Tuesday, June 14, 2011

14th June Janice May Udry (1928) Bruce Degen (1945) Tom Lichtenheld

Three birthdays that I didn't know about last year, so these need to be added to the list with Judith Kerr and Laurence Yep. I know American author, Janice May Udry only because of A Tree is Nice and I must say I think of Marc Simont before I think of her, but nevertheless she needs to be remembered as this book is definitely a classic. It was her first book and it won the Caldecott Medal in 1957!

Bruce Degen is much more prolific and thus well-known, as he the illustrator of Joanna Cole's Magic School Bus series as well as many other books such as Jamberry. You can watch him on a Reading Rockets video.

And thirdly, another American illustrator, Tom Lichtenheld who has become popular in my library recently because of Duck! Rabbit! (written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal), Shark vs Train (written by Chris Barton) and Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site (written by Sherri Duskey Rinker).

Sunday, June 12, 2011

11th June Satoshi Kitamura (1956)

Satoshi Kitamura was born in Japan, resided in England for over twenty years and then returned to Japan in 2009. He is a prolific and well-regarded illustrator and writer of children's books who has a creative way with perspective and seems to enjoy crowding his books with sheep and cats. He won the Mother Goose award for most exciting newcomer to British illustration in 1983 for his illustrations for Hiawyn Oram's Angry Arthur. His Millie's Marvellous Hat was on the shortlist for the Kate Greenaway Medal last year. He has collaborated with John Agard, Roger McGough and Colin McNaughton as well as Hiawyn Oram.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

8th June Judy Sierra (1945) Penny Dale (1954) Best Friend's Day

I wrote about American author Judy Sierra's birthday last year, but this week I purchased Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf! for a unit of work on 'wolves and fairytales' which I have planned for a Year 1 enrichment program and I was so excited by it that I had to write about Judy's birthday again so I could tell the world what a good book it is! B.B.Wolf visits the library (any book with a library in it is worth reading...) and resists all temptation to eat anything. It is such a giggle. Now I need to order Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf! which is also illustrated by J.Otto Seibold and which I didn't know about till now when I looked at Judy's website.

It is also British author illustrator Penny Dale's birthday. She is well known to the children in my library because of Ten in the Bed and Ten Out of Bed which are on the Premier's Reading Challenge list. She has several other books though which are just as worth reading and her most recent one, Dinosaur Dig is sure to be a hit because it has preschool boys' three favourite things, dinosaurs, diggers and building sites.

And thirdly, it is Best Friend's Day, a good day to search out all those best friends in literature such as:
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
George and Martha by James Marshall
Houndsley and Catina by James Howe and Marie-Louise Gay
Dog and Bear by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Gossie and Gertie by Olivier Dunrea
Benny and Penny by Geoffrey Hayes
Bear and Chook by Lisa Shanahan and Emma Quay
Cat and Fish by Joan Grant and Neil Curtis

Sunday, June 5, 2011

5th June Caroline Binch (1947) World Environment Day

Caroline Binch is a British author illustrator who is probably best known in my library because of her illustrations for Mary Hoffman's series of books about Grace, a young girl whose mother and grandmother are from Trinidad. She loves stories and has a flair for dramatic play. Caroline likes to illustrate children from Carribean and African families, thus giving young readers an insight into the lives of children who look different from themselves. On her website Caroline explains why when she says that she gets 'inspiration from the people and places around her, and hopes that her stories and pictures will stop and make people think of the world around them (and to see the positives in life instead of the negatives).'

There are always so many books that could be recommended for World Environment Day, but two recent additions to the library that are ideal are from a new series about Maggie and Rose, by Maggie Bolger. Maggie and Rose are two friends who feature with Oscar and Bentley as well, in hours of creative environmental fun. In This Book is Totally Rubbish the children use recycled objects to create art and in This Book Totally Makes Things Grow they grow things and discover there is more to soil than mud pies.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

4th June Joyce Sidman (1956)

I've just finished writing the library newsletter for this term and it had poetry as its focus. Currently one of my favourite poets is Joyce Sidman so I was very pleased to learn that today was her birthday. I really like the way she combines poetry with science, and always seems to get the balance right. I don't know whether she has any influence over who illustrates her books, but if she doesn't, she has been very fortunate. Her books are inspiring, text-wise and illustration-wise. The three books we have in our library, Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors ; Red Sings From Treetops: a Year in Colours and Night Emperor and Other Poems of the Night are just perfect! Perfect too for celebrating World Environment Day tomorrow!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

2nd June Michael Emberley (1960)

Happy birthday to Michael Emberley, an American illustrator who lives in Ireland with his Irish wife. He is the son of Ed Emberley, the sister of Rebecca Emberley and the husband of Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick. He is literally surrounded by other illustrators and no doubt influenced by them, but he has many books to his credit. He illustrates Mary Ann Hoberman's wonderful series, for two readers, You Read to Me, I'll Read to You. He is responsible for the illustrations in many of Robie H. Harris' books, my favourite being Happy Birth Day!, the perfect gift for a new baby, and it's sequel Hi New Baby! More recently he illustrated Barbara Bottner's Miss Brooks Loves Books. This book has won read-aloud awards and is particularly good for talking to children about reading tastes and how not every reader needs to like the same books. And as a teacher who is trying to convince children that books are terrific, I just love this picture from Michael's website of the exultant teacher and the child dressed as Shrek.