Friday, October 14, 2011

14th October Lois Lenski (1893 - 1974) e e cummings (1894 - 1962) Miriam Cohen (1926) Elisa Kleven

Lois Lenski was an American author illustrator who won the Newbery medal for her novel Strawberry Girl in 1946, but she also wrote and illustrated many picture books. The ones about Mr Small are still available and of interest to young children interested in trains, firemen, policemen and the like. She also wrote poetry and worked tirelessly for the disadvantaged. She setup the Lois Lenski Covey Foundation which aims to advance literacy and foster a love of reading among underserved and at-risk children and youth. The foundation provides grants to public libraries, school libraries, and non-profit agencies serving disadvantaged populations. It has been in operation for more than forty years.

e e cummings or Edward Estlin Cummings was an American poet who was the second-most read poet after Robert Frost. He wrote for adults, but many of his poems have become popular with children. If and The Tree are two that have done this. The Tree has been published several times in picture book format. My library has the version illustrated by Mary Claire Smith, but Chris Raschka and others have also done it. Cummings experimented with form, punctuation, spelling and syntax even going as far as abandoning punctuation often. That is why his name is always written in lowercase and without fullstops.

Miriam Cohen is also American. She is the author of many picture books for very young children including a series called First Class Friends, but in my library her two classics about friendship, Will I Have a Friend? and Best Friends are well used by Kindergarten classes.

I wrote about Elisa Kleven last year and I haven't found out much more. I still do not know in which year she was born.


  1. I LOVE Elisa Kleven. Her favorite book of mine and one of my favorite picture books of all time is The Lion and the Little Red Bird. It is worth seeking out.

    I know Lois Lenski best as the illustrator of the Maud Hart Lovelace Betsy-Tacy series. I'll check out some of the ones you mentioned.

    I didn't know any cummings poems had been illustrated for children - I'm going to take a look.


  2. Elisa Kleven was born in 1958 according to the following link: