Posts Tagged ‘Children’s authors’

Librarian, Author, Centenarian

Beverly Cleary in 1971

Beverly Cleary in 1971
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Beverly Cleary turns 100 years old on April 12. As a kid growing up in the 1970s one of my favorite authors was Beverly Cleary. I checked out every one of her books from the library, setting me on the road to a lifetime of reading. What captivated so many young readers is her humor in everyday situations. Her characters are imperfect just like real kids. They behave like real families and her two most well-known characters, sisters Ramona and Beezus Quimby treat each other like actual siblings do.

Beverly Cleary started her career as a librarian in Washington. At 33 she decided to become a writer when she didn’t see the books she wanted on the shelves. She wrote series and historical fiction. She also touched on topics that are serious to children, such as divorced parents and bullies at school. She also won numerous awards including the American Library Association’s 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and the Newbery Medal for children’s literature in 1984.

Schools and libraries have been named in her honor and many will celebrate this amazing milestone for an author who has delighted generations of readers.

Celebrate the 100th birthday of Beverly Cleary with your students. Here are some resources to get you started.

In addition, SIRS Discoverer has content to learn more about Beverly Cleary.

Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

Poetry for Children

Robert Frost once defined poetry as “serious play.” Poetry does many things to help children learn about their lives and feelings. Poems can be silly or funny while providing serious messages. Rhyming makes poems easier to memorize and fun to read aloud. Countless authors have written poetry for children. SIRS Discoverer also provides content on these authors as well as further reading about children’s poetry.

Limerick by Edward Lear

Limerick by Edward Lear
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Here are 10 authors who write poetry for children. Who is your favorite?

  1. Dr. Seuss
    One of the most famous and beloved authors for children. Most of his writings are in verse. All kids know The Cat in the Hat.
  2. Edward Lear
    This English humorist popularized the limerick. His most famous nonsense poem is The Owl and the Pussycat.
  3. J. Patrick Lewis
    Inspired by Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, Lewis has written over 50 books of poetry for children on a wide variety of subjects.
  4. Jack Prelutsky
    In 2006, Prelutsky became the first Children’s Poet Laureate. His popular books delight readers with poems and illustrations of made-up creatures.
  5. Jacqueline Woodson
    Woodson began writing poetry as a child. She has won numerous literary awards and was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate in 2015.
  6. Jane Yolen
    Yolen writes poetry based on science and history. Her book Owl Moon is written in verse and is intended to help owl species.
  7. Mary Ann Hoberman
    Hoberman also served as the Children’s Poet Laureate. Her poems are about everyday topics such as family, animals, and nature.
  8. Roald Dahl
    Another big name in children’s literature, Dahl’s poems subverted nursery rhymes and fairy tales and often contained surprise endings.
  9. Shel Silverstein
    Silverstein remains hugely popular for his quirky wit and style. His iconic works include Falling Up and Runny Babbit.
  10. Kenn Nesbitt
    Nesbitt served as the Children’s Poet Laureate in 2013. His poems are humorous and he often visits schools to teach children about poetry writing.

Celebrating Jane Yolen


Jane Yolen
Source: Luigi Novi [CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

Jane Yolen was born on Feb. 11, 1939. She has published hundreds of books, novels, poetry and short stories suitable for children and teens. Her novella geared for young adults, “The Devil’s Arithmetic,” draws on Holocaust history to captivate readers and was turned into a made-for-TV-movie in 1999. Her ever-growing imagination and talent for fiction-writing has led her to win notable awards and accolades. While she is now both a mother and grandmother, her love for children’s literature began way before having children of her own. She has written stories and penned poems since childhood, though she jokingly refers to the first poem she ever wrote, “Bus, bus, wait for us!” as being “truly awful.” To celebrate Jane Yolen’s birthday through the power of literature and prose, think about incorporating a mix of ProQuest resources and educational activities into your next lesson:

1. ProQuest eLibrary Research Topic on Jane Yolen: ProQuest eLibrary Research Topics are carefully hand-crafted with curated materials to meet your educational needs.

Jane Yolen Research Topic Screencap via ProQuest eLibrary

Jane Yolen Research Topic Screencap via ProQuest eLibrary

2. ProQuest SIRS Discoverer not only guides you in the right direction, but is also a great resource for discovering other children’s book authors and their works. Here are a couple of articles to get you started: see Poet Finds Inspiration All Around Her and Jane Yolen: A Writer for Every Reader.

3. Jane Yolen’s For Teachers PageA wealth of teacher resources for use in the classroom can be found on Jane Yolen’s web site.

4. NPR Interview: Kids Author Jane Yolen Never Too Old For Comics: Audio interviews as primary sources are both personal and informative.

5. Reading Rockets: Interview with Jane Yolen: Video interviews can be a wonderful way to complement a lesson and bring an author’s experiences to life.