Monday, September 21, 2009

A number of authors whose books have delighted children for decades have birthdays this week so I thought it might be fun to visit their work.

H. G. Wells, born 9/21/1866, is perhaps best remembered for his classic science-fiction stories -- War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Dr. Moreau. However, Wells was a prolific writer penning short stories, essays and articles on politics and social issues. Together with Jules Verne, Wells is credited with creating a new genre of fiction that is still inspiring writers and readers today.

Taro Yashima born 9/21/1908, has earned three Caldecott Honor Medals for his books Crow Boy, Umbrella and Seashore Story.

You may not recognize the name Esphyr Slobodkina, born 9/22/1908, but I'm sure you'll remember her delightful book Caps for Sale. The book, first published in 1938, is still in print and has sold more than two million copies.

Wilson Rawls, born 9/24/1913, was inspired by his childhood in the Ozarks to write Where the Red Fern Grows. The story, an enduring favorite in both elementary and middle schools, relates the triumph and tragedy that faces young Billy as he attempts to train his beloved coonhounds Old Dan and Little Ann. The book was first published as a serial in the Saturday Evening Post in 1961. That publication was followed by a book the same year. The book became a movie in 1973 and a second film was released in 2003.

A Caldecott Medal for The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses is just one of the many honors earned by author and illustrator Paul Goble, born 9/27/1933. He turned his childhood interest in Native American culture into numerous Native American themed children's books that include: Buffalo Woman, Star Boy, and Dream Wolf.

Here are the answers to Friday's Famous Firsts --

1. "Mrs. Frisby, the head of a family of field mice, lived in an underground house in the vegetable garden of a framer named Mr. Fitzgibbon." Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien

2."In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf." The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Thanks to all of you who emailed answers and/or suggestions for future "Famous Firsts."

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