Author Study Resources

By Gina Reich Guzman. Reprinted with permission.

Encyclopedia Type Resources

Children’s Books and Their Creators: An Invitation to the Feast of Twentieth-Century Children’s Literature. Edited by Anita Silvey. Houghton Mifflin. 1995. If you can find a more current copy of this book at a reasonable price snag it! This book organized the author’s biographies like an encyclopedia which makes it very easy to find the information you are looking for. Encluded essays written by some of the featured authors would appeal to logic stage and older. Information about different genres, issues and history of children’s literature are interspersed throughout the book. There are too many authors to list them all but it does include favorites like Thornton Burgess, Howard Pyle, and  E. Nesbit along with just about anyone you can think of.  Most of the biographies mention several books by each other. If you are at a loss for a reading list just paging thorugh this book will give you more ideas than you can ever read in a lifetime. This resource can be a bit dry and is definitely geared toward adults. Sure wish I had found this when I first began homeschooling as it would have saved me many hours of online research. 

Teacher Type Resources 

The Best of Mailbox Magazine:Authors: Grades 1-3. Edited by Kim Griswell. The Education Center. 1999. 

A typical Mailbox resource. This resource includes 27 authors, background on the authors as well as some of their most popular books; but is rather skimpy on activities ideas. Worth checking out from the library but not sure I’d go out of my way to buy it. Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Beverly Cleary, Tomie dePaola, Lois Ehlert, Mem Fox, Eloise Greenfield, Ruth Heller, Kevin Henkes, Tony Johnston, Steven Kellogg, Eric Kimmel, Virginia Knoll, Leo Lionni, Bill Martin, Jr. Gerald McDermott, Angela Shelf Medearis, Robert Munsch, Laura Joffe Numeroff, Bill Peet, Patricia Polacco, Cynthia Rylant, Robert D. San Souci, Shel Silverstein, Chris Van Allsburg, Judith Viorst, Don & Audrey Wood. 

Meet the Author by Laurie Rozakis. Troll Associates. 1992. Nice, child accessible biographies. Includes brief descriptions of some of the authors’ books. Very typical classroom activity suggestions. I used the biographies but not the activities with my own kids. Beverly Cleary, Tomie dePaola, Jean Craighead George, Gail Gibbons, Virginia Hamilton, Arnold Lobel, Katherine Paterso, Bill Peet, Cynthia Rylant. Maurice Sendak, Dr. Suess, Chris Van Allsburg & Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

How to Capture Live Authors and Bring Them To Your Schools by David Melton. Landmark Editions. 1986.  This book is all about how to contact authors and how to plan an author based event.  Best for co-ops and other groups that have the potential for attracting/financing an author visit. 

Magazines About Authors/Illustrators/Children’s Books

Bookbag: The Teacher’s Idea Magazine for Chidlren’s Literature. The Mailbox Magazine. Organized in typical Mailbox style with summaries of several books included in each issue. Worth checking out from the library when you need inspiration for your booklists. Best if you have grammar stage learners.