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Editorial Review

A noteworthy review of Favorite Children's Authors and Illustrators [1st Edition] from School Library Journal on April 1, 2003

This practical set includes 222 biographical essays, each 4 pages in length. Double-spaced, easy-to-read text and copious sidebars make it suitable for young readers. The articles are up-to-date, noting such recent events as David Wisniewski’s death in September 2002. Interesting tidbits, such as the fact that Curious George is called ‘Zozo’ in England and ‘Fifi’ in France, will appeal to casual readers. Occasionally, omissions paint an unfinished picture of an author’s body of work, such as in the Jack Gantos piece, which dwells on the ‘Rotten Ralph’ series with no discussion of the groundbreaking Joey Pigza books. Fiction as well as nonfiction authors are included, along with several crossover young adult authors such as Lois Duncan, Paul Fleischman, Joan Lowery Nixon, Richard Peck, and Paul Zindel. However, among the notable missing are Demi, Linda Sue Park, Marc Simont, Vera B. Williams, and Charlotte Zolotow. Each entry includes a black-and-white photo of the subject and a book cover, a selected bibliography of the subject’s work through 2002, honors/awards won, and print and online resources. While clearly a useful set for students engaged in author studies, Leonard S. Marcus’s Author Talk (S and S, 2000) and Pat Cumming’s ‘Talking with Artists’ series are more attractive choices with color reproductions and much longer articles. Still, these works cover only a fraction of the people included in Primm’s offering. An ambitious, child-friendly set.

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