Tuesday, March 2, 2010

4th March John Ryan (1921 - 2009) Peggy Rathmann (1953) Dav Pilkey (1966) World Book Day (UK)

John Ryan created that wonderful character Captain Pugwash. Pugwash started life as a comic strip and then became wonderful picture book stories and television shows. The picture books have been reissued and as our old ones looked very tatty I bought the new ones and they have undergone a new phase of borrowing. Funny how the children think they are new, just because the book is new! There is so much Captain Pugwash on the web, that even if you don't have the books you can introduce your children to him. See Captain Pugwash and the Sea Monster at

Peggy Rathmann won the Caldecott medal in 1996 for Officer Buckle and Gloria, but she is best known in my library for Good Night, Gorilla. The children love the secret going-ons behind the zookeeper's back. Share it with a group of children and watch them point and giggle.

What do I say about Dav Pilkey? He would probably be the proud creator of the most borrowed, most in need of replacing books in the library - Captain Underpants! Captain Underpants, Super Diaper Baby and Ricky Ricotta books and toys are much loved, even by some girls. And just as popular is his series of beginning chapter books about Dragon. What a pity there isn't more than five titles, because many of my reluctant Year2s have discovered Dragon and then haven't looked back! Reading Dav Pilkey's biography and seeing how much school didn't suit him, but then reading on to find out how he found his niche as the result of a university professor's praise for his writing, makes me all the more determined as a teacher to cater to children who do not 'fit the box'.

So all in all a good day for cartoonists and captains!

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