Monday, May 9, 2011

9th May Eleanor Estes (1906 - 1988) William Pene Du Bois (1916 - 1993) Richard Adams (1920) Roger Hargreaves (1935 - 1988)

So many birthdays today. Last year I wrote about J.M.Barrie, the author of Peter Pan and Harry Horse the author/illustrator of a delightful series of books about Little Rabbit. This year I want to mention all the others who have a birthday today.

Eleanor Estes is the American author of the classic book The Hundred Dresses. This story first published in 1944 is one of the first children's books that deals overtly with bullying, especially the exclusion kind that girls are so good at. She wrote other books for young readers, some of which were illustrated by the great English illustrator, Edward Ardizzone and are still in print.

William Pene Du Bois was born to French artists and he migrated to America, where he became both an author and illustrator. He won the Newbery Medal for his novel Twenty-one Balloons but in my early childhood library he is better known for his illustrations in the classic picture book William's Doll which was written by Charlotte Zolotow.

Richard Adams is the English author of the classic Watership Down, a story that very few of my clientele could read independently, but many know because of parents and movies. This story like so many of the best tales began as something Adams told to his daughters.

And last, but of course not least, it is Roger Hargreaves' birthday. He is the author/illustrator of those infamous Mr Men and Little Miss books that have spurned all sorts of marketing ventures. I am nort sure that we could call Mr Tickle a classic, but this first Mr Men book, created in answer to something Hargreaves' son Adam asked him as a child, has probably sold just as many copies as something such as Watership Down which has been labelled a classic.

No comments:

Post a Comment