Native American illustrator, Shonto Begay, who was born on February 7th, is the fifth child of eleven born to a Navajo medicine man and his wife. He was raised in Arizona.
From an early age Begay was encouraged to take note of the world around him, to think of his own particular world as, in his words, "a circular line on the horizon." Drawing was always a part of him and after attending federal boarding schools for elementary school and high school, he enrolled in the Institute of American Indian Art in New Mexico. With and Associate degree in hand he moved to California to finish a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. In 1993 he received the Best Arizona Artist award.
Though better known as an artist of paintings, he has also illustrated children's books, most notably The Mud Pony which was chosen as a Reading Rainbow Selection and Ma'ii and Cousin Horned Toad, which he wrote and illustrated. His most recent book is Alice Yazzie's Year.