Saturday, January 1, 2011

3rd January Patricia Lee Gauch (1934) Alma Flor Ada (1938)

Patricia Lee Gauch, the American author is known in my library as the author of the ballet stories about Tanya. She was the children's editor at Philomel books though at the time Owl Moon was published and she therefore knows what makes a good picture book. Back to Tanya, she is a small girl who is eager to dance like her older sister and so begins the series in Dance, Tanya. The text and the illustrations by Satomi Ichikawa dance musically across the pages, even though Tanya is not yet a dancer and you fall in love with Tanya and her tenacity. Then you go looking for more and luckily there is more. There are at least six books: Dance, Tanya; Bravo, Tanya; Tanya and Emily in a Dance for Two; Presenting Tanya, the Ugly Duckling; Tanya and the Magic Wardrobe and Tanya and the Red Shoes.

Alma Flor Ada is also known in my library as the author of a fun series of books about Hidden Forest, but hers are to do with fairytales and stories that the children know well. There is Dear Peter Rabbit; Yours Truly, Goldilocks; With Love, Little Red Hen and Extra! Extra! Fairy-Tale News From Hidden Forest. The first three are written in letters and the fourth is in newspaper format. The characters the children know, but the books are full of side issues and there is plenty to discuss. All four stories are illustrated by Leslie Tryon whose website has much to offer teachers.

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