Oct 182020

James Brooks (born St. Louis, Missouri, 1906; died Brookhaven, New York, March 8, 1992) was an artist. He began his artistic career painting murals for the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration. Later his works became more abstract.

Joyce Hansen (born New York, New York, 1942) writes books for children. She has received four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards: in 1987 for Which Way Freedom, in 1995 for The Captive, in 1998 for I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, and in 1999 (with Gary McGowen) for Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence: The Story of New York’s African Burial Ground. Children can visit her website at: Joyce Hansen.

Ntozake Shange (born Trenton, New Jersey, 1948; died Bowie, Maryland, October 27, 2018) was a playwright, a poet, and an author. She wrote several books for children, including Ellington Was Not a Street and Coretta Scott.

Colin Thompson (born London, England, 1942) writes and illustrates fantasy books for children. His works include The Floods series and Looking for Atlantis. Children can visit his very interesting website, including some great illustrations, at: Colin Thompson.

Share Button
Oct 192020

Ed Emberley (born Malden, Massachusetts, 1931) is a children’s author and illustrator. He received the 1968 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations of Drummer Hoff.  He is also known for his books about drawing, including his Thumbprint series. Idea: Children could make some thumbprint pictures after looking at his books. They could also visit his very interesting website at: Ed Emberley.

Dan Gutman (born New York, New York, 1955) writes books for children. His works include The Homework Machine and Honus and Me. Children can visit his website at: Dan Gutman.

Annie Smith Peck (born Providence, Rhode Island, 1850; died New York, New York, July 18, 1935) was a famous mountain climber. In 1895 she scaled the Matterhorn. Later she climbed the Peruvian mountain Huascaran, setting a record for the highest peak ever climbed by man or woman in the western hemisphere. When she was 61, she climbed Mt. Coropuna in Peru. At the top of the 21,250 feet summit, she planted a banner stating “Votes for Women.” Idea: Children could find out when women did get the right to vote.

Philip Pullman (born Norwich, England, 1946) is a children’s author. He wrote The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. He received the very prestigious Astrid Lindgren Award in 2005. He was knighted in 2019. Children could visit his website at: Philip Pullman.

Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson (born Charles City County, Virginia, 1748; died Monticello, Virginia, September 6, 1782) was the wife of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States. She died before Jefferson was elected president. They had six children, but only two lived to adulthood. These two daughters often filled the role of hostess at the White House. Children could visit a website at: Martha Jefferson.

Share Button
Oct 202020

John Dewey (born Burlington, Vermont, 1859; died New York, New York, June 2, 1952) was an educator and a philosopher.

John R. Erickson (born Midland, Texas, 1942) is a cowboy and author. He has written about 70 books, and he is best-known for his Hank the Cowdog series. Children can visit his very interesting website: Hank the Dog.

Nikki Grimes (born New York, New York, 1950) writes books for children. She received a 1999 Coretta Scott King Honor Award for Jazmin’s Notebook and another Coretta Scott King Honor Award in 2003 for Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman. Her book Bronx Masquerade received the 2003 Coretta Scott King Medal. Children can visit her website at: Nikki Grimes.

Crockett Johnson

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Crockett Johnson (born David Liesk in New York, New York, 1906; died Norwalk, Connecticut, July 11, 1975) was a children’s author and illustrator. His works include the Barnaby series and  Harold and the Purple Crayon. Older children (and adults) could enjoy his many fascinating paintings about interesting math concepts at: Crockett Johnson.

Mickey Mantle (born Spavinaw, Oklahoma, 1931; died Dallas, Texas, August 13, 1995) was a baseball player. From 1951 through 1968, he played for the New York Yankees. He hit 536 homeruns in regular play. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Christopher Wren (born East Knoyle, Wiltshire, England, 1632; died London, England, February 25, 1723) was an architect, astronomer and mathematician. He designed St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. According to his son, Wren created over 50 inventions and theories.

Share Button
Oct 212020
Bow of Titanic

Bow of Titanic

RMS Titanic Maritime Memorial Act was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. The act preserved the Titanic shipwreck as an area of research but not a place of profit. No United States citizen can buy, sell, or own Titanic artifacts.

Share Button
Oct 212020

Janet Ahlberg (born England, 1944; died England, November 13, 1994) illustrated books for children. She worked with her husband, Allen Ahlberg. He wrote the books, and she illustrated them. She received the Kate Greenaway Medal twice: in 1979 for Each Peach Plum Pear, and in 1992 for The Jolly Christmas Postman.

Ann Cameron (born Rice Lake, Wisconsin, 1943) writes books for children. Her works include the Julian series and Spunky Tells All. Children can visit her website at: Ann Cameron.

Caroline Carmichael McIntosh Fillmore (born Morristown, New Jersey, 1813; died New York, New York, August 11, 1881) was the second wife of Millard Fillmore, the thirteenth President of the United States. However, she was not married to Fillmore while he was president.

Ursula K. Le Guin (born Berkeley, California, 1929; died Portland, Oregon, January 22, 2018) wrote fantasy books for young adults. She earned a 1972 Newbery Honor Award for The Tombs of Atuan, and she received the 2004 Margaret A. Edwards Award for her body of works. Young adults can visit a website dedicated to her at: Ursula K. Le Guin.

William A. Mitchell (born Raymond, Minnesota, 1911; died Stockton, California, July 26, 2004) received at least 70 patents while he worked for General Foods. He created instant Jell-O, Cool-Whip, Tang, powdered egg whites, and Pop Rocks.

Alfred Nobel

Alfred Bernhard Nobel (born Stockholm, Sweden, 1833; died San Remo, Italy, December 10, 1896) was a chemist. He invented dynamite and became wealthy. However, the invention of dynamite came with costs, including human lives. Nobel left his estate, about nine million dollars, to the Nobel Fund. The interest from the fund would reward individuals in six areas: physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics, and peace. The Nobel Prize is the most prestigious award in the world. Older children can read a biography at: Alfred Nobel.

Share Button
Oct 222020
Boats on the RIver

The Boats on the River

Marjorie Flack (born Long Island, New York, 1897; died Pigeon Cove, Massachusetts, August 29, 1958) wrote and illustrated books for children. Her works include The Story about Ping and the Angus series. She received a 1947 Caldecott Honor Award for The Boats on the River. Children can learn more at: Marjorie Flack.

Franz Liszt (born Raiding, Hungary, 1811, died Bayre, Bavaria, July 31, 1886) was a pianist and a composer. Probably his most celebrated works are his twenty Hungarian rhapsodies.

Robert Rauschenberg (born Port Arthur, Texas, 1925; died Captiva, Florida, May 12, 2008) was an artist. He often used a variety of materials on one canvas. Children can learn more at: Robert Rauschenberg.

King Arthur

Wyeth’s illustration in King Arthur

N. C. Wyeth (born Needham, Massachusetts, 1882; died near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, October, 1945) was an artist and illustrator. Children can view several of his works at: Wyeth Art. They could also learn more at: N. C. Wyeth.

Share Button
Oct 232020


Laurie Halse Anderson (born Potsdam. New York, 1961) writes books for children and young adults. Her book Speak received a 2000 Michael L. Printz Honor Award. Chains earned the 2009 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. She also received the Margaret A. Edwards Medal for lifetime achievement in 2009. Young adults can view her website at: Laurie Halse Anderson.

Nicolas Appert (born Chalons-Sur-Marne, France, 1752; died Massy, France, June 3, 1841) is known as the “Father of Canning.” He invented ways of sealing and preserving food in containers. Idea: Children could find out all the ways we preserve food today.

Michael Crichton (born Chicago, Illinois, 1942; died Los Angeles, California, November 4, 2008) was a writer. His works include The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park.

Gertrude EderleGertrude Caroline Ederle (born New York, New York, 1906; died Wyckoff, New Jersey, November 30, 2003) was a swimmer. At one point she held 29 national and world records. She won a gold medal and two bronze medals in the 1924 Olympics. In 1926 she became the first woman to successfully swim the English Channel. Although the channel is 21 miles wide, a storm actually forced her to swim 35 miles. She returned to New York to a ticker tape parade.

Pelé (born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Tres Coracoes, Brazil, 1940) is a retired soccer player.

Share Button
Oct 242020

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (born Newport, New Hampshire, 1788; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 30, 1879) was a writer and an editor. Her most famous poem is “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Children can read her very interesting The New Household Receipt-book at: Hale Cookbook.

Belva Lockwood

Belva Lockwood
Photograph Public Domain

Belva A. Bennett Lockwood (born Royalton, New York, 1830; died Washington, DC, May 19, 1917) was the first woman to argue before the Supreme Court. She championed women’s rights. In 1884 she became the first woman to be nominated for President of the United States. She served on many boards, including the Nobel Peace Prize nominating committee.

Barbara Robinson (born Portsmouth, Ohio, 1927; died Berwyn, Pennsylvania, July 9, 2013) wrote books for children. Her works include The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and The Best School Year Ever. Children could learn more at: Barbara Robinson.

Anton Van Leeuwenhoek (born Delft, Netherlands, 1632; died Delft, Netherlands, August 26, 1723) invented the microscope. He invented the microscope to examine cloth quality. However, he went on to observe bacteria. He called the organisms animalcules. He also studied blood of various organisms. Idea: Children could place a drop of water on a slide and observe the drop under the microscopes. There they could look at some animalcules.


Share Button
Oct 252020
Miss Hickory

Miss Hickory

Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (born Hoosick Falls, New York, 1875; died Concord, Massachusetts, December 23, 1961) wrote books for children. She received the 1947 Newbery Medal for Miss Hickory. Children can read some of her works (but not Miss Hickory) at: Project Gutenberg.

Admiral Byrd

Admiral Byrd

Richard Evelyn Byrd (born Winchester, Virginia, 1888; died Boston, Massachusetts, March 11, 1957) was an explorer. He made five treks to the Antarctic, and he was the first person to fly over both the North Pole and the South Pole.

Pablo Picasso (born Malaga, Spain, 1881; died Mougins, France, April 8, 1973) was an artist. He was probably one of the most important influences on the arts. He developed cubism, and he was a very prolific artist.  Children can view a number of his works at: Pablo Picasso.

Johann Strauss (born Vienna, Austria, 1825; died Vienna, Austria, June 3, 1899) was an Austrian composer. He was known as the “Waltz King” because he wrote almost 400 waltzes. He also composed marches, polkas and operettas.

Stephanie S. Tolan (born Canton, Ohio, 1942) has written at least 25 books for children. Surviving the Applewhites earned a 2003 Newbery Honor Award. She also wrote Save Halloween. Children can visit her website at: Stephanie Tolan.

Share Button
Oct 262020
Hillary Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton (born Park Ridge, Illinois, 1947) is a lawyer, politician, and former First Lady. She was Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. Before that she was a US senator from New York from 2001 to 2009. She is the wife of William Clinton, forty-second president of the United States. She graduated from Wellesley College and Yale Law School. Older children could visit a website at: Hillary Clinton.

Mahalia Jackson (born New Orleans, Louisiana, 1911; died Evergreen Park, Illinois, January 27, 1972) was a gospel singer. Eight of her records sold more than one million copies each. She never sang where liquor was served.

Steven Kellogg (born Norwalk, Connecticut, 1941) writes and illustrates books for children.  He illustrated among other works The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash, published in 1980. He has written and illustrated over 40 books, including the Pinkerton series. Children could visit his website at: Steven Kellogg.

Charles Pinckney (born Charleston, South Carolina, 1757; died Charleston, South Carolina, October 29, 1824) represented South Carolina at the Constitutional Convention. During the Revolutionary War, he was captured and detained on a British prison ship. He was South Carolina’s governor from 1789 to 1792 and from 1796 to 1798. He served in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Eric Rohmann (born Riverside, Illinois, 1957) writes and illustrates books for children. He received a 1995 Caldecott Honor Award for Time Flies and the 2003 Caldecott Medal for My Friend Rabbit. Children can visit his website at: Eric Rohmann.

Share Button