I have just come back from the shops where I picked up a copy of Bear's First Christmas by Robert Kinerk and Jim LaMarche for half price. What a good way to be reminded that it is Jim LaMarche's birthday. I love the illustration of the moose, the bear and the crow seen from above scratching at the iced bog. The bear in this book is so adorable looking, very huggable looking, and it makes it hard for children here in Australia who have never seen a bear to perceive of them as wild animals to be feared. LaMarche has given the animals human-like personalities and made the snowy environment look very inviting.
I thought it was Mordicai Gerstein's birthday yesterday, but Anita Silvey's almanac website says it is today and she is such an authority on American children's literature that I will write about him today. He is an American author/illustrator who has a large number of books to his credit, but here in Australia, he is really only known because of his 2004 Caldecott Medal winning book The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. This book tells of the amazing feat performed by French high-wire trapeze artist Philippe Petit who walked between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York in 1974.
American author, Shirley Climo's stories are often based on folklore. She has said that her love of folklore began in her childhood and she has taken these stories and retold them for new audiences. She has written several versions of the Cinderella story. In the library we have
* The Egyptian Cinderella illustrated by Ruth Heller
* The Persian Cinderella illustrated by Robert Florczak
* The Korean Cinderella illustrated by Ruth Heller
* The Irish Cinderlad illustrated by Loretta Krupinski