Answers to Children’s Author Trivia Volume 40

Heather answered both the questions correctly last week. Kudos!

Both our mystery authors today started out as artists and both struggled in school, but eventually became successful writing children’s books.

1. This year marks the centennial of our mystery author’s birth. He started out as an artist/cartoonist, selling his first cartoon to the New Yorker at 17. Later he combined his drawing with his storytelling ability and published a series of popular children’s books with animal characters such as dinosaurs, seals and hens. Do you know who we are celebrating this year?

Children’s author and cartoonist Syd Hoff is going to be the subject of an exhibit at the Miami Beach Regional Library in commemoration of the centennial of his birth.

Here’s information about the exhibit from curator Dina Weinstein:

Syd Hoff: Finding Home
Curated and organized by Dina Weinstein
June 14 – October 1, 2012
Miami Beach Regional Library
227 22nd St. • 305-535-4219

Beloved children’s book author and illustrator Syd Hoff made Miami Beach his home and there created his best-loved characters like Danny and the Dinosaur (1958) and Sammy the Seal (1959). The Syd Hoff: Finding Home exhibition is organized for the humorist’s 2012 centennial and curated by Miami-based journalist Dina Weinstein. The exhibition traces the life, achievement and influences of the prolific cartoonist and author through the curator’s visual aids and research. It consists of a series of creative “storyboards” composed of research notes, fact-finding footnotes, and humorous commentaries collected and written by Weinstein. Along with photographic reproductions, text panels, books, and video, the materials will trace Hoff’s early career and development. Sections will include Hoff’s work with the Lyrical Left in the 1930s, his New Yorker cartoons focusing on outer-borough tenement dwellers, his syndicated comics and cartoons, and the made-in-Miami/Cold War/Baby Boom children’s literature for which he is best known. Exhibition-goers will see the connection between Hoff’s storybook characters’ search for belonging to his earlier political and gag cartoons.

2. Our second author also began her career as an artist. Although she could always draw well, she reveals that she didn’t read very well as a child. In fact, she didn’t really take off reading until she was fourteen. After getting a PhD in Art History, she started writing children’s books. She says her troubles with reading did not interfere with her ability to listen to and tell stories. Some of this author/illustrator’s favorite characters are goats. She also wrote a story about how she overcame her fear of thunderstorms by baking a cake. Do you recognize this storytelling artist?

Heather recognized Patricia Polacco’s book Thunder Cake. Her website (linked to her name) has a biography and interesting tidbits about her books.

I enjoyed the photographs of the author with goats for her book G is for Goat (click to enlarge.)

Here are some of Patricia Polacco’s books:


If you are in the mood to play more Children’s Author Trivia, simply click on the icon below for a list of previous questions (or you can click on the “Children’s Author Trivia Questions” category in the left sidebar).


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