Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 26 Birthdays: John J. Audubon, Frederick Law Olmsted, I.M. Pei and William Shakespeare

John J. Audubon, artist and naturalist
Apr. 26, 1785-Jan. 27, 1851

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon by Jacqueline Davies, illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Houghton Mifflin, 2004)

An astute observer of birds by 18, Audubon continued studying them and became “the greatest painter of birds of all time.”

The Audubon Society posts a biography of their namesake on their site.

Frederick Law Olmsted, architect
Apr. 26, 1822-Aug. 28, 1903

The Man Who Made Parks: The Story of Parkbuilder Frederick Law Olmsted by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Song Nan Zhang (Tundra Books, 1999)

We have Olmsted to thank for New York City’s Central Park, the grounds at Niagara Falls and other top visitor spots. This is the story of his first love—the great outdoors.

The Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site "offers a variety of programs that interpret the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted."

I.M. Pei, architect
Apr. 26, 1917-

How We are Smart by W. Nikola-Lisa, illustrated by Sean Qualls (Lee & Low Books, 2006)

With an eye for the modern, Pei, a Chinese architect, has designed the Louvre Pyramid, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Javits Convention Center, and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art as well as many other breath-taking structures.

View images of Pei’s work at

William Shakespeare, writer
Apr. 26, 1564 (baptism)-Apr. 23, 1616

Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare by Diane Stanley (HarperCollins, 1992)

A fitting introduction to the man who wrote some of our best-loved plays. Truly, a picture book biography for all ages.

A guide to the scholarly resources on Shakespeare can be found at a Palomar Community College site called Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet.