Jul 132019

Marcia Brown (born Rochester, New York, 1918; died Laguna Hills, California, April 28, 2015) was an author and illustrator. She created more than 30 books. She received three Caldecott Medals: Cinderella in 1955; Once a Mouse in 1962; and Shadow in 1983. She has also earned six Caldecott Honor Awards: Stone Soup, an Old Tale in 1948; Henry, Fisherman, a Tale of the Virgin Islands in 1950; Dick Whittington and His Cat in 1951; Skipper John’s Cook in 1952; Puss in Boots in 1953; and The Steadfast Tin Soldier in 1954. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award was presented to her in 1992 for her body of works. Children can learn more at: Marcia Brown.

Ashley Bryan (born New York, New York, 1923) is a picture book author and illustrator. He has earned two Coretta Scott King Medals for illustration: in 1981 for Beat the Story Drum, Pum Pum and in 2008 for Let It Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals. He has also earned seven Coretta Scott King Honor Awards: in 1983 for I’m Going to Sing: Black American Spirituals; in 1988 for What a Morning! The Christmas Story in Black Spirituals; in 1992 for All Night, All Day: A Child’s First Book of African American Spirituals; in 1998 for Ashley Bryan’s ABC of African American Poetry; in 2004 for Beautiful Blackbird; and in 1987 he received both the story award and the illustration award for Lion and the Ostrich Chicks and Other African Folk Tales. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award was presented to him in 2009 for his body of works. In 2017 he earned a Newbery Honor Award for Freedom Over Me: Eleven slaves. Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashely Bryan.

Michael Dooling (born 1958) has written four books and has illustrated 60 books. His books include George Washington’s Army and Me and Young Thomas Edison. Children can visit his website at: Michael Dooling.

Anna Grossnickle Hines (born Cincinnati, Ohio, 1946) has written and/or illustrated at least 50 books for children. Her works include William’s Turn and My Pat-a-Cake Grandma. Children can visit her website at: http://www.aghines.com/.

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Jul 142019

Gerald Ford

Gerald Rudolph Ford (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr., in Omaha, Nebraska, 1913; died Rancho Mirage, California, December 26, 2006) was the 38th president (1974-1977) of the United States. Ford was in the navy during World War II and was awarded ten battle stars. He was a congressman for thirteen terms. He was the only president not elected to either the presidency or the vice presidency. He was Speaker of the House when Nixon resigned from office. Because the vice president had resigned earlier, Ford became president. Children could visit a website at: Gerald Ford. Idea: Children could research the presidential line of succession.

Woody Guthrie (born Woodrow Wilson Guthrie in Okemah, Oklahoma, 1912; died New York, New York, October 3, 1967) was a singer and a songwriter. One of his most famous works is “This Land Is Your Land.”

Laura Joffe Numeroff (born Brooklyn, New York, 1953) is an author and illustrator. She wrote If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and its many variations.

Peggy Parish (born Manning, South Carolina, 1927; died Manning, South Carolina, November 19, 1988) was an author. She is known for her Amelia Bedelia series. Her nephew Herman Parish continues to write Amelia Bedelia books. Children could learn more at: http://www.ameliabedeliabooks.com/.

Brian Selznick (born East Brunswick Township, New Jersey, 1966) writes and illustrates books for children. He earned the 2008 Caldecott Medal for The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Other books include Wonderstruck and The Houdini Box. Children can visit his website at: Brian Selznick.

Isaac Bashevis Singer (born Radymin, Poland, 1904; died Surfside, Florida, July 24, 1991) was a writer. He immigrated to the United States in 1935. He wrote in Yiddish, and he received the 1978 Nobel Prize for literature. Idea: Children could read some of the parts of Stories for Children, published in 1934.

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Jul 152019

Thomas Bulfinch (born Newton, Massachusetts, 1798; died Boston, Massachusetts, May 27, 1867) was a mythologist. He wrote Bulfinch’s Mythology. Idea: Children could create some plays about some of the myths after they read Bulfinch’s Mythology at: Project Gutenberg.

Walter D. Edmonds (born Boonville, New York, 1903; died Concord, Massachusetts, January 24, 1998) wrote books for both children and adults. He received the 1942 Newbery Medal for The Matchlock Gun.

Marcia Thornton Jones (born Joliet, Illinois, 1958) has written over 135 books for children. Her books include The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series and Ratfink. Children can visit her website, particularly the Activities and Fun Stuff link, at: Marcia T. Jones.

Clement Clarke Moore (born New York, New York, 1779; died Newport, Rhode Island, July 10, 1863) wrote A Visit from Saint Nicholas. It was published without his permission in a newspaper on December 23, 1823. Idea: Children could celebrate a little Christmas in July and read A Visit from Saint Nicholas at: Project Gutenberg.

Rembrandt Van Rijn (born Leiden, Netherlands, 1606; died Amsterdam, Netherlands, October 4, 1669) was a painter. He was a prolific artist. About 600 paintings and 1,400 drawings have survived. He created about 100 self-portraits, giving us a great deal of information about himself. Children could visit a website at: Rembrandt Van Rijn.

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Jul 162019

Arnold Adoff (born Bronx, New York, 1935) has written more than 30 books for children. His work includes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. His works include The Return of Rex and Ethel and Hard to Be Six.

Roald Amundsen (born near Oslo, Norway, 1872; died near the Arctic, June 18, 1928) was an explorer. He was the first person to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through the Northwest Passage. He traveled to the South Pole in 1911 and soared over the North Pole in a dirigible in 1926. He was attempting to rescue another Arctic expedition when his plane and its crew went down.

Arthur Bowie Chrisman (born Clarke County Virginia, 1889; died Shirley, Arkansas, February, 1953) was a writer. He received the 1926 Newbery Medal for Shen of the Sea: Chinese Stories for Children.

Richard Egielski (born New York, New York, 1952) has written and/or illustrated more than 50 books for children. He received the 1987 Caldecott Medal for Hey, Al. Children could visit his website at: Richard Egielski.

Shirley Hughes (born West Kirby, England, 1927) has written more than 50 books and illustrated more than 200 books. She earned the 1977 and 2003 Kate Greenaway Medals. Her works include the Alfie books and Dogger. Children could learn more at: Shirley Hughes.

Joshua Reynolds (born Plympton, Devon, England, 1723; died London, England, February 23, 1792) was an artist. He was known primarily for his portraits of English nobility. Children can view over 600 of his works at: Joshua Reynolds.

Ida B. Wells (born HollySprings, Mississippi, 1862; died Chicago, Illinois, March 25, 1931) was a journalist. The daughter of slaves, she fought against lynchings. Children could visit a website at: Ida B. Wells.

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Jul 172019

John Jacob Aster (born Waldorf, Germany, 1763; died 1848) moved to New York City when he was twenty years old. He made quite a bit of money from a fur trading business. He invested most of his money in real estate in Manhattan Island and became very wealthy.

Chris Crutcher (born Dayton, Ohio, 1946) writes books for young adults. His books include Ironman and Whale Talk. He received the Margaret Edwards Award in 2000 for his body of work. Children could visit his website at: Chris Crutcher.

Elbridge Gerry (born Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1744; died Washington, DC, November 23, 1814) signed the Declaration of Independence. He represented Massachusetts. He was also the fifth vice president of the United States when he died. His wife was the last surviving wife of a signer to die. Idea: The term gerrymandering relates to some of Gerry’s activities. Children could find out what the term means.

Karla Kuskin (born New York, New York, 1932; died Seattle, Washington, August 20, 2009) wrote and illustrated over 40 books for children. Her works include City Dog and Soap Soup. Children can visit a website about her at: Karla Kuskin.

Rosa Jackson Lumpkin (born Georgia, 1876; died 1991) lived to be 115 years old.

Jacqueline Rogers (born Westport, Connecticut, 1958) writes and illustrates books for children. Her works include Best Friends Sleep Over and Kindergarten ABC. She has illustrated books by many other authors, including Beverly Cleary, Jean Marzollo, and Betsy Byars. Children could visit her website at: Jacqueline Rogers.

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Jul 182019

Felicia Bond (born Yokohama, Japan, 1954) is a writer and illustrator of books for children. She has illustrated If You Give… series.  Her written works include Tumble Bumble and Poinsettia and her Family. Children could visit an interesting website at Mouse.

John Glenn

John Glenn

John Glenn (born Cambridge, Ohio, 1921; died Columbus, Ohio, December 8, 2016) in 1962 was the first American astronaut to circle the earth. He traveled into space again in 1998 as a payload specialist on a shuttle mission. He was also a senator from Ohio from 1974 to 1999.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (born Mvezo, South Africa, 1918; died Johannesburg, South Africa, December 5, 2013) was the son of a tribal chief. He became a lawyer and then joined the African National Congress. He was incarcerated for 28 years because he spoke out against apartheid. He was released in 1990, and he served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He received the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.

Jerry Stanley (born Highland Park, Michigan, 1941) writes books for children. His works include Children of the Dustbowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp and Cowboys and Longhorns.

Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko (born Zimma, Russia, 1933; died Tulsa, Oklahoma, April 1, 2017) was a poet and novelist.

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Jul 192019

Samuel Colt (born Hartford, Connecticut, 1814; died Hartford, Connecticut, January 10, 1862) perfected and manufactured the first repeating pistol. He was one of the first manufacturers to use an assembly line. His company, after his death, produced the six-shooters popular in the Old West.

Edgar Degas (born Paris, France, 1834; died Paris, France, September 26, 1917) was an Impressionist painter. Children could view some of his works at: Edgar Degas.

Marilyn Kaye (born New Britain, Connecticut, 1949) writes science fiction books for young adults. Her books include the Gifted series and the Replica series.

Garth Nix (born Melbourne, Australia, 1963) writes fantasy books for young adults. His work includes The Old Kingdom series and The Seventh Tower series. Children can learn more at: Garth Nix.

Eve Merriam (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1916; died New York, New York, April 11, 1992) wrote plays, poetry, fiction and nonfiction for a wide range of ages. She published at least 88 books, including Ten Rosy Roses and Twelve Ways to Get to Eleven. Children can learn more at: Eve Merriam.

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (born Bronx, New York, 1921; died Bronx, New York, May 31, 2011) was a medical physicist. She, together with two colleagues, developed the radioimmunassay technique, a way to measure many types of medical conditions using only a small amount of blood. She received the 1977 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology.

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Jul 202019

Alexander the Great (born Pella, Greece, July 20/21, 356 BC; died Babylon, Iraq, June 10/11, 323 BC) established one of the largest kingdoms in ancient times. He was never defeated in battle, and he possessed great military skills. Children could read Alexander the Great by Demi.

Paulette Bourgeois (born Toronto, Canada, 1951) writes books for children. She created Franklin the Turtle. Children can visit her website at: Paulette Bourgeois.

Hillary (left) and Norgay

Hillary (left) and Norgay

Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (born Auckland, New Zealand, 1919; died Auckland, New Zealand, January 11, 2008) was an explorer. He and Tenzing Norgay on May 29, 1953, became the first people to climb Mount Everest. Idea: Children could determine what gear is necessary for such climbs.

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Jul 212019

Frances Folsom Cleveland

Frances Folsom Cleveland (born Buffalo, New York, 1864; died Baltimore, Maryland, October 29, 1947) was the wife of Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. She married him during his first term in office. Their daughter was named Ruth; the candy bar Baby Ruth was named after her. Cleveland died in 1908. The former First Lady married Thomas J. Preston, Jr., in 1913. Children can visit a website at: Frances Cleveland. Idea: Children could eat small Baby Ruth candy bars and learn more about Frances Cleveland’s life.

Ernest Hemingway (born Oak Park, Illinois, 1899; died Ketchum, Idaho, July 2, 1961) was a writer. Two of his most famous works are The Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. Children could learn more at: Ernest Hemingway.

Isaac Stern (born Kreminiecz, USSR, 1920; died New York, New York, September 22, 2001) was a violinist.

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Jul 222019

Stephen Vincent Benet (born Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1898; died New York, New York, March 13, 1943) was a writer. He received a Pulitzer for John Brown’s Body, a long poem published in 1928. He won another Pulitzer for Western Star, printed in 1943. He also wrote short stories and novels.

Margery Williams Bianco (born London, England, 1881; died New York, New York, September 4, 1944) wrote books for children. Her book Winterbound received a 1937 Newbery Honor Award. Using the pen name Mary Williams, she wrote The Velveteen Rabbit. Children can read The Velveteen Rabbit at Project Gutenberg.

Alexander Calder (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1898; died New York, New York, November 11, 1976) was an artist known for making enchanting mobiles. Children can visit a fascinating website at: Calder.

Patricia Calvert (born Great Falls, Montana, 1931) writes books for young adults. Her books include Sooner and The Stone Pony.

Daniel Carroll (born Upper Marlboro, Maryland, 1730; died Rock Creek, Maryland, May 7, 1796) represented Maryland at the Constitutional Convention. Having suffered religious persecution, he helped draft the first amendment and the tenth amendment.

S. E. Hinton (born Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1948) writes books for children and young adults. One of her books is The Outsiders. She received the 1988 Margaret A. Edwards Award for her first five young adult books. Young adults can visit her website at: S. E. Hinton.

Emma Lazarus (born New York, New York, 1849; died New York, New York, November 19, 1887) wrote poetry. Part of her “The New Colossus” was inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. Children can read some of her work at: Project Gutenberg.

Gregor Mendel (born Heinzendorf, Austria, 1822; died Brunn, Austria, January 6, 1884) was a monk who pioneered work in genetics. In 1856 he started experiments with pea plants in the monastery vegetable garden. He continued breeding and crossbreeding the plants for a number of years. He kept notes. His work was not seen until after his death.

Reverend William Archibald Spooner (born London, England, 1844; died Oxford, England, August 29, 1930) frequently confused parts of words. These led to spoonerisms. For example, he might say “pony pest card,” instead of “penny post card.” Idea: Children could make up their own spoonerisms. Children could visit a website at: Spooner.

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