I know very little about Kathi Appelt other than that we have three of her books in the library, so when I found it was her birthday I went searching. From her website I learned that she was born on the way to hospital in her father's Ford. Wow, I thought that was unusual when I read that Mini Grey was born in a Mini, but maybe not, when here is another author admitting to this mode of birth. Using Mini Grey's logic though, Kathi would have been named Ford! Maybe we can extend the logic and say that if you want to be a children's writer organise to be born in a car!
The other thing I learned about her is that she is very supportive of librarians and made a film clip expressing this fact, Love Song for Librarians. I hope some student of mine ends up being a writer and says such nice things about their school librarian. I do try to source books for specific children and I do think it is important to match children to books.
The books we have are Elephants Aloft; I See the Moon and Bats Around the Clock, but she has written many more. I particularly like Elephants Aloft because it cleverly written using only prepositions and Keith Baker's wonderful illustrations. Kathi has written a series of picture books about bats and they are illustrated by Melissa Sweet, another of my favourite illustrators so I should source the rest of these.