A great champion of children's literature died this week. Vale Margaret Mahy. She is the New Zealand author that most of us know well because of her abundance of books, ranging from picture books such as the ever-popular Great White Man-eating Shark, through great beginning chapter books such as The Great Piratical Rumbustification and The Dentist's Promise to her award-winning novels The Haunting and The Changeover. And in there as well there are anthologies of poetry and short stories. She is a popular author study choice with my teachers and so we purchased Questions Kids Ask Margaret Mahy.
There are books of this type and other straight biographies about many children's authors. Look for them on Roald Dahl, A.A.Milne, Beatrix Potter, Jacqueline Wilson and Dr Seuss. Mem Fox has even penned her own, Memories which is ideal for use with very young readers who are doing an author study on her, but if you want to look at picture book biographies that do a bit more than outline the chronology of their lives here are some suggestions:
• for Dr Seuss
The Boy on Fairfield Street by Kathleen Krull, Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.
• for Beatrix Potter
My Dear Noel by Jane Johnson
Beatrix Potter by Alexandra Wallner
• for Wanda Gag
Wanda Gag : The Girl Who Lived to Draw by Deborah Kogan Ray
• for Roald Dahl
• D is for Dahl by Wendy Cooling and Quentin Blake