Thursday, August 19, 2010

20th August Judy Schachner (1951) Melanie Watt (1975)

Two very special birthdays today in the world of early childhood library borrowing! Skippyjon Jones and Scaredy Squirrel both hit the limelight!

There is a lot on the web about American author/illustrator Judy Schachner, including author study lesson plans, which is quite ironic given the fact that she says she was a very shy child. In Australia she does not have a high profile, but the children in my library like her kitten tales of Skippyjon Jones. The three year olds like the stories and want to take the accompanying toy. The older children can appreciate her rollicking wordplay.
"My name is Skippito Friskito.
I fear not a single bandito.
My manners are mellow,
I’m sweet like the Jell-O,
I get the job done, yes indeed-o."
In Mummy Trouble, Skippyjon visits Egypt and King Rootin-Tootin-Kitten-Kabootin. Anyone who knows anything about Egypt will enjoy a giggle.

Canadian author/illustrator Melanie Watt , like Judy Schachner is popular because she too has created very special characters who resonate with young readers. She is the creator of Scaredy Squirrel and that megalomaniac cat, Chester. Both characters are very endearing. The Scaredy Squirrell books and puppet are never in the library. One Kindergarten child has such a love for the squirrell that he comes to the library nearly every day to see if any of the books are in and if so he borrows one, even though he has had them many times before. He is obviously coming to terms with fears of his own but what a nice way to do it.

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