Dec 302017
 

Rudyard Kipling (born Bombay, India, 1865; died London, England, January 18, 1936) was a poet, novelist, and short story writer. He wrote more than three hundred stories, and he is best known for his works about the India he loved. Among his most famous works are The Jungle Book and Just So Stories. He won the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature. Idea: Children could change one of his stories into a play, and then they could perform it. Children can read his works at: Project Gutenberg

Mercer Mayer (born Little Rock, Arkansas, 1943) is a children’s author and illustrator. He has written and/or illustrated more than 300 books. He is known for his many books about his Little Critter character. However, he has illustrated works by other authors, including John D. Fitzgerald’s The Great Brain Series. Children could visit his SUPER website, including videos, activities, games, and coloring sheets, at: Little Critter

Jane O’Connor (born New York, New York, 1947) is an editor and a children’s author. She is most famous for writing the Fancy Nancy books. She also writes the Nina, Nina, Ballerina books and a host of well-written nonfiction books. Children can visit the AMAZING Fancy Nancy website at: Jane O’Connor

Jane Langton (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1922) writes The Fledglingand illustrates books for children. She is well-known for her Hall Family Chronicles and her Homer Kelly Mysteries. The Fledgling, a book from the Hall Family Chronicles, was a 1981 Newbery Honor Book.

Share Button
Dec 312017
 

Margery Cuyler (born Princeton, New Jersey, 1948) writes books for children. Her works include That’s Good! That’s Bad! and The Little Dump Truck. Children can visit her website at: Margery Cuyler.

George Catlett Marshall

George Catlett Marshall (born Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 1880; died Washington, DC, October 16, 1959) was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during World War II. Following the war, he was the country’s secretary of state. He was the designer of the Marshall Plan, a way to help get war-torn Europe back on its feet. He received the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in carrying out the Marshall Plan. He was the only United States general to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Henri-Emile-Benoit Matisse (born Le Cateau, Picardy, France, 1869; died Nice, France, November 3, 1954) was an artist. He was a part of the fauve movement. He did not attempt to paint in a realistic style. He used bright colors and bold strokes. Children could visit a website at: http://www.henri-matisse.net/. They could see some of his work, and they could try to imitate his style.

Cynthia Leitich Smith (born Kansas City, Missouri, 1967) writes books for children. Her writing concentrates on the experiences of Native Americans because she was born into the Muskogee Creek Nation. Her works include Jingle Dancer and Blessed. Children can learn more at: Cynthia Leitich Smith.

Share Button
Jan 012018
 

J. Edgar Hoover (born Washington, DC, 1895; died Washington, DC, May 2, 1972) was the director of the FBI from 1924 to 1972.

Paul Revere

Paul Revere (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1735; died Boston, Massachusetts, May 10, 1818) became famous for warning the people of Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, that the British were arriving for military purposes. In addition to being a patriot, Revere was a distinguished silversmith and metalworker. He also made tools for fine purposes, such as surgical instruments. Idea: Children could read Jean Fritz’s And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? Children could also read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s very famous poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride” at: http://poetry.eserver.org/paul-revere.html

Betsy Ross Flag

Betsy Ross (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1752; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 30, 1836) may have made the first American flag. Her grandson, in 1870, first proposed that Washington came to her with specifications for the flag. There is little evidence to show she did make the first flag, but no one has found facts that someone else sewed the first flag. Children could read Betsy Ross (Profiles in American History) by Susan Sales Harkins and William H. Harkins. Idea: Children could look at a copy of our first flag. They could research the significance of the red, white, and blue colors and the stars and stripes.

J. D. Salinger (born Jerome David Salinger in New York, New York, 1919; died Cornish, New Hampshire, January 27, 2010) was an author. One of his most famous books is Catcher in the Rye.

“Mad” Anthony Wayne (born Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, 1745; died Fort Presque Isle, Pennsylvania, December 15, 1796) was a hero during the Revolutionary War and continued to serve in the army after the war.

Share Button
Jan 022018
 

Isaac Asimov (born Petrovichi, Russia, 1920; died New York, New York, April 6, 1992) wrote more than 500 books. He was best known for his science fiction, but he also wrote about history and the world in general. One of his most well-known books is I, Robot. Idea: Children could find out how science fiction differs from other types of fiction. Then they could read a portion of a work by Isaac Asimov. Children and young adults can learn more at: Isaac Asimov.

Nathaniel Bacon (born Suffolk, England, 1647; died Virginia Colony, October 26, 1676) led Bacon’s Rebellion. The Virginia colonists were angry with the governor, Sir William Berkeley. They felt he was not properly protecting them from Indians. Nathaniel Bacon organized a group of people, and on September 19, 1676, they burned Jamestown in protest. Berkeley fled to a nearby ship. Bacon died unexpectedly of a fever, and the rebellion fell apart.

Crosby Bonsall (born Long Island, New York, 1921; died Boston, Massachusetts, January 10, 1995) wrote and illustrated more than 40 books for children. Her books include The Case of the Dumb Bells. Children could learn more about her at: Crosby Bonsall.

Helen TaftHelen Herron Taft (born Cincinnati, Ohio, 1861; died Washington, DC, May 22, 1943) was the wife of William Howard Taft, twenty-seventh President of the United States. Nicknamed “Nellie,” she and her husband lived in the Philippines, Japan, Cuba, Panama, and Italy before he became president. Perhaps she is best known as the First Lady who oversaw the planting of the Japanese cherry trees along Independence Avenue. After Taft left the White House, he became a Supreme Court Justice, so she became the wife of a Supreme Court Justice. Children could visit a website at: Helen Herron Taft. Idea: Children could trace her travels on a map.

Share Button
Jan 032018
 

Alma Flor Ada (born Camaguey, Cuba, 1938) has written over 200 books for children. Many of her works are bilingual. One of her books is Three Golden Oranges. She received the 2000 Pura Bel­pré Award for Under the Royal Palms. Children can visit her website at: Alma Flor Ada

Cicero (born Rome, 106 BC; died Rome 43 BC) was a writer, politician, and philosopher. Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg

Grace Coolidge

Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge (born Burlington, Vermont, 1879; died Northampton, Massachusetts, died July 8, 1957) was the wife of Calvin Coolidge, thirtieth president of the United States. The outgoing Grace Goodhue taught at the Clarke School for the Deaf, located in Massachusetts before she married the shy Coolidge. Children could visit a website at: Grace Coolidge.

Carolyn Haywood (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1898; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 11, 1990) wrote and/or illustrated at least 47 children’s books. She is best known for her Betsy and Eddie books. Children can learn more at: Carolyn Haywood

Lucretia Coffin Mott

Lucretia Coffin Mott (born Nantucket, Massachusetts, 1793; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 11, 1880) was an abolitionist and leader of the women’s rights movement. Children could read more about her at: Lucretia Coffin Mott

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (born Bloemfontein, South Africa, 1892; died Bournemouth, England, September 2, 1973) wrote The Hobbitt and The Lord of the Rings. Idea: Read to the children a passage from one of Tolkien’s books. Children can learn more at: Tolkien.

Share Button
Jan 042018
 

Louis Braille (born Coupvray, France, 1809; died March 28, 1852) invented a raised type of writing that can felt and read by the blind. He was accidentally blinded at age three. When he was ten, he attended the National Institute for the Blind in Paris. He became an accomplished musician and served as a church organist. He also became a teacher at the Institute. He modified a military code system to develop Braille. Children can learn all about Louis Braille and the Braille system by visiting a site designed for children: http://www.braillebug.org/

Jacob Grimm (born Hanau, Germany, 1785; died Berlin, Germany, September 20, 1863) wrote, with his brother, Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Children can read and listen to versions of their fairy tales at: Project Gutenberg

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (born Anderson, Indiana, 1933) is a children’s author. She has written over 130 books and at least 2000 articles. One of her most famous books is Shiloh, which received the 1991 Newbery Award. She is also famous for her Alice series. Children can learn more about the Alice series at: http://alicemckinley.wordpress.com/

Tom Thumb (born Charles Sherwood Stratton in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1838; died Middleborough, Massachusetts, July 15, 1883) grew to a height of 40 inches. He weighed 70 pounds. P. T. Barnum hired him to be a part of his museum and circus.

Share Button
Jan 052018
 

Alvin Ailey (born Rogers, Texas, 1931; died New York, New York, December 1, 1989) was a choreographer and dancer. He created the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and he strove to increase the importance of African Americans in dance. Idea: Children could learn more about different types of dancing.

Lynne Cherry (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1952) is a children’s author and illustrator. She has over 30 books to her credit. Her books include The Great Kapok Tree and A River Ran Wild. Children could visit her website at: Lynne Cherry

Stephen Decatur (born Sinepuxent, Maryland, 1779; died Bladenburg, Maryland, March 22, 1820) was a naval officer. He is famous for saying, “Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.” He was killed in a duel with Commodore James Barron.

Kate Feiffer (born New York, New York, 1964) has written eleven books for children. Her father, Jules Feiffer, has illustrated at least four of the eleven books. Her books include Double Pink and Signed by Zelda. Children can check out her website at: Kate Feiffer

Zebulon Pike

Zebulon Pike

Zebulon Pike (born Lamberton, New Jersey, 1779; died near Toronto, Canada, 1813) was an explorer. In 1805 he investigated the source of the Mississippi River. In 1806 he became intrigued with a large mountain in Colorado. Thinking the mountain was close, he and his party started walking toward it. They were fooled by the mountain’s height and its true distance from them. That mountain was named Pike’s Peak. Later he signed up to fight in the War of 1812. He was killed in battle. Idea: Pike’s Peak hosts a very important road race every year. Create a “road race” of questions regarding mountains. Each time a student answers a question correctly, he/she speeds more up the mountain. Children could also visit: http://www.zebulonpike.org/. The website provides maps of his explorations and information about him.

Share Button
Jan 062018
 
Joan of Arc - Poster

Joan of Arc – War Savings Stamps Poster

Joan of Arc (born Domremy, France, 1412; died Rouen, France, May 30, 1431) led French troops against the British. Declaring she had religious visions, she persuaded Charles VII to give her an army. She was successful for quite some time. She was captured by the British. She was tried for heresy and burned at the stake in 1431. Idea: Children could research her battles and plot them on a map. They could also learn more about her at: Joan of Arc

Vera Cleaver (born Virgin, South Dakota, 1919) writes books for children. She and her husband Bill Cleaver wrote about sixteen books, including Where the Lilies Bloom and I Would Rather Be a Turnip. Children can learn more at: Vera Cleaver

Sherlock Holmes (born 1854) was a fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. You can read many of the Sherlock Holmes stories at: Project Gutenberg

Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg (born Galesburg, Illinois, 1878; died Flat Rock, North Carolina, July 22, 1967) was a poet, writer, and historian. His free verse poetry depends on strong imagery. One of his books of poetry is Corn Huskers, written in 1918. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for his biographies of Abraham Lincoln. Children could read some of his poetry at: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/28. They could also take a virtual trip of Connemara, his home in North Carolina for the last 22 years of his life: http://www.nps.gov/carl/index.htm.

Jedediah Strong Smith (born Jericho, New York, 1799; died on the Santa Fe Trail, Kansas, May 27, 1831) was an American explorer. He claimed to be the first American to arrive in California. Children could read a biography, Jedediah Smith (Watts Library) by Sharlene Nelson and Ted Nelson.

Wendelin Van Draanen (born Chicago, Illinois, 1965) is a children’s author. She has written the Sammy Keys series, the Shredderman series, and the Gecko and Sticky series. Her first Sammy Keys book, Sammy Keys and the Hotel Thief, was awarded the 1999 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Writing. Children could visit her website at: Wendelin Van Draanen

Share Button
Jan 072018
 

Kay Chorao (born Ann McKay Sproat in Elkhart, Indiana, 1936) writes and illustrates books for children. In addition to writing and illustrating her own books, she has illustrated books for other authors, including Jane Yolen, Judith Viorst, and Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. Chorao’s books include Cathedral Mouse and Here Comes Kate.

Eleanor Clymer (born New York, New York, 1906; died Haverford, Pennsylvania, March 31, 2001) wrote at least 58 children’s books. She is best known for The Trolley Car Family and The Tiny Little House. Children can learn more at: Eleanor Clymer

Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore (born Cayuga County, New York, 1800; died Buffalo, New York, March 8, 1874) was the thirteenth president (1850-1853) of the United States. He succeeded Zachary Taylor in 1850 when the latter died. Prior to being president, he had been a congressman for four terms. His party did not nominate him for the 1852 presidential contest. He campaigned during the 1856 race for the “Know-Nothing Party,” but he lost. Children could visit a website at: Millard Fillmore.

Minfong Ho (born Yangon, Myanmar, 1951) writes books, usually about life in Asia, for children. Her book Hush! A Thai Lullaby, illustrated by Holly Meade, received a 1997 Caldecott Honor Award.

Zora Neale Hurston (born Notasulga, Alabama, 1891; died Fort Pierce, Florida, January 28, 1960) was a writer. Perhaps her most famous work is Their Eyes Were Watching God. Older readers could visit a website devoted to her at: Zora Neale Hurston

Jacques Etienne Montgolfier (born Vidalon-lez Annonay, Ardeche, France, 1745; died Serrieres, France, August 2, 1799) was an inventor and balloonist. He and his brother, Joseph Michael, experimented with fabric balloons and smoke. Eventually they conducted the first hot air balloon flight. Idea: children could conduct experiments with balloons. Consider having balloon races.

Share Button
Jan 082018
 

Lee J. Ames (born New York, New York, 1921; died Huntington, New York, June 3, 2011) was an artist and an illustrator. He illustrated and/or wrote about 180 books. Famous for his Draw 50…books, he also illustrated books written by many authors, including Isaac Asimov, Alvin Silverstein, and Herbert Spencer Zim.

Floyd Cooper (born Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1956) is an author and an illustrator. He received the 2009 Coretta Scott King Medal for illustrating The Blacker the Berry. He has also earned  Coretta Scott King Honor Awards for illustrating Meet Danitra Brown by Nikki Grimes, Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea by Joyce Carol Thomas, and I Have Heard of a Land also by Joyce Carol Thomas.

Judith Bloom Fradin (born Chicago, Illinois, 1945) writes nonfiction books for children. Her books include The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine and Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy. She co-wrote many books with her husband, Dennis Brindel Fradin. He passed away not long ago. I hope she continues to write books that children so desperately need.

Stephen Hawking (born Oxford, United Kingdom, 1942; died Cambridge, United Kingdom, March 14, 2018) was a theoretical physicist studying concepts on relativity and black holes. One of his most famous books is A Brief History of Time. He wrote with his daughter, Lucy Hawking, three books for children, George and the Big Bang, George’s Secret Key to the Universe, and George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt. Children can read more about him at his website: http://www.hawking.org.uk/

Stephen Manes (born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1949) writes books for children. A former writer on computers and technology, Manes has written over 30 books for children. His books include How to Be a Perfect Person in Three Days and Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear. Older children can read more about him at: Stephen Manes

Elvis Presley Meets Richard Nxon

Elvis Presley Meets Richard Nxon

Elvis Presley (born Tupelo, Mississippi, 1935; died Memphis, Tennessee, August 16, 1977) was a rock and roll star and actor. His works include Jailhouse Rock and Heartbreak Hotel. He also acted in 27 movies. Idea: Have an Elvis impersonation event.

Elisabetta Sirani (born Bologna, Italy, 1638; died Bologna, Italy, August 28, 1665) was one of a handful of women painters of the time. She painted almost two hundred works of art and established a painting school for women. Children can view two of her works at: http://womeninthearts.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/artist-spotlight-elisabetta-sirani/

Share Button