Sept. 14th: Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem ("Oh, say can you see") on this day in 1814. (During The War of 1812. Go figure.) Dr. Seuss changed the focus from a song that's hard to sing to poems that are hard to say with his book of tongue-twisters, "Oh Say Can You Say?" Can YOU say, "Then we have to call in Pinner Blinn / who comes with his handy shin-pin bin / and with a thin Blinn shinbone pin / Blinn pins Dinn's shinbones right back in."
Nov. 25th: Back in the day, Dr. Seuss's "I Can Read It All by Myself" books featured a number of authors besides Seuss, probably none more popular than Seuss's old Army buddy, P.D. Eastman. Eastman gave us favorites like "Go, Dog, Go!" and this book, "Are You My Mother?"
Sept. 11th: Why not put a positive spin on a day that can too easily inspire fear? Mordicai Gerstein's "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers" tells the true, uplifting story of a Frenchman who saw the twin towers in 1974 and just HAD to figure out a way to tightrope between them. He did, successfully!
June 21st: Robert Kraus was born this day in 1925. A big-time illustrator for the magazines of his day, he founded Windmill Books and used his art world connections to get some of the top artists of the day to illustrate children's books. Often Kraus did the writing while sitting back and letting his artist friends work their magic on the illustrations. "Leo the Late Bloomer" is an excellent example.
Nov. 29th: It's a big day for author birthdays, with Louisa May Alcott (1832, Little Women) C.S. Lewis (1898, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and of course Madeline L'Engle (1918) with the wondrous A Wrinkle in Time. You might also want to check out 100 Cupboards (http://www.best-childrens-books.com/100-cupboards.html), a newer book which reminds our reviewer of two of these authors!
March 11th: Author-illustrator Ezra Jack Keats was born on this day in 1916. His The Snowy Day became an instant classic in 1963, winning the Caldecott Medal. Wanda Gág, who wrote and illustrated Millions of Cats, was also born on this day.
July 2nd: Jean Craighead George, author of over 100 books, was born on this day in 1912. Her "Julie of the Wolves" won a Newbery medal in a publishing career that lasted over 60 years. She also wrote the beloved "My Side of the Mountain." She focused on characters existing in the natural world.