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Completed  by  LTC  8900  Children’s  Literature  Opportunities  Class   Summer  2012          

List  of  Authors  Included:     Eric  Carle   Jerry  Pinkney   Walter  Dean  Myers   Dr.  Suess   Norman  Bridwell   Kevin  Henkes   Tommi  dePaola   Leo  Lionni   David  Pelzer   Phillip  Pullman   Lois  Lowry   Jan  Brett   Suzanne  Collins   Eve  Bunting   Joseph  Bruchac   Shel  Silverstein   Patricia  Polacco   Mark  Brown   Audrey  Wood   Gary  Paulsen  


Jerry Pinkney Author/Illustrator Study Constance Brown University of Missouri/Columbia-Online LTC 8900: Seminar: Literature Opportunities: Using Children's and Young Adult Literature in the Classroom - SS2012 Dr. Laurie Kingsley July 21, 2012




I have a great amount of respect for Jerry Pinkney. I now know that he is a brilliant author and illustrator largely of children books, but illustrates other books as well (including classics like Gulliver’s Travels and Wuthering Heights). Mr. Pinkney is a renowned artist, both nationally and internationally. Most of all, I am so appreciative of this 73-year old man who struggled through a time when educating a Black youngster wasn’t a priority, and someone supported this young man through thick and thin. Not only did Mr. Pinkney make it through the trying times of segregation, but he managed to do so in spite of the fact that simultaneously he was dyslexic and had neither idea of nor intervention for it! I have now become a HUGE fan of Mr. Jerry Pinkney! I appreciate that I’m working with students who are challenged with exceptionalities and whose brains use ways that are uncharacterized as “normal” to process information. I really do believe that all students can learn. Mr. Pinkney believes this too! Because he was challenged early in his life and was a struggling reader, he learned to use his prowess as an artist to illustrate what others verbalized that they’d read. Encouraged early on by his mother, he learned to be an expert at this to the point that he now does this in all of the books that he illustrates. Mr. Pinkney has done several forms of illustrations, from greeting cards to postage stamps, but his most favorite illustrations are those that he does for books. Mr. Pinkney says, “Books give me a great feeling of personal and artistic satisfaction. When I'm working on a book, I wish the phone would never ring. I love doing it. My satisfaction comes from the actual marks on the paper… when it sings, it's magic." I went to the nearest library and checked out the following books affiliated with Mr. Pinkney: a) Little Red Riding Hood, b)Sam and the Tigers; c)Mirandy and Brother Wind; d)Three Little Kittens; and, finally e)Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Of this list of books, a – c are only illustrated by Mr. Pinkney. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is the original nursery rhyme with added embellishments by Mr. Pinkney, making him the author of this edition. Finally, Three Little Kittens was taken from the Mother Goose rhymes of the kittens that have lost their mittens. Mr. Pinkney took the nursery rhyme and developed it into a nice picture book bursting with his lively illustrations, meaning that he doubles as author and illustrator of this edition as well. A key symbol that I see used in all of the books that I read was they all could fall under the genre of fantasy. Each of them has talking animals or thinking animals, with the exception of one. Mirandy and Brother Wind didn’t have any talking animals, but Brother Wind was in humanform! Interestingly, as a child I never read Little Black Sambo – my parents kept that book away from me; so, reading Sam and the Tigers was actually my first time ever reading the story. What was interesting is that when I checked the book out, I had NO IDEA that it was an updated telling of Little Black Sambo; Mr. Pinkney and Mr. Lester strategically and wisely decided to rename the story. I really have no barometer to measure Sam and the Tigers by since I didn’t read the original version; however, I will now read that version – if I can find it! What I do know is Sam and the Tigers is a book that’s full of fantasy! The tigers even chased one another’s tails so profusely that they turned first into a whirl of fur, only later to whip themselves into butter that was used on pancakes! Illustrations were simply unbelievably incredible. Regarding Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Mr. Pinkney described in his artist’s notes how he had observed chipmunks that lived outside his studio. He did research at a nature center where he investigated star shapes hidden in nature. He said he was inspired to illustrate what he’d learn about the stars



by using the chipmunk’s natural curiosity and energy to embellish the popular English lullaby with his own illustrations and some of his words. Mr. Pinkney’s illustrations all have the artistic elements that are outlined in our text (Discovering Children’s Literature): color, line, shape format, texture – and yes, they definitely ‘create the artwork” in each of his books. The texture of all of his books is amazing. I mean, his pages really are very surreal and lifelike. Once these elements are combined with his unique style and media, it’s no wonder that Mr. Pinkney has won so many awards and received so many accolades. I found his books and illustrations to be quite surreal and breathtaking. And I’m still enamored by the fact that I was so taken with Sam and the Tigers and had no idea I was reading Little Black Sambo! I strongly recommend this book – Sam and the Tigers – as it shows the ingenuity and expertise of the collaboration of Julius Lester and Mr. Pinkney as they created a brilliant work of art from literature that is on the banned book list. The following pages are covers of each of Mr. Pinkney’s books that I found and checked out. Hopefully they will show how meticulous and telling his works are. Guess which one is my favorite? You guessed it – Sam and the Tigers! Sam in no way looks the part of some depiction of racial degradation (as pictured in the upper left hand corner of the page). The little boy in this picture is bursting with pride and adventure! The kittens are pretty cute, too! Once inside of the book, the reader will see them convey all the traits of excited and playful little children who get so caught up in their play and what they’re doing that they become somewhat irresponsible. And the chipmunk takes you on a journey (kind of like visiting a planetarium). Actually, I really would recommend ALL of the books of Mr. Pinkney that I read. I look forward to reading some of his higher level books and experience what he has to offer to and for older readers.









Walter Dean Myers Snapshot of Biographical Information Born: Walter Milton Myers; August 12, 1937; Martinsburg, West Virginia Childhood: Myers was raised in an unusual, multi-cultural household: after his mother died at age two, he was adopted by Herbert Dean and raised in Harlem, NY, by Dean and his wife, Florence. Herbert was African American, like Myers, and Florence was German and Native American. Growing up, he was greatly influenced by his family, his neighborhood, and his th church. Myers dropped out of high school and joined the army on his 17 birthday. Born Walter Milton Myers, he changed “Milton” to “Dean” in honor of the family who raised him. Literary Resume: 100+ books, stories, and poems for children and young adults. On writing: Myers has a speech impediment that was especially challenging as a child. Writing became a way to express what he struggled to say, and he credits his teachers for encouraging him and nurturing his talent. Accolades and Awards: current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, New York Times best-selling author, 2000 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Literature for Young Adults, two-time Newbery Honor recipient, five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, and two-time national book award finalist – to name just a few. Fun Facts: writes children’s books with his son, Christopher, who illustrates the stories. He writes six pages a day, every day. He collects historical photos of African American families. He likes to play flute. His favorite team is the New York Knicks (basketball). His favorite book as a child was Tom Sawyer. Current Info: happily married father of four; lives in Jersey City, NJ.

Who Should Read Myers? Myers is for everyone and he appeals especially to struggling readers, boys, and inner-city youth. His young adult books th typically fall between 670-980 Lexile, which is approximately a 6-8 grade reading level.

Recommended Books His most well-known book is Monster, the story of 16-year-old Steve Harmon and his questionable role in the shooting of a store owner in Harlem. What I really like about Monster (without spoiling the ending) is that while Myers acknowledges that in his mind he is clear on Steve’s innocence or guilt, the story never gives a clear-cut answer, so there is great opportunity for discussion. I would also recommend Hoops and Slam! for basketball lovers; Fallen Angels and Sunrise Over Fallujah for those who enjoy war stories; Lockdown, Shooter, or Dope Sick for inner city, urban, drug-related stories; and for nonfiction, Bad Boy; a Memoir or Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary. Finally, this spring Myers published Just Write: Here’s How!, advice to budding writers on the craft of writing.

What Teachers Should Know Myers’ books are quick reads. His stories are engaging and fast-paced but they are tough in their subject matter. Arguably, this is what makes him so appealing because he tackles real issues. His topics include drug addiction, gangs, war, and urban life. Myers loves sports – particularly basketball – which is also the subject for several books. He is diverse in that he writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s books. Myers was recently appointed the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (like being the national poet laureate for YA books) and he said the theme of his two-year tenure would be, “Reading is not optional.” Myers acknowledges that the MOST important skill for every child is the ability to read. Unlike many books where written language differs from spoken language, Myers writes the way people talk. The effect is a strong voice, and for many struggling readers there is a greater sense of connection because Myers speaks their language – literally and figuratively. Themes: Myers focuses many of his books on the challenges that confront urban youth and African Americans. His books embrace Harlem and his culture. Myers pulls from his own life for many of his stories. His stories are real, his characters are relatable, and he always tries to present a positive message of hope, strength, and survival. He shows readers how to succeed and rise above their circumstances.

TrackStar Information Track #443207. There are 8 links that will direct you to biographical information, video interviews, podcasts, teaching resources, numerous articles, and interviews.

Author/Illustrator Handout Sue Clark Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) Biography Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in March, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts where he grew up being called “Ted” by his family and friends. His grandparents were German immigrants who emigrated to America in the nineteenth century. His father, Theodor Robert, and his mother, Henrietta Seuss, worked hard to provide a pleasant childhood for Ted and his sister Marnie. Because of his heritage, the Geisel family was targeted for racial slurs, especially during the World Wars. To counter the attacks, the family became very involved in a ProAmerica campaign. This helped ease the road for Ted and Marnie in their teen-age years. Ted was accepted into Dartmouth College where he joined a fraternity and began working on the college humor magazine, Jack-O-Lantern. By his senior year he was named editor. This was taken away when he and nine friends were caught drinking gin in his room. The dean insisted that he resign from all extra-curricular activities. Ted wanted to keep writing so assumed a few pen names; L. Pasteur, D.G. Rossetei, T. Seuss, and Seuss. This was the first time he signed his work with the name Seuss. He later added Dr. when he was given an honorary doctorate by Dartmouth in 1955. After graduating from Dartmouth, Ted went to Oxford to study literature to pursue a career of becoming a professor. A classmate noticed that he was doodling more than taking notes and told to forget about teaching, he should draw. He eventually got engaged and married to this classmate, Helen Palmer. He realized that she had been right, so he dropped out of graduate school and they returned to America when Helen completed her degree. His intention was to become a cartoonist and he worked at this for awhile. However, another career fell in his lap by chance. He had created a cartoon for a magazine and used the name of a popular insecticide in the punch line. The advertising agency who wrote ads for that insecticide company hired Ted to write ads. For thirty years he worked in advertising, creating ads for NBC, Ford, General Electric, and many more. Ted became known as a consummate storyteller. He enjoyed embellishing even the simplest of stories. With the success of his book, The Cat in the Hat, Seuss eventually became established as an author of books for children. In all, he wrote sixty-six books, including those that he wrote under another name, that were illustrated by others, that he co-authored, or that were published posthumously. Of those books, only five were written in prose – the rest were written in Seuss’ unique rhyming style. Although Seuss wrote for children, he never became a father himself. In 1967, after a long bout with cancer and being distraught over her husband’s affair with Audrey Stone Dimond, Helen committed suicide. One year later, Seuss married Audrey, who supported him and influenced his later books throughout the rest of his life. Seuss died in 1991 at the age of 87. Audrey promotes and protects his legacy as the president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Writing and Illustrating for Children Dr. Seuss’ first book, And to Think That I saw It on Mulberry Street (1937) showed his talent for creating fantastical creatures. It also established his ability to provide a rhythm in the text of his stories. He wrote the words to this story as a way of entertaining himself when he was on a ship crossing the Atlantic. He was bothered by the cadence of the ship’s engines and Helen suggested he put words to the beat. After adding illustrations, he approached publishers only to be rejected 27 times. Finally, Vanguard Press, a division of Houghton Mifflin, published the book and it was well received. Although Seuss had written a few children’s books, The Cat in the Hat was the book that changed his life. It was written as Seuss’ response to helping children become better readers. The idea was that children were turned off of reading because of boring primers like the Dick and Jane series. A director of Houghton Mifflin’s educational division challenged Seuss to write a book that first graders would not be able to put down. This meant, however, that the book could not contain any more than 225 different basic words. Seuss rose to the challenge. The Cat in the Hat was a huge success. It was published in 1957 and by 1960 had sold a million copies. Seuss and Helen were so inspired, they helped found Beginner Books, a division of Random House that published books just for beginning readers. Dr. Seuss was never one to step away from a challenge. Publisher Bennett Cerf bet him that he could not write a book that used fifty or fewer different words. This bet lead Seuss to write his best selling book of all time, Green Eggs and Ham. Political Views Ted was very outspoken in his politics. In 1941, he was worried about the war that was expanding around the world. He believed it was a matter of time before America was involved and that his fellow citizens should be prepared. He decided to branch out into political cartoons. This was his outlet. His cartoons made fun of Hitler and Mussolini, as well as isolationists. Seuss did not just criticize the war. His cartoons criticized discrimination against Jews and African Americans. He drew upon the discrimination he felt in his youth as a German American. He attacked prejudice as he attacked controlling powers. In all, he wrote over 400 political cartoons within a two year time span. After the war, Seuss was able to continue his political messages in his children’s books. He wrote Yertle the Turtle as a response to Hitler’s rise to power, The Sneetches in opposition to anti-Semitism, Horton Hears a Who! as a message against prejudice, and The Lorax as a cry for better treatment of our environment. He stated that he not only wanted to entertain children, but he wanted them to learn to think for themselves.

Awards and Honors Throughout his lifetime, Seuss received 7 honorary doctorates, an Oscar, two Emmys, a Pulitzer Prize, a Peabody, a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and a New York Library Literary Lion. Also, three of his books received Caldecott Honor Awards.

List of Dr. Seuss books On a side note, Dr. Seuss accepted the Americanized pronunciation of his name. In reality, the German pronunciation of Seuss is meant to rhyme with voice. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, 1937 Bartholomew and the Oobleck, 1949 The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, 2011 The Butter Battle Book, 1984 Cat in the Hat, 1957 Cat in the Hat Comes Back, 1958 Cat's Quizzer, The Daisy-Head Mayzie Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? 1973 Dr. Seuss ABC, 1963 Dr. Seuss Sleep Book, 1962 The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, 1938 The Foot Book, 1968 Fox in Socks, 1965 Great Day for Up! 1974 Green Eggs and Ham, 1960 Happy Birthday to You, 1959 Hop on Pop, 1963 Horton Hatches the Egg, 1940 Horton Hears a Who, 1954 How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 1957 Hunches in Bunches, 1982 Hooray for Diffendoofer Day, 1998 (Collaboration – Seuss died before completing this book. The text was finished by Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith completed the illustrations.) I Am Not Going to Get up Today!, 1987 I Can Draw It Myself: By Me, Myself with a Little Help from My Friend Dr. Seuss, 1970 I Can Lick Thirty Tigers Today & Other Stories, 1969 I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!, 1978 I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, 1992 If I Ran the Circus, 1956 If I Ran the Zoo, 1950 King's Stilts, 1939 The Lorax, 1971 McElligot's Pool, 1947 Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now, 1972 Mister Brown Can Moo, Can You, 1970 My Book About Me, 1969 Oh, Say Can You Say?, 1979 Oh, the Places You'll Go!, 1990 Oh! The Thinks You Can Think!, 1975 On Beyond Zebra, 1955

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, 1960 Scrambled Eggs Super!, 1953 The Seven Lady Godivas, 1987 Shape Of Me And Other Stuff, 1973 Sneetches And Other Stories, 1969 There's a Wocket in My Pocket! 1974 Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose, 1948 Wet Pet, Dry Pet, Your Pet, My Pet Yertle the Turtle & Other Stories, 1958 You're Only Old Once

“Sometimes you'll do something that you really like and no one else does. You'll feel terrible, but you've just got to press on and keep trying. If you like doing it and keep working at it, then someday you will succeed.” Norman Bridwell

Bio Norman Bridwell took up drawing at an early age. He discovered early on that he was not good at sports or shop class, and even though his teachers told him he wasn’t a very good artist, Norman spent a good portion of his free time drawing, because he enjoyed it. After high school, he studied at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis and moved to New York where he began his career as a commercial artist. In 1962, Bridwell decided to try his luck with children’s book publishers. He was advised to write a story to accompany one of his drawings of a little girl and her big red dog… and the rest was history. Clifford the Big Red Dog soon became a huge success. Along with Clifford, Bridwell is the author of A Witch Next Door, one of his most popular books. The book is about a sweet witch and her friendship with her two young neighbors. She makes their days fun and shows them her tradition and culture. On the night before he was to meet with his editor about a Clifford book that he had been working on, he drew some scketches and created text for another book. The Witch Next Door was accepted while the Clifford book was declined. Bridwell said that dogs inspire his writing. There are now over 44 million copies of his books are in print today in multiple languages. Bridwell stated, “I feel very fortunate to have this part in teaching children to read.”

Selected Books A Tiny Family Clifford at the Circus Clifford Barks Clifford Cares Clifford Goes to Dog School Clifford Goes to the Doctor Clifford Grows Up Clifford’s Puppy Days The Witch Next Door

Bridwell Books Most of Bridwell’s books emphasize trying to do the right thing when something goes wrong. Clifford makes mistakes in each book, and tries to correct them the best way he knows how. For instance, when the ice cream maker overflows, Clifford tried to lick up all the ice cream to clean up the mess instead of trying to get help. The Witch Next Door helps teach children to accept differences around them. Bridwell’s characters usually learn that if you mess up, go back and try again. Never give up. Bridwell adds morals and valuable lessons to his books. The settings are places that most children will eventually experience: the doctor, school, camping, etc. The books are light-hearted, fun with bright illustrations.

Kevin Henkes Who is Kevin Henkes? •

Author and illustrator of 32 picture books and 11 novels

Born in Racine, Wisconsin in 1960

Came from a family of three brothers and 1 sister

Spent many hours in the library as a child, which has influenced his career choice

Attended the University of Wisconsin where he wrote and illustrated his first book

Common theme of many of Henkes’ books are circumstances young children often face, such as the first day of school or a new baby in the house

Recommended Books:

Awards and Honors: • • •

Kitten’s First Full Moon- Caldecott Medal, 2005 Olive’s Ocean- Newbery Honor, 2004 Many other awards for every book

Major Influences:

Garth Williams, illustrator of Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, and others

Crockett Johnson, Author and illustrator of Harold and the Purple Crayon and many others

“Books are often the first exposure to art that children have. Keeping that in mind urges me to make the very best books possible. I know how important the books from my childhood were (and are) to me. Without them, I might not be a writer and artist today.” Kevin Henkes

A Handful of Tomie’s MANY Awards and Recognition

To Learn More About Tomie… Books

2003 Lifetime Achievement Award New Hampshire W riter’s Project

See books listed in references

Callan, R.D. and DeAngelis, L. (2004). Teaching with favorite Tomie dePaola books. New York: Scholastic.

Elleman, B. (1999). Tomie dePaola: His art and his stories. New York: Putnam Books.

2000 I Migliori Award The Pirandello Lyceum Institute of the Italian American Studies, Research and Cultural Dissemination

2000 Jeremiah Ludington Award Educational Paperback Association

2000 Newbery Honor Award for 26 Fairmont Avenue

1999 Living Treasure Award

Tomie Live in Concert (1999)

1999 Named one of “100 People W ho Shaped the Century” in New Hampshire

A Visit with Tomie dePaola (1996)

1990 James Smithson M edal

1990 USA nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in illustration

D V D s/V H S

W ebsites

1983 Regina M edal Catholic Library Association

1976 Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona oks/interiews/depaola e_dePaola

1987 Golden Kite Honor Award for Illustration for What the Mailman Brought




R eferences for this Brochure dePaola, T. (n.d.). The official website of Tomie dePaola. Retrieved July 10, 2012, from Elleman, B. (1999). Tomie dePaola: His art and his stories. New York: Putnam Books



Prepared by Erica Leggiero Summer 2012 LTC 8900 Literature Opportunities

Tom ie: A Little Life H istory

A uthor/Illustrator:

A Sampling

The Early Y ears: Thom as A nthony dePaola was born in M eriden, Connecticut on Septem ber 9, 1934. H is m aternal ancestry is Irish, and his paternal ancestry is Italian. Tom ie w as the 2 n d oldest child out of 4 children. A t the age of 4, Tom ie announced to his m other that he wanted to be a w riter, draw pictures, and dance on stage. A ll of these goals he has accom plished.

Tomie dePaola has written and/or illustrated over 200 children’s books. His inspiration for his stories and illustrations come from his childhood experiences, travels, spiritual character, and love of folk tales.

A “Telling”Book

College and Career Beginning:

Tom ie w on a scholarship to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N ew York. H e graduated in 1956. D uring his junior year and soon after graduating, Tom ie contem plated joining a m onastery. H e lived w ith Benedictine m onks for 6 m onths. A fter college, Tom ie w as not an overnight success as an illustrator of children’s books. Instead he had num erous jobs betw een college and his first children’s book. H e illustrated Christm as cards, designed vestm ents for priests, painted m urals in churches, taught at college, and obtained a M aster’s degree. In 1965, Tom ie “broke” into the business illustrating a physical science book, Sound, w ritten by Lisa M iller.

Currently: Tom ie resides in N ew London, N ew H am pshire.


Tomie’s Work

Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs was originally written in 1973. This book has a direct connection to dePaola’s life, and is truly his first autobiographical book. It is a story about his grandmother downstairs and his great-grandmother upstairs. The well-conceived ending is a tribute to both Nanas from both the real Tomie, and his fictional counterpart, as he creates a fast-forward-to-the-future technique. In his original book, the Tomie chose to use subdued hues of umber and rose for the illustrations. dePaola re-released the title in 1998 for the book’s twenty-fifth anniversary.

dePaola decided to recast it in full color.

As Author and Illustrator Autobiographical Tales • Stagestruck (2005) • Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs (1973, 1998) • The Art Lesson (1989) Religious Stories • Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland (1992) • Francis, the Poor Man of Assisi (1982) • The Clown of God (1978) Christmas Stories • Tomie’s Little Christmas Pageant Board Book (2002) • Country Angel Christmas (1995) • An Early American Christmas (1987) Folktales • Jamie O’Rourke and the Pooka (1983) • The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush (1988) • The Legend of the Bluebonnet (1983) Book Series • Strega Nona • The Barker Twins (Easy Readers) • 26 Fairmont Avenue (Chapter Books) Anthologies • Tomie dePaola’s Book of Bible Stories (1999) • Tomie dePaola’s Book of Poems (1988) • Tomie dePaola’s Mother Goose (1985) Informational Books • The Popcorn Book (1978) • The Cloud Book (1975) • Charlie Needs a Cloak (1973) As Illustrator • Mary Had a Little Lamb (2004) by Sarah Josepha Hale • Cookie’s Week (2004) by Cindy Ward • Erandi’s Braids (1999) by Antonio Hernandez Madrigal

Leo Lionni Who was he? Leo Lionni was born in Holland in 1910, and went on to live in Belgium, the United States, Italy and Switzerland before even graduating high school. As a result, he spoke five languages (all of his children’s books were written in English). As an adult, he split his time between Italy and New York, where he became an Art Director first for Ford Motor Company and later for Fortune Magazine. He completed a full graphic design career before writing his first picture book in 1960, at fifty years of age. Lionni described this experience as an organic response to his grandchildren’s boredom on a long train ride, when he began ripping swatches of color from magazines in hopes of entertaining his grandchildren with a story. Something extraordinary developed…

What did he write? Lionni wrote and illustrated more than forty children’s books, four of which were Caldecott Honor winners: Inch by Inch, Frederick, Swimmy, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. Among his other well known books are: The Alphabet Tree, It’s mine, Fish is fish and the story he wrote for his grandchildren on the train - Little Blue and Little Yellow. His books have been translated into a number of languages and are widely available and admired throughout the world.

What artistic style/s did he use? Lionni’s books possess many unifying design characteristics, but he never limited himself to just one visual medium. He used torn paper collage, water color, colored pencils, charcoals, mosaics, paint splatterings and more. He often mixed mediums in one book or scene, which is part of what makes his work so visually unique and memorable.

This two-page spread from Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse illustrates Lionni’s approach of pasting paper patterns to create textured shapes that stand out against a sketched or painted background.

What is special about his books? Though his artwork is remarkable, much of what really sets Lionni’s books apart is their direct involvement in everyday, profound, and challenging themes that are familiar to young children and adults alike. Concepts such as sharing as essential to a sense of community, contemplating the richness of small things and learning to live happily within our own identities, are purposefully and attractively depicted.

For more information: Lionni wrote his own autobiography entitled Between Worlds: The Autobiography of Leo Lionni

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David Pelzer 1960 – Present Inspirational Speaker Humanitarian

He His mantra - "Thank you, God. Thank you for making me the luckiest person in the world."

Biographical Information       

Best Selling Books     

A Child Called “It” – 1995 The Lost Boy – 1997 A Man Named Dave – 2000 Help Yourself – 2001 The Privilege of Youth – 2004

      

Was third out of five boys Abused by his mother for at least 8 years – his cause was the worst case of child abuse in the history of California Rescued from his abusive mother March 5, 1973 at the age of 12 Lived in numerous foster homes between the ages of 12 and 18 At age 18 joined the U.S. Air Force, served from 1979 to 1991 Became a writer and a motivational speaker Today is successful as a business man, father, and husband

Facts About the Author Survived death games of his mother Worked 40+ hours in junior high Dropped out of high school because he worked 80+ hours a week Earned his G.E.D. before enlisting Is terrified of public speaking Gives away most of what he earns Desires to learn the piano and earn a degree in volcanology

Themes - Survival, endurance, accountability, resilience, forgiveness, and it is never too late to change or to succeed

Adamant About - education, social work, and foster care

Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman was born October 19, 1964 in Norwich, United Kingdom and currently lives in Oxford. Pullman is an eloquent storyteller and the author of over twenty books. His most famous and award-winning books, as well as the books that I would most highly recommend are: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. These three books make up the trilogy known as His Dark Materials. The main characters remain relatively the same throughout the trilogy, with the protagonist being Lyra Belacqua and the antagonist is Mrs. Coulter, Lyra’s mother. A somewhat ambivalent figure comes in the form of Lyra’s father, Lord Asriel, who is both good and evil. Finally, Will Parry is another character that is friends with Lyra and is a “good” character. Most people would be interested/would want to know that the entire trilogy is laced with themes and symbols of good verses evil, destiny verses free will, and the church verses knowledge. These themes are very important because they are key in making the trilogy as deep and substantial as they are, while also causing immense controversy in the conservative United States. Still, this controversy seems warranted as Pullman is a very outspoken atheist and this is reflected in his work. Therefore, many parents have felt uncomfortable with the idea of Lyra’s sexual maturity in the books, as well as the very clear link between the church and the oppression of knowledge and freedom. It is quite clear that Mrs. Coulter represents the church and wants to keep children innocent and ignorant. Lord Asriel, on the other hand, who represents a sort of devil, wants free will and knowledge for all, and wants to do away with the idea of destiny. Lyra, then, represents Eve in this whole charade and yet her fall from grace is glorified in Pullman’s pages rather than chastised. When teaching this book, I think that teachers would want to either try to avoid the religious combativeness in the books and focus on the other symbols present, or would want parents to sign a permission slip saying that it was okay to proceed with the book in the spirit of literature and education. As a devout Catholic, I believe that I would be able to teach this book without having a bias either way, as I am also and educated adult.

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Fun Facts  About  Lowry:   -­‐Lowry  is  an  avid  photographer,  and  many  of   her  book  covers  are  photos  that  she  has  taken   herself  including  the  covers  of  The  Giver  and   Number  the  Stars.   -­‐Lowry  initially  wrote  books  for  adults,  but   changed  to  children’s  literature  when  an   editor  asked  her  to  write  a  children’s  b ook.   -­‐Lowry  enjoys  writing  children’s  literature   more  because  she  thinks  young  people  are   more  affected  by  what  they  read.   -­‐Her  favorite  books  to  read  are  memoirs  and   biographies.     -­‐She  has  written  34  books  and  has  plans  for   many  more.     -­‐Her  first  book  is  called  A  Summer  to  Die,  and   she  got  the  inspiration  to  write  it  after  her   older  sister’s  death.   -­‐Lowry  used  her  friend’s  experiences  during   World  W ar  II  as  inspiration  to  write  the  book   Number  the  Stars.     -­‐Her  father  spent  time  in  a  nursing  home   because  he  lost  most  of  his  long-­‐term  memory,   and  it  is  there  that  Lowry  got  the  inspiration   to  write  The  Giver.  She  began  to  wonder  about   a  world  that  deliberately  forgets  memories  so   that  there  will  be  no  pain.        

All About Lois Lowry!

Biographical Information:  

-­‐Lowry was  b orn  on  March  20,  1937  and  is   the  middle  child  of  three.   -­‐Even  from  an  early  age,  Lowry  was  an   avid  reader  with  a  wonderful  imagination.   -­‐Because  her  father  was  in  the  military,   she  has  lived  all  over  the  world  including   Hawaii,  New  York,  Pennsylvania,  and   Tokyo.     -­‐Her  older  sister,  Helen,  died  at  the  age  of   28  to  cancer.     -­‐She  was  married  at  the  young  age  of  19,   and  dropped  out  of  college  to  raise  4  kids.       -­‐Lowry  went  back  to  college  years  later   and  eventually  got  her  master’s,  and  from   there  began  writing.   -­‐Lowry  got  divorced  in  1977  at  age  40.   -­‐Her  first  book,  A  Summer  to  Die  was   published  in  1977.   -­‐Her  older  son,  a  fighter  pilot,  died  in  the   cockpit  of  a  warplane,  and  Lowry  has  used   this  experience  as  inspiration  for  some  of   her  books.     -­‐Lowry  currently  lives  in  Massachusetts   where  she  is  still  writing.    She  also  spends   lots  of  time  in  Maine.        

“I write books because I have always been fascinated by stories and language, and because I love thinking about what makes people tick. Writing a story... The Giver or any other... is simply an exploration of the nature of behavior: why people do what they do, how it affects others, how we change and grow, and what decisions we make along the way. Added to that, I love the process of finding the right rhythm of words, and then putting it all together, finally, to make a book.” ~Lois Lowry

Book Recommendations:       Number  the  Stars   The  Giver     Gathering  Blue    Messenger       A  Summer  to  Die       Themes  &  Symbols  in  These  Books:  

-­‐The importance  of  human  connections  and  the  roles  that  we  as  humans  play  in  this  world.    We  affect  each  other  and  thus   should  be  doing  more  for  each  other     -­‐Living  and  d ealing  with  injustice  in  the  world,  whether  it  be  because  of  racism  or  untimely  death   -­‐Life  and  death,  and  the  world’s  response  to  it   -­‐Having  courage  to  stand  up  against  injustice  and  to  do  what  is  right     -­‐The  relationship  between  pain  and  pleasure     -­‐Human  response  to  tragedy     -­‐In  The  Giver,  the  river  is  a  symbol  of  escape.    In  Number  the  Stars,  the  w oods  symbolize  a  transformation  for  Annemarie.     In  A  Summer  to  Die,  the  field  w ith  the  withering  flowers  symbolizes  death  and  moving  on.      In  Messenger,  the  frightening   forest  symbolizes  the  growing  animosity  of  the  village.    In  Gathering  Blue,  the  color  blue  symbolizes  hope.            


Terri Puetz LTC 8900 – Dr. Kingsley July 20, 2012 Author Handout Jan Brett

Biography Jan Brett is a best-selling author and illustrator of numerous children’s books. She has won several awards for her outstanding writing and illustrations. Her books are loved by children everywhere with some favorites including The Mitten, The Hat, Armadillo Rodeo, and Gingerbread Baby. Brett was born on December 1st, 1949 in Norwell, Massachusetts. As a child, Brett spent many hours reading and drawing and decided right away she wanted to be an illustrator. She attended the Boston Museum School where she drew inspiration from the paintings and sculptures. She then worked as an illustrator for authors such as Stephen Krensky and Eve Bunting. In 1981, she wrote and illustrated her first book called Fritz and the Beautiful Horses. Brett’s books often focus on her love of animals, nature, and folktales from various countries. Her signature trademark is added illustrations along the side panels and borders of her pages. These illustrations are very intricate and add many details to the overall story. Brett

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spends much of her time traveling around the world to get ideas and inspiration for her books. In an interview she stated, “From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children’s books.” Brett’s ideas for her books come from these travels. She came up with Armadillo Rodeo when visiting Texas and seeing armadillos and she wrote Who’s that Knocking on Christmas Eve after seeing the Northern Lights in Norway. It usually takes Brett a year to write a book. She has often stated in interviews that the writing process is difficult for her, but she can illustrate easily. She often lets the illustrations inspire her writing. She adores animals and has chickens, ducks, and a hedgehog named Buffy at her home. Her hedgehog, Buffy, is her motivation for her lovable Hedgie books. When not writing, Brett lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Joe Hearne. They love traveling and spending time on their farm with their animals. Books Written and Illustrated by Jan Brett Mossy (coming October 2012) Annie and the Wild Animals (coming October 2012) Beauty and the Beast Home for Christmas The 3 Little Dassies The Easter Egg Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury Gingerbread Friends Hedgie Blasts Off! Hedgie Loves to Read The Umbrella Daisy Come Home Christmas Treasury Hedgie’s Surprise The Hat Comet’s Nine Lives Armadillo Rodeo Christmas Trolls Trouble with Trolls Berlioz the Bear The Wild Christmas Reindeer The First Dog Fritz and the Beautiful Horses Books Retold and Illustrated by Jan Brett The Three Snow Bears

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Honey…Honey…Lion! On Noah’s Ark Who’s that Knocking on Christmas Eve? Gingerbread Baby Town Mouse, Country Mouse The Mitten Goldilocks and the Three Bears Books Illustrated by Jan Brett The Night Before Christmas The Owl and the Pussycat Happy Birthday Dear Duck The Twelve Days of Christmas Scary, Scary Halloween Mother’s Day Mice Noelle of the Nutcracker Valentine Bears St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning Books I Read for this Author Study I’ve actually read several Jan Brett books over the years. I love her illustrations and her books are a favorite of mine and my daughters. My six year old loves Gingerbread Baby, which I think we’ve read at least fifty times. This is the book that actually got me interested in her illustrations. Brett’s writing is good, but I think her gift is in her drawings. The illustrations on the side panels of each page give so many details to the story. In Gingerbread Baby, we see Matti making the gingerbread house on the side as the action with the Gingerbread Baby is going on in the middle. It is told with the classic gingerbread story plot, but ends on a heartwarming note when Matti saves the Gingerbread Baby and bakes him a house. My daughter loves pointing out all the little pictures and details. Brett also decorates each page with borders and drawings that make each picture unique. My girls and I love having a gingerbread day each year at Christmastime and we always read this book. This is a beautiful and fun book for kids and adults of all ages. The Mitten – This is another classic book of Jan Brett’s that is loved by children. It is actually a Ukrainian folktale retold by Brett. The story is about a boy named Nicki who loses his mitten in the snow. Several animals including a rabbit, hedgehog, owl, and bear crawl in the white mitten. When the bear sneezes, all the animals fly out. Nicki finds the mitten and takes it home to his grandmother. The last illustration shows her holding the now stretched out mitten. Again, this book uses the side panels to add details to the story. We see each animal on the side approaching the mitten and Nicki’s attempts at finding the mitten. This was one of my older daughter’s

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favorites as her and I both have a liking for cute little hedgehogs. Brett wrote a companion book to this book called The Hat. In this book, Hedgie the hedgehog finds a little girl’s stocking and tells the other animals he’s wearing a hat. Brett used the character, Hedgie, for other books as well. He is in Hedgie’s Surprise, Hedgie Loves to Read, and Hedgie Blasts Off! Obviously, Brett loves hedgehogs like me and my daughter and even has one as a pet! Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve? – This is an interesting book that I read for this assignment that I hadn’t heard before. Brett retold and illustrated the book based on a Norwegian folktale. Brett traveled to Norway to do research for the book and was inspired by the Northern lights. The story is about a little girl named Kyri living in the snowy and icy land of Oslo. She is scared of the trolls who come to eat the Christmas feast every year. One year she opens the door to find a boy and his polar bear. She invites the boy and his bear in and they feast on the Christmas dinner. When the trolls arrive, the bear scares them away. Kyri, the boy, and the bear are happy to have saved the Christmas feast. This is such a heartwarming folktale. Brett uses warm colors and vibrant illustrations to depict the snowy landscape. She uses the side panels to show the bear pretending to sleep while the trolls eat. She draws the Northern lights at the top of each page in pictures of bears and trolls. This is a beautiful book that I plan on including in my personal library. The Umbrella – This is one that I got from the library for this assignment that I also hadn’t read before. This book is written and illustrated by Brett. She traveled to the rainforest in Costa Rica to do research for it. The book is set up with the same type of storyline as The Mitten and offers a similar cover and illustrations. A boy named Carlos travels to the rainforest with an umbrella and climbs to the top of a tree to spot animals. While he is up there, several rainforest animals crawl into his umbrella. Brett creates a tropical paradise with her beautiful illustrations in this story. It is a great book to use for children when they are learning about rainforest animals. I like The Mitten better, but this one is also very enjoyable. Other Jan Brett books I really enjoy are Armadillo Rodeo, On Noah’s Ark, Town Mouse, Country Mouse, Christmas Trolls, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. She has two new books coming out in October of this year called Mossy and Annie and the Wild Animals. There are several resources on the internet for teachers on activities that can be done with Jan Brett books. I even found some that included whole units on The Mitten and Gingerbread Baby. One activity that I can’t wait to do when I’m a full time teacher is to have my students create their own “Brett style book.” I would read several of her books to the class and show them how she does her illustrations. Then I would have my students write their own stories and create illustrations on the pages and side panels like she does. There are so many wonderful activities to do with her books. I think it’s also so important to appreciate the details and research she puts into her books and drawings. There isn’t one picture that isn’t thought out with complete research and patience.

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Her love of drawing, writing, animals, and culture is completely clear in her stories and it makes me appreciate her even more. Jan Brett Websites and References

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Elizabeth Rhor-Samaniego Literature Opportunities: Using Children's and Young Adult Literature in the Classroom Week Six Assignment 15 July 2012 Author Handout: Suzanne Collins Long before The Hunger Games topped the New York Times bestseller list, making Katniss Everdeen a household name and spurring a resurgence of interest in dystopian literature, Suzanne Collins was learning the lessons that she would weave into her writing. As the daughter of an Air Force officer who served in the Vietnam War, Collins spent much of her childhood immersed in the brutal realities of the battlefield. In family discussions, on vacation to Europe, and on countless nights, her father educated her on the grim details of war. He showed her fortresses where boiling oil was poured on the enemy and a poppy field that served as a soldier’s burial ground. At night, she often heard him call out from his nightmares. Then, there were the absences. Her father’s deployment to Vietnam made her acutely aware of the impact left on children when a parent is gone from their life. Both themes – war and parental absence – are constant motifs in Collins’ best-known works: The Hunger Games trilogy and five-book series, The Underland Chronicles. In both, the protagonist is a young person forced to take charge of their household due to the absence of a father. In both, the main characters – Katniss Everdeen and Gregor the Overlander – are thrust into the middle of a violent conflict. According to a 2011 New York Times profile, Collins often turned to her father insight in creating conflicts and scenes that made military sense. Collins, who lives in Connecticut with her family, began her career as a writer for children’s television shows, including Clarissa Explains It All, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, Little Bear and Oswald. The Underland Chronicles, written for middle school readers, is a new take on the book that inspired it: Alice In Wonderland. Instead of a bucolic English setting, Collins’ book is set in a magical world deep beneath the urban streets of New York City. The books follow Gregor’s journey into Underland, a realm where humans, giant cockroaches, bats, spiders are on the edge of war. However, Collins’ best-known work is The Hunger Games trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay), which traces the evolution of Katniss Everdeen from a poor girl fighting to keep her family fed to the leader of a revolution. Set in the totalitarian society of Panem, the books center on the “Hunger Games,” an annual televised contest that pits 24 young people from twelve districts against each other in a fight to the death. The winner gets food and riches for his or her district, and the games serve as warning to anyone who thinks of challenging the cruel and controlling government, known as The Capitol. The books are an indictment of violence and of the reality television culture. War is seen both from the brutally close-up view of the Hunger Game participants, known as tributes, and from the voyeuristic view of an audience that cheers on the tributes, while savoring their suffering and deaths. Collins has said that she drew inspiration from Roman gladiator games and from the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, in which Minos punishes Athens by asking for the sacrifice of seven young men and seven young women to the Minotaur. The spark for the

narrative also came one night when Collins was channel-surfing and saw scenes from a reality competition juxtaposed with images from the Iraq War. As with other dystopian novels, The Hunger Games explores the conflicts between freedom and oppression, individuality and conformity, reality and illusion. One of the recurring symbols is the mockingjay, a bird that resulted from a mutation created by the government and becomes an emblem of the rebellion. In an interview with School Library Journal, Collins notes, “Symbolically, I suppose, Katniss is something like a mockingjay in and of herself. She is a girl who should never have existed. And the reason she does exist is that she comes from District 12, which is sort of the joke of the 12 districts of Panem. Katniss is the mockingjay. She is the thing that should never have been created, that the Capitol never intended to happen.” Other symbols include dandelions, which signify hope; the flowers Katniss uses to cover Rue after her death, which represent the incipient rebellion against the Capitol; and bread, which means hope and is alluded to by Peeta’s name, the word Panem, and the burnt loaf Peeta gives Katniss when she is starving. Works by Suzanne Collins: The Underland Chronicles  Gregor the Overlander (2003)  Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (2004)  Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods (2005)  Gregor and the Marks of Secret (2006)  Gregor and the Code of Claw (2007) The Hunger Games trilogy  The Hunger Games (2008)  Catching Fire (2009)  Mockingjay (2010) Other books  Fire Proof: Shelby Woo #11 (1999)  When Charlie McButton Lost Power (2005)  When Charlie McButton Gained Power (2009)

Lorin Robichaux Author Handout

Eve Bunting Biographical Information Eve Bunting was born in Northern Ireland, giving her many interesting experiences, indeed. As a young girl, she enjoyed reading and even pretending like she was the characters in the stories she read. Because of Bunting’s past, she didn’t ever consider a career in writing, but through a successful experience in a college writing class, she kept writing and never looked back.

Interesting Facts Eve Bunting’s mother had a lending library in their North Ireland home. Eve Bunting has written more than 250 books. Eve Bunting loves writing for upper elementary students. Eve Bunting rarely writes about her own past experiences. Eve Bunting has won numerous awards, including Irish- American Woman of the year in 2002. Eve Bunting is 84 years old and still writing books to this day. She has had numerous books published in 2011 and 2012.

Selected list of Eve Bunting’s books The books I was able to read were, Can You Do This, Old Badger? Fly Away Home Hey Diddle Diddle Jin Woo Mouse Island

My Special Day at Third Street School Our Library Rudi’s Pond Sunshine Home The Memory String The Wall Tweak Tweak

About Eve Bunting’s Books Eve Bunting likes to write about touchy subjects. Her books as a whole don’t really fall into a similar theme other than she writes books to share with children, that open them up to sometimes common, sensitive life experiences. Some of her most noteworthy books are Fly Away Home, Jin Woo, The Memory String, Sunshine Home, and The Wall. Each of these books touches on a sensitive subject. A brief description about each of these noteworthy books, and the sensitive subjects they entail, is listed below. Fly Away Home: This is the story of a father and son who are living in an airport. They are homeless. The child in the story tells of their homeless life and shares his feelings about living this way. In an increasingly difficult world, homelessness and migrant homelessness are something becoming more common and it is a sensitive subject for sure. Jin Woo: This is a story about welcoming a new family member, an adopted sibling. The story is told from the older sibling’s viewpoint and focuses on welcoming a new sibling into the family. This is a situation that most children experience in their lives whether the sibling is adopted or not. This story touches on the subject of siblings and adoption. The Memory String: This story tells of a girl struggling to connect with her new stepmother. This story is one that many students in a classroom may be able to relate to if they have had a change in their family makeup. Sunshine Home: This story tells of putting a grandmother into a nursing home and dealing with the deteriorating health of a loved one. This story speaks of family love and also the hard times that come in being a family. The Wall: The Wall is the story of a father and son who go to the Vietnam Memorial to find the boy’s Grandfather’s name. In a time of war, this is a very sensitive subject for students, especially those who have military members, past and present, in their history.

Jessica Roth

Author Study Joseph Bruchac

Selected Works


- Atale of a bloodthirsty monster who happens to resemble a bear in the

woods. Baron thought it was just an old legend and couldn't be true, this wasn,t really happening. Can Baron defeat this Bearwalker before someone in his class really gets hurt?


This book discusses an old legend from the Mohawk Bear Clan. It shows a young man as the hero as he remembers his past through the stories of his elders. A very

riveting story with many twists and tums as it leads you to the conclusion. Skeleton

Man- With her parents mysteriously missing, Molly is sent to stay with a

distant relative whom she's never met. This 'Uncle' claims her looking out for her bests interests, but if that's the case, why is she being locked in her room each night? The spirit

world sends Mollymuch needed answers while she dreams, but will it be enough to stop the skeleton Man from eating her flesh and to save her parents?


This book discusses another old legend from aNative American clan. Very few characters, but an obvious heroine emerges as Molly begins to put the pieces


her parent's disappearance together. This book allows for a young teenager to go

all the way to rescue her family from the perils of the Skeleton Man's grasp. The Return of Skeleton Man


There's no way anyone is unlucky enough to be at the

mercy of a monster more than once, right? Much less the very same monster that traumatized her last year. Such seems to be the case, but this time Molly has the help her parents as she battles this crazed monster out for revenge.


Jessica Roth

Author Study


This book gives another opportunity to see Molly as a heroine, this time with the guidance of her parents. She must be shong enough to escape and remember how

to act as her people once did while escaping through the forest.


Wisperer in the Dark- Maddy is fortunate enough to have

a loving


a best


who loves scary stories as much as she does, and a loyal dog who loves to play. Unfortunately, none of those may be enough when the Whisperer calls for her. If legends are true, she

her head and


won't be able to stop from coming to him deep in the dark. Maddy must use

find away out of this madness before

itos too late.

This books shows a teenage girl and her friend transform into heroes as they rescue Maddy's Aunt. Maddy must remember the legends her grandmother and

father told her, no matter how scary they may be in order to survie her encounter

with the Whisperer.


Ndakinna -Beavtiful poem about how to see the land through different eyes and to appreciate its value to the world.


A well written poem that discusses the importance of family history and remembering how things once were. It asks us to take a step back and see through another's eyes as we look at the same view with a different mindset.

Biography Joseph Bruchac uses his own Abenaki ancestry and the view of his world around him


the Adirondack Mountain area as his inspirations for his many works. He was an educator for some time and prides himself on his work for young adults. He felt that he could do more than

simply write stories, and with the help of his late wife, Carol, he was able to found Greenfield Review Literacy Center and The Greenfield Review Press. He is very well accomplished with

Jessica Roth

Author Study numerous awards for his writing. When he isn't writing, Bruchac enjoys traveling to schools and

telling stories

as his ancestors once


Interesting Frcts


Bruchac is only part Abenaki, but continues to do all he can to keep the faditions and culture alive for those today.


Bruchac helped found and direct the Ndakinna Center where youth and adults can come

to learn aboutNative American culture.


Bruchac has won over 15 different awards since 1995 for his uniting and work with

children. Bruchac worked for eight years directing a college program for Skidmore College inside a ma:<imum

secwity prison.

Bruchac has authored more than 120 books for both adults and children.

The many hats of Shel Silverstein: *American poet *Singer-Songwriter *Musician *Composer *Cartoonist *Screenwriter *Author of children's books

Themes of Silverstein poems: *Fun, silliness, playfulness, and moral lessons.

Biography Shel Silverstein began his writing when he was just 12 years old. In the 1950's, Silverstein joined the armed forces to serve in the Korean war. While he was in the military, Silverstein worked as a cartoonist for the Pacific Stars and Stripes which was a U.S. military publication. Once Silverstein completed his military duty, he was hired on to the magazine Playboy as a cartoonist in 1956. In 1963, he was convinced by a fellow illustrator to begin writing children's books. One of Silverstein's most famous books published was in 1974 and titled The Giving Tree (pictured below). This book won the New York Times Outstanding Book Award, the Michigan Young Readers' Award, and the George G. Stone Award. Silverstein then began writing many books that were collections of his silly poems and illustrations (a list of a few of his classics is listed below). Silverstein was also a fan of folk music and in 1960 became a composer. He wrote the lyrics for and composed the song A Boy Named Sue which became a number one hit for Johnny Cash. Silverstein also released a country album entitled The Great Conch Train Robbery. Silverstein began writing plays in 1981 and many were produced in New York City.

A few examples of Silverstein's famous books (clockwise from top left): The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic, and Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Silverstein passed on May 10, 1999 at the age of 68 from a massive heart attack in his home. He has left us with wonderful books and poems which are still loved by children and adults today.

Silverstein Book Recommendations *Every Thing On It *Falling Up *The Giving Tree *A Light in the Attic *The Missing Piece *Where the Sidewalk Ends

Stephen Scott Author/Illustrator Handout Patricia Polacco

When someone reads just one of Patricia Polacco’s children’s picture books, he or she will be instantly hooked. From her playful and witty stories, sad and real experiences, to her tall tales, I found myself wanting more. And that is what I got. After reading almost all of her books, I was able to extrapolate a lot about Patricia Polacco: her Jewish and Russian/Irish roots, her role models, life experiences, her style of exposing issues, and an appreciation for children and literature. What makes Patricia Polacco unique is that inside every book lies a gathering of voices from her life. A list of the books I read is in the footnotes section at the end, along with other references and observations I will be making. One of the first things that stood out in her books was the terminology she uses to describe her family and customs. For example, in several of her books such as Kechenka’s Eggs, she uses the Russian word ‘Basbushka’ to describe grandmother and ‘Tikvah’ to name a cat in Tikvah Means Hope. Her grandparents had an influential role in her life, which accounts for the Jewish customs I read about, such as in The Trees of the Dancing Goats and Uncle Vova’s Tree. Figure one demonstrates how Polacco shares the history of the Jews. Figure one also illustrates another observation. Patricia Polacco values the elderly and many of her books have a young child or children paired with at least one older person to learn about and from. Mrs. Mack, Pink and Say, The Bee Tree, Babushka’s Doll, all previously mentioned books, and more have this character dynamic, but varies with each book. Most often, younger people learn from the older, but both are changed as a result. One book that illustrates this point is The Lemonade Club because both a young girl and her teacher struggle and beat different kind of cancer. Many of Patricia Polacco’s books tell of her life experiences. Some of those refer to Patricia Polacco being born and living in Lansing, Michigan, Coral Gables, Florida, Oakland, California, . Her relationships with her parents being divorced and her grandparents molded lots of her work. Polacco is proud of who she is and where she came from. She writes about her family, how eccentric they can be, but how she loves them so much. This is evidenced in books such as My Ol’ Man, My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, Some Birthday, and In Our Mothers’ House. One clever method Polacco utilizes is, as the author, not using her own name for her character. This took me awhile to figure out, that sometimes she would use her name, but more times than not, she did not. Figures two and three shows how proud she is unconditionally proud of her family. Polacco shares her life experiences in another way, too: often mixed with her illustrations are actual photos of her childhood. Figures two, four, and five demonstrate this. I personally enjoyed that attribute of Polacco’s and enriched my understanding of her as a person and author. The life lessons she learned in Mrs. Mack and Thank You, Mr. Falker really resonated with me because of her relatable experiences of not giving up! Some literary observations I noticed were making miracles come alive and exposing real issues through the eyes of a young person. Books that really show that anything can happen include, but are not limited to The Lemonade Club, John Philip Duck, I Can Hear the Sun, Emma Kate, Bun Bun Button, Tikvah Means Hope, and Welcome Comfort. These in particular

Stephen Scott Author/Illustrator Handout Patricia Polacco

evoke strong emotions and are great reads because they can make the reader become a believer. It worked with me. Especially with Pink and Say did Polacco expose real-life issues we have dealt with in the past, such as slavery during the Civil War. She dedicated that book in the form of a memoir to Pinkus Aylee, an African American who gave his life for his country. That and January’s Sparrow are very powerful books. However, I will note that January’s Sparrow while almost eighty pages, which even for a picture book, is a wearisome, yet worthwhile read. Polacco exposes struggle, and the miracle of perseverance with our country and with the Jews in some of her books. They are provocative and with her illustrations, make her messages very poignant. So what does all this mean? Patricia Polacco has looked deep within herself to share her tale and how she has left her mark on this planet. Her lessons are unique, yet relatable. Because her parents and older kin were from the Ukraine, Russia, and Ireland, the stories she heard come to life through writing her children’s books. She loved learning about different cultures, people, and life in general. Who would have though, as Polacco writes, that a girl having a tough time in school (due to dyslexia) would grow up as a successful author and illustrator. Interesting that, growing up, as a child, her family did not own a T.V. This means her Voice is an orchestra of all of the voices she has read, heard, lived (and re-lived), felt, and loved in the past, present, and even future. Her Voice in every book, is a beautiful blend of words and pictures, that paint a picture of humanity that everyone at any age can take something memorable away. Here are my top recommendations: 1. Pink and Say – This moving story is about two boys both from the North during the Civil War and how ruthless on the young and old. This might make you cry. 2. The Lemonade Club – Polacco shares how both a young child and a teacher progress through different cancer and how they never give up hope. This one will definitely make you cry, but in a good way. 3. Thank You, Mr. Falker – If you have ever struggled in school, this book is for you because Polacco shows just how influential a teacher can be in the life of a child. A very heart-warming story.

Stephen Scott Author/Illustrator Handout Patricia Polacco


Figure 1 – The Trees of the Dancing Goats

Figure 2 – My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother

Stephen Scott Author/Illustrator Handout Patricia Polacco

Figure 3 – My Ol’ Man

Figure 4 – My Ol’ Man

Stephen Scott Author/Illustrator Handout Patricia Polacco

Figure 5 – When Lightning Comes in a Jar The list of books I read by Patricia Polacco: Pink and Say The Lemonade Club Chicken Sunday I Can Hear the Sun January’s Sparrow The Trees of the Dancing Goats The Keeping Quilt Oh, Look! Mommies Say Shhh! For the Love of Autumn Picnic at Mudsock Meadow Kechenka’s Eggs My Ol’ Man In Enzo’s Splendid Gardens Babushka Baby Yaga My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother Luba and the Wren Welcome Comfort Bun Bun Button

Picnic at Mudsock Meadow Uncle Vova’s Tree Tikvah Means Hope When Lightning Comes in a Jar In Our Mother’s House Emma Kate Mrs. Katz and Tush G is for Goat Just Plain Fancy Mrs. Mack Some Birthday! Thundercake Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Dam Affair Someone for Mr. Sussman Babushka’s Doll The Bee Tree John Philip Duck

Stephen Scott Author/Illustrator Handout Patricia Polacco

Marc Brown Marc Brown is an author/illustrator best known for creating his famous character, an aardvark named Arthur Read, who went on to star in Emmy award-winning series Arthur as well as best-selling children’s books. Marc Brown was raised near Erie, Pennsylvania along with his three sisters. His Grandma Thora told him many stories while he was growing up, which then inspired Marc to write stories of his own. With the help of his Grandma Thora, Marc Brown attended the Cleveland Institute of Art majoring in graphic design. Marc Brown was influenced by many people in his life that led him to his career choice of becoming an author/illustrator. Most of the characters that are in Marc Brown’s books are often modeled after people he has met in his life. Many of the characters were inspired by people Marc knew in school while growing up in Pennsylvania. Many of the ideas in Marc Brown’s books come from his children, Tolon, Tucker, and Eliza. If you look carefully, you are able to find each of his children’s names hidden in the illustrations, as well has places Marc has visited in most of the Arthur books. Many suggestions that Marc receives for his stories also come from children all across the United States whether that be in a school, library, or bookstore! Brown has written and illustrated more than thirty Arthur and D.W. (Arthur’s little sister) books. He has also illustrated twelve other books with his wife, Laurie Krasny Brown who is also an author, illustrator, and psychologist.


Arthur in 1976

Arthur in 1979

Arthur in 1991

I was most fascinated by transition of Arthur’s nose through the years. In the first Arthur book, Arthur's Nose, Arthur had a long nose just like an actual aardvark. However, his design changed over the first half dozen books; and Arthur has many more human features as seen in 1991 illustration. You will always find Arthur wearing his trademark yellow sweater, blue jeans, and round glasses. Even today, Arthur is still that the third grade student in Mr. Ratburn’s class in Elmwood City.

Recommendation I would recommend any of the Arthur books by Marc Brown. They are great stories that contain situations that children face every day. Children are able to empathize with the characters in the book and relate to their own real life experiences. This series is often noted for dealing with issues that affect young children, such as the death of a pet, learning disabilities, and more recently cancer, Asperger syndrome, and Alzheimer's disease.

Audrey Wood Author and Illustrator Justine Tuckey LTC 8900 July 9, 2012

Audrey’s Inspiration


Many of the characters in Audrey Wood’s books are inspired by people or events in her own life. In the picture on the bottom right from King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub, the king on the left was modeled after her husband, Don. The page boy in the middle was modeled after her son, Bruce. One of Wood’s most famous books, The Napping House, was inspired by her own house and the trouble she had getting her son to take a nap. Audrey’s books are easy to distinguish from others. Since Audrey’s father worked for the Ringling Brother’s Circus, the movement she witnessed at the circus seems to have influenced the movement of her characters in her books. They are oftentimes using their bodies in strange ways, like in Silly Sally where she is “walking backwards, upside down” (see the picture at the top right). By using repetition and being lyrical in nature, Wood’s books tend to focus on the silly things people and animals can do. This is the overriding theme of her picture books.

Audrey Wood grew up in a family of artists. Her father worked in the circus painting murals. It was here that Audrey’s imagination began to run wild. She became friends with the circus people and enjoyed listening to their stories. This sparked her own love for story-telling. Audrey originally wanted to be an artist like her father when she grew up. However, when she was in fourth grade, she decided to become a children’s author. And that she did! Later, she married her husband, Don Wood, who co-wrote and illustrated many of her books. Then, they had their son, Bruce, who also illustrated some of Audrey’s children’s books. Audrey and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California. She is still writing amazing children’s books, including her latest book Blue Sky.

Audrey Wood Must-Reads: The Big Hungry Bear The Bunyans King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub The Napping House Piggies Rude Giants Silly Sally Bright and Early Thursday Evening Blue Sky Heckedy Peg

Fun Facts about Audrey:  

Audrey has written forty-six children’s books She won the ALA Notable children’s book distinction for The Napping House (1984) and a Caldecott Honor Medal for King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub (1986)  Audrey’s books can be used in early childhood classrooms, primary classrooms, and even upper elementary classrooms.

Gary Paulsen An author study by Sarah Wilson I chose Gary Paulsen because I had really come to like several of his books but did not know too much about him as an author. I was also impressed because I am not really an “outdoor, nature-loving” type of girl and so an author that can get me interested in books where that is the main topic is on the top of my list! I began my author study not really knowing anything about Paulsen and I was surprised that the first thing I found out was information about what a tough childhood he had. He was one of three children born to alcoholic parents and had a difficult time growing up. He was never a good student but he was always an avid reader. In fact, he credits a librarian he met when he made his many trips to the library to sparking his love for reading. He did not do well in school; his home life was unhappy and so at age 14 he ran away and joined a carnival! After that he had jobs that ranged from a ranch hand, truck driver, engineer, construction worker and even a sailor. He realized his love for writing and walked out of a job one day never to return in pursuit of his writing career. He traveled to California and worked as a magazine editor and after a year of that he moved to Minnesota where he settled in to write his first book. He then took an interest in dog racing and participated in the Idiatrod – twice. He had to give that up but he has said that it was from that experience that he came to discover an inner passion and when he could no longer race he turned that passion to his writing. It was then that Paulsen discovered that his overwhelming belief in young people is what drives him to write.

My favorite all time book by Paulsen is Hatchet, I also enjoyed Lawn Boy and Mudshark, but I have to say my favorite is Hatchet. I think I liked Hatchet best because it is a story of survival and is so entertaining to read. Hatchet carries a theme of finding your inner strength and perservering in times where you think you should give up. It is such a great message to young readers and is written in a way this isn’t “above their heads” and they can easily relate to the message even if they aren’t stranded as a result of a plane wreck. Mudshark is really just a quirky, funny and enjoyable book to read but if I had to pick out a theme it would be friendship and working together. The characters are easy and fun tor elate to and will have kids making

connections every time a new fiasco pops up! Lawn Boy is another fun read but also has an element of suspense and danger as Lawn Boy finds himself in the middle of kidnapping, criminals, and loan sharks! There are several underlying themes in this book that kids will be able to think about and relate to â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including honesty, loyalty to your friends, trustworthiness and thinking about the outcomes of your decisions. Although Paulsen focuses mainly wilderness and nature themed stories he also writes stories that are funny and focus on kids and their adventures in school, home, etc. His wide range of books will appeal to all audiences and interest levels and, I believe, readers of all ages.

Author Handouts 2012  

Selected children's literature authors and information