek did not recall his own childhood with affection. Kurelek attended the University of Manitoba and art schools in Toronto and Mexico, but was essentially self-taught. His style is both narrative and abstract, frequently using religious symbols. His paintings are oil or mixed media. His themes range from urban Toronto to religion to multiculturalism. He is chiefly acknowledged for bringing to canvas the Canadian prairies: its landscapes, rural life, and immigrants, especially Ukrainians. Kurelek also illustrated W. O. Mitchell's Who Has Seen the Wind and Ivan Franko's Fox Mykyta, children's classics of, respectively, Canada and the Ukraine.
From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature in Oxford Reference.