Sunday, December 01, 2013

Passing the torch to Birthdayographies!

HibiscusFlowerI’ve loved celebrating every birthday with you!

I began Anneographies after my picture book biography, Buddy: the Story of Buddy Holly was published.

Now, I'm turning my attention to fiction.

I’m thrilled that debut picture book biography author Donna Bowman Bratton will build on Anneographies and blog birthday by birthday at her new site. Thank you, Donna!

Please visit Birthdayographies today!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 30 Birthday: Mark Twain

Mark Twain, writer
Nov. 30, 1835-Apr. 21, 1910

The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy) by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham (Scholastic, 2010)

Told from Twain's daughter's point of view, Susy give the inside (and hilarious) scoop on her famous father.

The Hannibal Courier Post looks at the life and works of Samuel Clemens.

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 29 Birthday: Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott, writer
Nov. 29, 1832-Mar. 6, 1888

Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1994)

Based on her own childhood with her three sisters in Concord, Massachusetts, Alcott's most famous work, Little Women was followed by other classics such as Little Men, Jo's Boys, and Eight Cousins. Alcott also wrote works for adults.

Visit Orchard House, where Alcott lived when writing Little Women.

November 29 Birthday: Tzu Hsi

Tzu Hsi, royal
Nov. 29, 1835-Nov. 15, 1908

Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 2000)

Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi ruled her country for 47 years. It was said that she loved to read.

Fordham University posts information about the Court Life in China.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28 Birthday: Luke Howard

Luke Howard, scientist
November 28, 1772-March 21, 1864

The Man Who Named the Clouds by Julie Hannah and Joan Holub, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye (Albert Whitman, 2006)

From childhood, Howard was an intrepid cloud watcher. He kept weather journals and painted the clouds. As an adult, frustrated because a classification system for clouds did not exist, Howard created one. And it is still in use today.

Float on over to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to see photos of common cloud types and to read about the classification system.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 27 Birthday: Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix, musician
November 27, 1942-September 18, 1970

Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix by Gary Golio, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe (Clarion Books, 2010).

Meet the heart and soul of the rock ‘n’ roller who electrified the 1960s--before he became a star. Through vibrant language and dynamic illustrations, readers are introduced to Hendrix’s childhood friends, his inspirations, his songs, his fire.

The official Jimi Hendrix website offers news, video, music, album information and a bio of this pioneer.

November 27 Birthday: Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee, athlete
Nov. 27, 1940-July 20, 1973

Be Water, My Friend: The Early Years of Bruce Lee by Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee (Lee & Low Books, 2006)

A master of Kung fu, Chinese American Bruce Lee turned the West on to martial arts.

The Bruce Lee Foundation preserves the legacy of Bruce Lee.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24 Birthday: Frances H. Burnett

Frances H. Burnett, writer
Nov. 24, 1849-Oct. 29, 1924

Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1994)

Burnett, the author of the children's classic, The Secret Garden, originally illustrated by Tasha Tudor, was nicknamed "Fluffy." Who knew?

A brief biography of Burnett is posted on a UK site devoted to fantasy.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November 23 Birthday: Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce, U.S. President
Nov. 23, 1804-Oct. 8, 1869

Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1998)

One paragraph about the 14th president who put the first Christmas tree in the White House can be found in this collective biography.

Read Pierce's Inaugural Address on Friday, March 4, 1853, posted on The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School.

Friday, November 22, 2013

November 22 Birthday: Sieur De La Salle

Sieur De La Salle a.k.a. Rene-Robert Cavelier, explorer
Nov. 22, 1643-Mar. 20, 1687

Despite All Obstacles: LaSalle and the Conquest of the Mississippi by Joan Elizabeth Goodman, illustrated by Tom McNeely (Mikaya Press, 2001)

Follow La Salle from his birth in France through his Mississippi adventures through a text filled with excerpts from letters, diaries and journals.

The Handbook of Texas Online provides a biographical sketch of La Salle.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November 21 Birthday: Isaac B. Singer

Isaac B. Singer, writer
Nov. 21, 1904-1991

Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1994)

Singer spent his childhood in a Jewish ghetto in Poland. He escaped the Holocaust, became a writer and won the Nobel Prize in literature for his work.

Isaac Bashevis Singer is profiled at the Jewish-American Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19 Birthday: Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi, politician
Nov. 19, 1917-Oct. 31, 1984

Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 2000)

Indira Gandhi served as the Prime Minister of India during portions of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. This remarkable woman is highlighted in this book dedicated to women who have changed the world.

Remembering Indira Gandhi highlights Gandhi's contributions.

November 19 Birthday: James Garfield

James Garfield, U.S. President
Nov. 19, 1831-Sept. 19, 1881

Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1998)

One pithy paragraph about the 20th president who had a dog named Veto is included in this book about U.S. presidents.

Visit the White House to learn more about Garfield.

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18 Birthday: Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller, Chief
Nov. 18, 1945-

Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World by Cynthia Chin-Lee, illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy (Charlesbridge, 2005)

Wilma Mankiller, the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation who served for over ten years during the 1980s and 90s, made health and education her top issues.

A brief bio of Mankiller is posted at the National Women's Hall of Fame site.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 17 Birthday: Isamu Noguchi

Isamu Noguchi, artist
Nov. 17, 1904-Dec. 30, 1988

Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1995)

Although Noguchi was discouraged from pursuing art, thank goodness he persisted. Now, works of this important sculptor can be found in Detroit and Atlanta, to name just a few places.

The Noguchi Museum has exhibitions and collections that feature Noguchi's life and work. Visit online today.

See also the Aaron Copland (November 13) and Martha Graham (May 11) collaboration of Ballet for Martha: Making Appalacian Spring.

Friday, November 15, 2013

November 15 Birthday: Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe, artist
Nov. 15, 1887-Mar. 6, 1986

My Name is Georgia: A Portrait by Jeanette Winter (Silver Whistle, 1998)

From the age of twelve, O'Keeffe knew she wanted to be an artist. Using O'Keeffe's own words within the text as well as O'Keeffe-like illustrations, readers are in for a vivid look at an interesting life.

The O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, offers an online look at some of her amazing work.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 14 Birthday: Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland, composer
November 14, 1900-December 2, 1990

Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring by Jan Greenburg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca (Flash Point, 2010)

This is the story behind the story of the collaboration of three artists—a choreographer, a composer (Copeland) and an artist—who created the magnificent ballet, Appalachian Spring. Thank you Martha Graham, Aaron Copeland and Isamu Noguchi.

Interviews, features and music of Copland are archived at NPR Music.

November 14 Birthday: William Steig

William Steig, writer and illustrator
Nov. 14, 1907-Oct. 3, 2003

When Everyone Wore a Hat  by William Steig (Joanna Colter Books, 2003)

In this picture book autobiography, Steig looked at the year he was eight, when the world was at war, and he had dreams for the future.

A cartoonist for the New Yorker, Steig was in his 60s when he began writing and illustrating children's books. Stop by Macmillan Publishers for a bio.

November 14 Birthday: Robert Fulton

Robert Fulton, inventor
Nov. 14, 1765-Feb. 24, 1815

Robert Fulton: From Submarine to Steamboat by Steven Kroll, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth (Holiday House, 1999)

Fulton's name is synonymous with steamboats. But first he was a sign painter, air-gun inventor and apprentice jeweler. Read all about his life and inventions in this picture book biography.

Read more about Robert Fulton on this site from the University of Rochester.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 13 Birthday: Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson, writer
Nov. 13, 1850-Dec. 3, 1894

Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1994)

Treasure Island, Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson penned these classics and more. He suffered from tuberculosis and wrote mostly in bed. A Scot, he eventually settled in Samoa.

Want to listen to a classic read aloud? Download Treasure Island at, a site dedicated to promoting recordings in the Public Domain.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12 Birthday: Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, social activist
Nov. 12, 1815-Oct. 26, 1902

Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote by Tanya Lee Stone illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon (Henry Holt & Company, 2008)

As a child, Elizabeth Cady wanted to do “anything any boy could.” And she did. As an adult, Stanton and others proposed women should have the vote. Millions of women took up the cause, and eighteen years after her death, Stanton’s dream became law.

Find the papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony at the Rutgers site dedicated to findings and publishing their work.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11 Birthday: LaVern Baker

LaVern Baker, musician
Nov. 11, 1929-Mar. 10, 1997

Shake, Rattle and Roll: The Founders of Rock and Roll by Holly George-Warren, illustrated by Laura Levine (Houghton Mifflin, 2001)

"Tweedle Dee," a top song recorded in 1954 and "Jim Dandy," a 1956 hit made Baker, a jazz-and-R&B-vocalist-turned-rocker famous. As an African American, Baker suffered backlash from her early records being labeled "race records." But she continued to record and eventually the barriers came down.

Read more about Baker's life and music at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

November 9 Birthday: Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker, mathematician & astronomer
Nov. 9, 1731-Oct. 9, 1806

Dear Benjamin Banneker by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Voyager, 1998)

Banneker, an 18th century  free African American was passionate about learning. Aside from excelling professionally in the fields of math and astronomy, he published an almanac and corresponded with Thomas Jefferson about slavery. Brian Pinkney's hallmark style—scratchboard—illuminates this story.

Go to the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum in Baltimore to learn more about this multi-talented man.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

November 7 Birthday: Alexa Canady

Alexa Canady, physician
Nov. 7, 1950-

Women of Hope: African Americans Who Made a Difference by Joyce Hansen (Scholastic, 1998)

Canady was the first black female neurosurgeon in the U.S. and has won numerous awards for her work. This collective biography includes a photograph and one-page biography of her.

Read more about Canady on the National Institute of Health site.

November 7 Birthday: Marie Curie

Marie Curie, physicist and chemist
Nov. 7, 1867-July 4, 1934

Marie Curie by Leonard Everett Fisher (Atheneum, 1994)

Life as a pioneering scientist was not easy but Curie, a Polish-French pioneer in radioactivity persevered and ultimately won two Nobel Peace Prizes for her efforts.

Visit the Nobel Award site to read more about Curie.

Monday, November 04, 2013

November 4 Birthday: Will Rogers

Will Rogers, humorist, social commentator, actor
Nov. 4, 1879-Aug. 15, 1935

Will Rogers: An American Legend by Frank Keating, illustrated by Mike Wimmer (Silver Whistle/Harcourt, 2002)

Born in Oklahoma of Cherokee heritage, Rogers's wit and wisdom are highlighted as quotes of his are woven throughout this story of his life. Amazing artwork!

The Official Site of Will Rogers offers a biography, fast facts, photos, quotes and more.

November 4 Birthday: James Earle Fraser

James Earle Fraser, sculptor
Nov. 4, 1876-Oct. 11, 1953

The Buffalo Nickel by Taylor Morrison (Houghton Mifflin, 2002)

This is the story of Fraser's life and work, and in particular, his design of the nickel depicting a buffalo on one side and a Plains Indian chief on the other. Fascinating.

Visit Wikipedia to view images of Fraser's other work.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

November 2 Birthday: Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding, U.S. President
Nov. 2, 1865-Aug. 2, 1923

Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1998)

This one-termer was the 29th president of the U.S. Krull offers a paragraph of tidbits about his life.

For more information about Harding, visit the Harding Home in Ohio.

November 2 Birthday: Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette, politician
Nov. 2, 1755-Oct. 16, 1793

Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 2000)

The queen of France at nineteen, Marie Antoinette ruled for almost twenty years. One of her most famous quotes? "Let them eat cake."

Visit to learn more about Marie Antoinette.

November 2 Birthday: James Polk

James Polk, U.S. President
Nov. 2, 1795-June 15, 1849

Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt(Harcourt, 1998)

Another one-termer, Polk was the 11th president of the U.S. The tradition of playing "Hail to the Chief"  when a president enters a room began with him. One paragraph describes his life of work in this collective biography.

Read Polk's Inaugural address on March 4, 1845 at the Avalon Project at Yale.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 31 Birthday: Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts

Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts
October 31, 1860 – January 17, 1927

Here Come the Girl Scouts!: The Amazing All-true Story of Juliette 'Daisy' Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure by Shana Corey, illustrated by Hadley Hooper (Scholastic, 2012)

Growing up, Daisy embraced every facet of life. Which was unusual for a girl in Victorian times. So when she grew up, she wanted to help others live to the fullest, too. Especially girls. After discovering the Girl Guides group in England, she founded the Girl Scouts in America. And this year the group celebrates its 100th birthday!

Click here to visit the Official Website of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October 30 Birthday: Charles Atlas

Charles Atlas, athlete
Oct. 30, 1892-Dec. 23, 1972

Strong Man: The Story of Charles Atlas by Meghan McCarthy (Knopf, 2007)

Angelo Siciliano was a one-man revolution for fitness. Tired of being a weak and skinny kid, Angelo embarked on a quest for physical health. A trip to a local museum where he saw a statue of Hercules, and a visit to his favorite thinking place, the zoo, where he watched a lion stretch his muscles fueled Siciliano's inspiration. He took a new name to go with his new muscles—Charles Atlas—and was ultimately named “The World’s Most Perfectly Developed Man.” Atlas inspired millions to exercise, eat right and live right.

Print out a copy of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans [PDF Version - 7.8 MB) to learn more about keeping healthy.

October 30 Birthday: John Adams

John Adams, U.S. President
Oct. 30, 1735-July 4, 1826

Those Rebels, John and Tom by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham (Scholastic, 2012)

Opposites in physical appearance, childhood experiences and manners of speech, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both grew up to be lawyers, teamed up (with others) to oppose King George of England and create the Declaration of Independence for the newly formed United States of America.

Read more about Adams at the page devoted to him.

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28 Birthday: Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty, statue extraordinaire
Oct. 28, 1886 dedication

Lady Liberty: A Biography by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Matt Tavares (Candlewick Press, 2008)

Vignettes written from the perspective of those who created the Statue of Liberty offer moving accounts of her inspiring story. From Edouard De Laboulaye, a professor of law in France who dreamed of giving this birthday gift from his country; to Emma Lazarus, who wrote a poem in Liberty’s honor; to Florence De Foreest, a young girl who was one of more than 100,000 people in America who contributed to the campaign to raise funds; this is a story of honor and hope and love. One of the best book cover designs, ever. And the interior art is glorious, too.

You can visit the Statue of Liberty online. Take a look at the beautiful photo gallery, read about Lady Liberty’s history and take the Junior Ranger Program self-guided program for kids.

November 28 Birthday: Ed Young

Ed Young, artist
November 28, 1931-

The House Baba Built: An Artist’s Childhood in China by Ed Young (Little Brown and Company, 2011)

Caldecott Medal Award Winner Ed Young grew up in China. This is his story. And of the house his father built. A house that filled with family and friends and strangers during the war. A house that kept them safe. A house overflowing with love and joy.

Learn more about Shanghai, the largest city in the world, here.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 27 Birthday: Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt

Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, US President
October 27, 1858-January 6, 1919

The Camping Trip that Changed America by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein (Dial, 2012)

An unlikely alliance rose from an unlikely adventure. President Theodore Roosevelt joined naturalist John Muir on a camping trip to Yosemite. Snow! Waterfalls! Bears! The environment had to be preserved and enjoyed by all for generations to come. Their trip laid the groundwork for the establishment of the National Parks.

Visit a National Park today!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 26 Birthday: Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson, musician
Oct. 26, 1911-Jan. 27, 1972

The Blues Singers: Ten Who Rocked the World by Julius Lester, illustrated by Lisa Cohen (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 2001)

Renowned gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson "brought the blues feeling into church music." Born in New Orleans, she moved to the city of Chicago when she was a teenager. It was there that Jackson found her voice.

America's Library has a small feature on Mahalia Jackson with photos that would be of great interest to children.

Friday, October 25, 2013

October 25 Birthday: Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso, artist
October 25, 1881-April 9, 1973

Just Behave, Pablo Picasso by Jonah Winter (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2012)

Change is what Picasso was all about. Always chasing new, Picasso continually reinvented his art. A true original.

A biography and works of Picasso can be found here at the Art History Archive.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October 24 Birthday: Annie Edson Taylor

Annie Edson Taylor, daredevil
October 24, 1838-April 29, 1921

Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011)

The first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. On her 63rd birthday!

Daredevils of Niagara Falls shows photos of Taylor and others who have dared to attempt this dangerous feat.

October 24 Birthday: Alexandra David-Neel

Alexandra David-Neel, explorer
Oct. 24, 1868-Sept. 8, 1969

Far Beyond the Gate: Alexandra David-Neel's Journey to Lhasa by Don Brown (Houghton Mifflin, 2002)

David-Neel did not represent the norm. This intrepid Victorian traveler and opera singer gloried in journeying to remote parts of the world. She became  and the first Western woman to enter Lhasa, Tibet in 1924.

A bio on Alexandra David-Neel's web site offers additional info.

October 24 Birthday: Louis Sockalexis

Louis Sockalexis, athlete
Oct. 24, 1871-Dec. 24, 1913

Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer by Bill Wise, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth (Lee and Low, 2007)

Sockalexis, the first Native American major league baseball player, won the hearts of fans with his incredible skill, but the prejudice he faced on the field and off was intense. A note in the Afterword mentions that almost fifty years after Sockalexis’ rookie year, African American Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the major leagues.

Visit the Official Site of the Cleveland Indians, Sockalexis’ team, then known as the Cleveland Spiders.

October 24 Birthday: Sarah Hale

Sarah Hale, author
Oct. 24, 1788-Apr. 30, 1879

Thank you, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Matt Faulkner (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2002)

It took thirty-eight years of letters to U.S. presidents from Sarah Hale before Thanksgiving became a national holiday. Lincoln made the day official in 1863. "Pick up your pen. Change the world."

Visit to read more about Hale's contributions as editor and writer.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 23 Birthday: Pele

Pele, athlete
Oct. 23, 1940-

Young Pele: Soccer’s First Star by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome (Schwartz and Wade Books, 2007)

Soccer was Pele’s passion from an early age. He played and dreamed and dreamed and played, all the while honing his skills and talent. When he finally had the opportunity to play in a youth soccer tournament, he saw that it would be possible for him, a child from humble means, to achieve his goal.

ESPN posts a biography of the "King of Futbol" on their site.

October 23 Birthday: Gertrude Ederle

Gertrude Ederle, athlete
Oct. 23, 1906-Nov. 30, 2003

America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle by David A. Adler, illustrated by Terry Widener (Harcourt, 2000, Voyager, 2005 reprint)

It's twenty-one miles across the English Channel and in 1926, an American named Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to successfully swim across it. In the process she beat the men's record by almost two hours.

Sports Illustrated for Women named Ederle one of the Top 100 Women Athletes.

October 23 Birthday: Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull, politician
Oct. 23, 1838-June 9, 1927

Woman for President: The Story of Virginia Woodhull by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Jane Dyer (Walker, 2006 reprint)

Woodhull's run for president in 1872 is a fascinating part of American history. In this race, women's rights were raised to a new level.  Her eclectic background: fortune-teller, newspaper owner and investment business owner, to name only a few of her talents also make Woodhull a woman to be remembered.

"Who is Victoria Woodhull?" offers more information about this political pioneer.

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21 Birthday: Celia Cruz

Celia Cruz, musician
Oct. 21, 1925-July 16, 2003

Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers, illustrated by Julie Maren (Dial, 2005)

When this salsa superstar was a child, her neighbors crowded the street to hear her sing to her family. Jewel toned illustrations add much to this vibrant story of her life.

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History featured Celia Cruz in a exhibit called Azucar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz.

October 21 Birthday: Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie, musician
Oct. 21, 1917-Jan. 6, 1993

Dizzy by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Sean Qualls (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2006)

Everything changed the day Dizzy Gillespie's music teacher gave him a trumpet. From that moment on, Gillespie channeled all his feelings into his music. Jazz was his music and with it he created a whole new sound, BEBOP.

Drop by to learn more about the man and his music from Ken Burns' Jazz.

October 21 Birthday: Ursula Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin, author
Oct. 21, 1929-

Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World by Cynthia Chin-Lee, illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy  (Charlesbridge, 2005)

Best known for her Earthsea fantasy series, Le Guin is featured as "U" in this collective biography of women.

Visit Ursula Le Guin's web site to read more about the Earthsea series, current work and other facts.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 20 Birthday: Charles Ives

Charles Ives, musician
Oct. 20, 1874-May 19, 1954

What Charlie Heard by Mordicai Gerstein (Frances Foster/FSG, 2002)

A composer of innovative music, Charles Ives realized his dream at 77 years of age! What an inspiration. This is one of my all-time favorite picture book biographies.

Visit the Charles Ives Society web site for background information, works, and useful links.

Friday, October 18, 2013

October 18 Birthday: Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry, musician
Oct. 18, 1926-

Shake, Rattle and Roll: The Founders of Rock and Roll by Holly George-Warren, illustrated by Laura Levine (Houghton Mifflin, 2001)

This collective biography includes a double page spread devoted to Berry. Chuck Berry learned to play the guitar as a teen and is still playing today. His first hit, Maybellene was in 1955. Go, Mr. Berry, Go!

The Official Site of Chuck Berry offers his bio, photos, song lyrics and more.