Answers to Children’s Author Trivia Volume 9

20. How do you change a simple picture book into a full length movie? The filmmakers must have had a few nightmares trying to get this one right. Or maybe just a wild time…

Yes, the movie was based on Maurice Sendak‘s picture book, Where the Wild Things Are.

Maurice Sendak is a fabulous illustrator, but the books he authored are the ones that have grabbed the most attention. One of our family favorites is the rollicking romp through the months, Chicken Soup With Rice.

21. Do made-for television movies count? If you suffer from arachnophobia you might not enjoy this movie as much as most children do.

Guess I should have given better clues for this one. David Kirk‘s Miss Spider books are unlikely to instill fear in anyone. Starting with the release of Miss Spider’s Tea Party, this vegetarian spider has been helping countless children learn how to get along with others.

David Kirk lives in upstate New York. He started out making toys, but says the little book The Gnome’s Almanack, illustrated by Ida Bohatta Morpurgo (1942) inspired him to try children’s books. The result has been a rousing success. (Note:  To show how much of a book nerd I am, I actually found a copy of The Gnome’s Almanck to buy after reading about David Kirk’s affection for it.)

Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Kids was released for TV in 2003, with Brooke Shields as the voice of Miss Spider and Rick Moranis as Holley.

Now you can buy an iPad App for Miss Spider’s Tea Party. Bet Ida Bohatta Morpurgo didn’t see that coming!

22. This author also had more than one book made into movies. His books are best known for their animal main characters. Arachnophobia might be a problem for people watching one of these movies as well.

E.B. White wrote Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan, and Charlotte’s Web, which were all made into movies. In fact, Stuart Little led to a series of three movies, the last being Stuart Little: Call of the Wild, and Charlotte’s Web can be found in both animated and live action versions. The Trumpet of the Swan was released as an animated film in 2001, but did not receive much popular acclaim.

Stuart Little is about the adventures of a mouse who is born to human parents. It was E.B. White’s first children’s book.

The Trumpet of the Swan features a swan who learns how to play the trumpet. The swan has a human friend, a boy named Sam.

Charlotte’s Web is the story of Wilbur the pig and his great friendship with Charlotte the spider. I thought my reference to arachnophobia my trigger someone to think of Charlotte, although I don’t think anyone could fear spiders after reading this classic book.

Answers to Children’s Author Trivia Volume 8

Whose books for children were made into movies? Let’s find out.

Question 17. Like her main character, the author of this book (part of a series) spent a lot of her childhood living on a small island with no electricity and no phone. The reluctant hero of her books lives in a desolate environment and has to overcome some fierce challenges. The story line has been changed substantially in the recent movie, but the title remains intact. Any ideas who the author might be?

Cressida Cowell wrote How to Train Your Dragon based on her experiences staying as a child on a small island off the west coast of Scotland.

Here is a video of her reactions to the changes that were made between the book and the movie.

If you haven’t picked up the How to Train Your Dragon books, they are fun and full of adventure, but don’t expect them to be exactly the same as the movie.

Question 18. Known for his black and white illustrations, both the movies made from this author’s books are not only full of color, but full of special effects, too. Who is he?

Chris Van Allsburg actually had three books made into movies, sorry I misled you. Have you heard of Jumanji and Zathura? I had forgotten that he also wrote The Polar Express, which was made into a movie as well. Blame it on the heat.

In his website biography, Chris admits that he fell into art at a whim. Amazing, when you consider he had never had an art class before college that he won the Caldecott Honor Medal for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi in 1980, and Caldecott Medals for Jumanji and The Polar Express.

In this video, he explains how he took up drawing when his sculpture studio was too cold.

My family’s favorite Chris Van Allsburg book is Two Bad Ants.

Question 19. In this case the main character gave his name to both the book and the movies, but the green guy’s story in the book was changed for the scripts. What author developed the unique character who then launched a series of successful animated films?

William Steig is the author of Shrek of movie fame, as well as Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (Caldecott Medal), The Amazing Bone (Caldecott Honor book), Abel’s Island (Newbery Honor book) and Doctor De Soto (Newbery Honor book).

Unlike Van Allsburg, Steig was destined to an artist given that all his family members were active in the arts. He worked for The New Yorker, as well.

Have you read any of William Steig’s books? Which is your favorite?

Answers to Children’s Author Trivia Volume 7

Question 15. This prolific author’s first book for children was about cockroaches. Since then she has written books that combine science and humor in a way that has captured the imaginations of millions of school children. A major character in her most popular books is known to dress appropriately for each book. Who is the author?

The words school, science and dress might have been clues to the famous author of the Magic School Bus series, Joanna Cole. Who can forget the fabulous Ms. Frizzle as she leads a field trip to the inside of the earth wearing a bright yellow dress covered with shovels and pick axes, with tiny shovels for earrings? Although she seems a bit larger than life, I think we all secretly wish we’d been in her classroom.

Here’s what Joanna Cole says about her books:

A few of her many books:

Question 16. This world famous children’s author started out writing for adults for fifteen years before he started writing for children. Despite suffering tragedies and having health problems later in life, he continued to write bestseller after bestseller. He now is celebrated on his birthday, September 13.

In an unexpected twist, it turns out that this author, Roald Dahl is in the news because his first wife, actress Patricia Neal, passed away this week. This has caused a renewed interest in Roald Dahl, as well.

Roald Dahl was a WWII flying ace, who started writing for adults about his war experiences. At the official website, it said his children’s books began to take off after about fifteen years, although I believe he may have actually started writing them much sooner. Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal experienced the death of one of their children (to measles), a devastating accident with another, and Neal’s life-threatening strokes while pregnant with their last child. Dahl became a bit of a medical expert, designing a valve for draining fluid from the brain with two of his friends.

On top of dealing with all these difficult events, Dahl managed to crank out such bestsellers as James and the Giant Peach, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The inspiring part is that the books have stood the test of time, and even given their unusual content and dark humor, are still as relevant and revered as when he wrote them.

Let’s celebrate his birthday on Septmeber 13 by reading one of Roald Dahl’s classic books.

Answer to Children’s Author Trivia Volume 6

Do you recognize this children’s book author?

Who started drawing at the age of two and has turned her love of art into a career writing and illustrating children’s books? This versatile author is best known for her books about sibling bunnies for young children, but also writes historical novels for middle grade and young adults.

In this case, “sibling bunnies” was a big clue. Rosemary Wells is the author/illustrator of the wonderful Max and Ruby books, as well as our family favorite, Noisy Nora.

Now she also has middle grade books, such as her recent Lincoln and His Boys.

If you haven’t read a book by Rosemary Wells, you should give one a try.