Posted in Children's Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Leo Lionni

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About Leo Lionni

Leo Lionni was born in Holland in 1910, and had a tremendously successful career in advertising in the United States before settling in Italy in 1959.

Lionni began his career as a children’s book author after he made up a story for his grandchildren using torn colored paper while riding on a train.  That story eventually became Little Blue and Little Yellow, and was the first of many treasures to come.

He wrote over 40 picture books for children, and recieved Caldecott Honor Awards for Inch By Inch, Swimmy, Frederick, and Alexander And The Wind-Up Mouse.

The messages in Leo Lionni’s books are simple and easy for children to understand.  They gently teach children about kindness, empathy, courage, and acceptance of others and yourself.

 

Some of Our Favorites

(descriptions via penguinrandomhouse.com)

9780679880844It’s Mine features three selfish frogs live together on an island in the middle of Rainbow Pond. All day long they bicker: It’s mine! It’s mine! It’s mine! But a bad storm and a big brown toad help them realize that sharing is much more fun. With characteristic clarity, simplicity and exuberance, Leo Lionni makes it possible for kids to see themselves through the antics of others who share our world.

 

 

9780385753586Swimmy
Deep in the sea lives a happy school of fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and team work—they can overcome any danger.Winner of the 1964 Caldecott Honor, this beloved tale of a brave little fish has been a favorite to generations of readers.

 

 

9780375836978A Color of His Own
Elephants are gray. Pigs are pink. Only the chameleon has no color of his own. He is purple like the heather, yellow like a lemon, even black and orange striped like a tiger! Then one day a chameleon has an idea to remain one color forever by staying on the greenest leaf he can find. But in the autumn, the leaf changes from green to yellow to red . . . and so does the chameleon. When another chameleon suggests they travel together, he learns that companionship is more important than having a color of his own. No matter where he goes with his new friend, they will always be alike.

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Posted in Children's Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Jan Brett

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Jan Brett lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts with her husband, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Buffy, her pet hedgehog. To find out more about Jan
Brett, visit her Web site. Meet some of her charming characters, and enjoy all her wonderful online and offline activities.

From Jan Brett

“When I was I child, I decided to be an illustrator. I spent many hours reading and drawing. I remember the special quiet of rainy days, when I felt that I could enter the pages of beautiful picture books. Now I try to re-create that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I’m drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real.

As a student at the Museum School in Boston, I spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. It was overwhelming to see room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain. I’m delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting.

Illustrating children’s books always seems like a big adventure because as an artist I must explore and give thought to my subject — an artist needs to know everything about their subject. I try to get a feel for the country and times my characters live in, and I get many ideas from traveling to different countries, where I research the architecture and costumes that appear in my work. After a trip to Norway, I was inspired to write three books! I’ve found that the details and the odd little things one notices help make a story convincing. In my mind, the story comes alive. And for me, the best part about telling a story is drawing the pictures.”