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Editorial Review

A noteworthy review of Favorite Children's Authors and Illustrators [1st Edition] from Booklist on March 1, 2003

Kids love to find out about their favorite authors and illustrators. In addition, most students have to write a biography report of an author or illustrator at some point during their school career. If all those volumes of Something about the Author intimidate the kids wanting or needing to research an author in your library, this is the reference tool for you. In it, 222 biographical essays on ‘young readers’ favorite authors and illustrators’ are arranged alphabetically by last name. A cross-section of authors and illustrators is represented, primarily from the twentieth century. Some popular authors, such as Patricia Wrede and Caroline Cooney, are omitted, while new authors with few works to their credit, like Kate DiCamillo and Ian Falconer, are included. Each essay is a brief but informative four pages in length and contains a wealth of information useful to student researchers. All entries include a photograph of the author or illustrator, dates of birth and death (if applicable), quotes from and about the subject, reproductions of book covers, and footnotes of interesting facts. For example, after World War II, author Joan Aiken lived for a time in a bus with her husband and children. A selected bibliography of each person’s work through 2002 is included as well as a listing of major literary awards won (if any). A list of suggested print and Internet resources is provided for those interested in further study. The first volume in the set begins with an introduction to the set and includes information about where students can send their picks for authors and illustrators to be included in future editions. Each volume begins with a volume-specific table of contents and a list of major children’s author and illustrator literary awards, along with a brief description of each, and concludes with a comprehensive index. Designed to satisfy the browsing and research needs of middle-grade readers, this set is well designed and easily accessible. An excellent purchase for school and public library reference collections.

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