Friday, May 21, 2010

22nd May Max Velthuijs (1923 - 2005) Arnold Lobel (1933 - 1987)

Today should be known as Frog Day. Both of these author/illustrators are best known for their series of books about a frog. Both write fables that give the children that read their books messages for how they should be living theirs. Both are thoroughly loved by children, so it is sad that there will never be any more.

Max Velthuijs is probably the best known Dutch children's book creator besides Dick Bruna. He won the Hans Christian Anderson Award in 2004 for his contribution to Children's Literature. Initially he illustrated other author's books, but with Frog in Love started a series of books about Frog and his friends that he wrote as well as illustrated. The books have cheerful, colourful illustrations, the stories always end with Frog and his friends solving their problems in a very positive way. Each of the animal characters has very specific traits and is easily identified behaviourly. There are about twelve titles about Frog. If you need to know what they are, look here.

American author/ illustrator Arnold Lobel won the Caldecott Award for Fables but he is best known for his books about Frog and Toad. These two characters also have very definite personality traits and readers expect them to behave in certain ways. The illustrations in these books, while not as bright, in fact they are rather green are also distinctive.

My favourite poster and verse about reading is by Arnold Lobel. Every library needs one!
You can see the poster at .These are the words:
Books to the ceiling, books to the sky.
My piles of books are a mile high.
How I love them!
How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.

≈ Arnold Lobel

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