Saturday, May 30, 2009

The five authors – Michelle Edwards, Carol Gorman, Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Claudia McGehee, and Anne Ylvisaker - are the members of the Tall Grass Writing Group, an ensemble dedicated to promoting children’s literature by appearing together across Iowa to share the joy of reading. All five live in eastern Iowa.

Jacqueline Briggs Martin’s Snowflake Bentley (Houghton Mifflin, 1998) won the 1999 Caldecott Medal; it’s an illustrated biography W. A. Bentley, a scientist who photographed individual crystals of snow. She has written 15 picture books; her most recent book is Chicken Joy on Redbean Road (Houghton Mifflin, 2007).

Carol Gorman is the author of over forty books for young and younger people, including Games (HarperCollins, 2007) and, most recently, Stumptown Kid (Peachtree Publishers, 2007), a story about baseball, prejudice, and honesty, co-written with Ron J. Findley. Many of Gorman’s books are popular with middle school readers.

Anne Ylvisaker’s most recent book, Little Klein (Candlewick, 2009), won high critical praise. Her earlier novel, Dear Papa (Candlewick, 2007), made Booklist’s Top Ten First Novels for Youth; she has also written numerous non-fiction books for youth about science and the natural world.

Claudia McGehee’s Woodland Counting Book (2006) and Tallgrass Prairie Alphabet (2004), both published by the University of Iowa Press, feature illustrations inspired by our local natural environment. A forthcoming book will focus on birds.

Michelle Edwards wrote and illustrated Chicken Man (New South Books, 2009), which won the National Jewish Book Award. She is also the author of the Jackson Friends series, starting with Pa Lia’s First Day (Harcourt, 2005) and most recently adding Stinky Stern Forever (2007).

Refreshments will be provided and additional copies of several of each author’s books will be available. This is the Haunted Bookshop’s third author event since reopening at 203 North Linn Street earlier this year.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Jane Clark Brown

I just found out that Jane Clark Brown , illustrator of the Marvin books, passed away in January. I met Jane at a Camp Hochelaga reunion. She was a tireless worker for Camp, and even at the reunion, I watched her pull a weed here and there. At Hochelaga, in the the new library, in the new Lodge, that she had worked hard to get built, we sat and talked about children's books, editors and illustrations. I was so looking forward to having another time like that with her at 90th reunion this summer.

Jane Clark Brown, Hochelaga Girl, you will be missed.