It’s time for the answers to last week’s trivia questions.
Question 1. What famous author was named Marguerite Johnson when she was born in 1928?
Marguerite Johnson assumed the professional name Maya Angelou while working as a dancer in her 20’s. Although not strictly a children’s author, Angelou’s works are often assigned reading in English classrooms.
Question 2. Do you know who was a cartoonist for New Yorker before becoming a children’s book illustrator/poet? I’ll give you a hint: he often works with brown paper bags.
No one recognized Douglas Florian as the artist/poet that often works with primed paper bags? According to a biography, he was working as a cartoonist for the New Yorker when he read Oh, That’s Ridiculous by William Cole. That anthology inspired Florian to write and illustrate for children.
These two very quick videos give you a glimpse of Douglas Florian in action:
Did you recognize the illustration in our new logo last week? Did you know who wrote the book it is featured in?
Karen recognized the author/illustrator Beatrix Potter. The illustration is from The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
As for the bonus question, why didn’t Beatrix Potter receive all the royalties she should have for this book? It turns out Warne, her publishers, failed to obtain a copyright in the United States. This allowed other publishers to freely distribute her work without paying royalties.
Of course, there is no way to know whether these cheap and readily available copies may not have increased her readership and led to more sales for her later books. What do you think?
Question 2. Can you name the 2011-2013 Children’s Laureate from the U.K.? What is his or her name and favorite genre?
Julia Donaldson was named the U.K. Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate for 2011-13. The award is given to authors/illustrators who have made outstanding contributions to the field of children’s literature.
Starting out as a songwriter, Julia loves poetry. She has been a prolific author, primarily of picture books. The Gruffalo is one of her better known books.
If you aren’t familiar with her work, here are a few of her picture books:
And finally, our mystery author from the archives with a name that is difficult to pronounce name is Eoin Colfer.
Our author today is known as an Australian, but she actually grew up in Africa. She recounts being the only white child at her school, and learning to write by pushing her finger in the dirt because there weren’t any pieces of paper or pencils. Now she is a retired Associate Professor of Literacy and prolific children’s author, who lives in Australia. Her children’s books and her writing books for adults are known worldwide. Do you know who this lively woman who stands out in a crowd these days not because of her skin color, but because of her brilliant red hair?
Mem Fox is this lively Australian who is both an author and literacy advocate. If you get a chance, you should poke around her website, which is linked to her name. it is full of treasures.
If you have never seen one of her books, here is a reading of her sweet bedtime book for toddlers, Time For Bed.
This video of Mem Fox at the 2010 National Book Festival is a bit long, but it is also enlightening.
If you have young children, or write for young children, you might want to check out Mem Fox’s books:
Children’s Author Trivia will return next Thursday.
Talk about talent! I would have loved to have to been a fly on the wall to see the collaboration between Ruth Krauss, the author of The Carrot Seed, and her husband, Crockett Johnson, who illustrated it. Turns out there was a lucky person who did get to learn how to write children’s books from the couple, none other than Maurice Sendak.
Ruth Krauss wrote over thirty children’s books, and many are still in print. Her book A Happy Day was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1950, and A Very Special House was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1954. She was well-known for her ability to put a lot of information into few words.
If you haven’t read The Carrot Seed or at least read it lately, take a look.
Don’t you just love the size of the carrot at the end?
And for a bit of botany trivia, it turns out that carrot seeds do take an extra long time to germinate, at least when compared to other garden favorites.
Crockett Johnson was known as a successful children’s illustrator and author, too. He is the creator of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Here’s a bit of trivia: Crockett Johnson was a pen name. His real name was David Johnson Leisk.