Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 31 Birthday: Louise Smith

Louise Smith, race car driver
July 31, 1916-March 4, 2006

Fearless: The Story of Racing Legend Louise Smith by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Scott Dawson (Dutton, 2010)

“Fast! Faster! Flying! Free!” These words epitomize Smith’s drive to race. She didn’t follow the old rules that said women shouldn’t race cars--she created new ones—and ended up in the winner’s circle.

An inductee of the Motorsports Hall of Fame, Smith is featured on their site.

July 31 Birthday: John Ericsson

John Ericsson, inventor
July 31, 1803-March 8, 1889

Thank You Very Much, Captain Ericsson by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge, illustrated by Andrew Glass (Holiday House, 2004)

Ericsson’s inventions centered on the sea. Read about his life and passion for ships in this biography. offers a Hall of Fame Inventor Profile of Ericsson.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30 Birthday: Maria A. Mozart

Maria A. Mozart, musician
July 30, 1751-October 29, 1829

For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria A. Mozart by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Lou Fancher (Tricycle Press, 2011)

A musical prodigy, Maria Mozart toured Europe and played concerts for royalty just like her famous brother. Until she was told to stop. And marry. But Maria found a way to continue to play anyway.

Anna Marie Mozart: the Family's First Prodigy, an exhibit at the Smithsonian, explores Maria Mozart’s life and talents.

July 30 Birthday: Emily Bronte

Emily Bronte, writer
July 30, 1818-December 19, 1848

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

An English writer with two famous sisters who also wrote, Bronte authored Wuthering Heights.

Emily Bronte: An Overview is offered on The Victoria Web: Literature, History & Culture in the age of Victoria.

July 30 Birthday: Patricia Schroeder

Patricia Schroeder, politician
July 30, 1940-

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

Schroeder was a member of the House of Representatives for 24 years and is known for many “firsts.” She is currently the President of the Association of American Publishers.

Kids in the House, a U.S. government site educates visitors about Congress and how laws are made.

Monday, July 29, 2013

August 29 Birthday: Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker, musician
Aug. 29, 1920-Mar. 12, 1955

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka (Scholastic, 1992)

The words feel like they're bouncing off the pages of this lively picture book biography of the master of be bop. A read-aloud must.

Visit the Official Site of Charlie "Yardbird" Parker.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 28 Birthday: Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, artist
July 28, 1887-October 2, 1968

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

A French-American modern artist, Duchamp had dust two inches thick in his NY apt—on purpose.

Visit (The Museum of Modern Art) and peruse images of Duchamp’s work from their collection.

July 28 Birthday: Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter, artist
July 28, 1866-December 22, 1943

Beatrix by Alexander Wallner (Holiday House, 1995)

Beloved English author and illustrator, Potter’s life is captured on the page in this tribute to her.

The Beatrix Potter Society was “founded in 1980 by a group of people professionally involved in the curatorship of Beatrix Potter material.” Click here and read about Some Places to Visit (with links) to Potter materials and memories.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25 Birthday: Henry Knox

Henry Knox, bookseller, soldier, patriot
July 25, 1750-October 25, 1806

Henry Knox: Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot  by Anita Silvey, paintings by Wendell Minor (Clarion Books, 2010)

In sixteen brief chapters, the heroic life of Henry Knox unfolds. From a young bookseller’s assistant, to a teen solider, to a bookstore owner whose customers included Paul Revere, to service in George Washington’s Continental army, Henry completed an important mission toward securing independence for America’s colonies.

Montpelier, The General Henry Knox Museum will take you on a tour.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24 Birthday: Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart, aviator
July 24, 1897-July 2, 1937 (missing)

Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator by Shelley Tanaka, illustrated by David Craig (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2008)

What happened to Amelia Earhart? Though the answer still remains a mystery, this book takes readers on a journey of what is known, from her childhood love of planes to her fateful last contact with the outside world, and ends with speculation about what really happened.

Tour the Official Site of Amelia Earhart to learn more about her life, achievements and disappearance.

July 24 Birthday: Simon Bolivar

Simon Bolivar, political leader
July 24, 1783-December 17, 1830

A Picture Book of Simon Bolivar by David A. Adler, illustrated by Robert Casilla (Holiday House, 1992)

Bolivar had an impressive resume: President of Greater Colombia, President of Bolivia, President of Peru, and President of Venezuela. Read about his life and politics in this simple biography.

Read an article about Bolivar written for children on the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22 Birthday: Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder, artist
July 22, 1898-Nov. 11, 1976

Sandy’s Circus: A Story About Alexander Calder by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Boris Kulikov (Viking, 2008)

A childhood fascination with found objects, tinkering and the circus would lead Alexander “Sandy” Calder to create a miniature, movable circus as an adult. This portable circus, which he packed up in five suitcases, was the precursor of Calder’s later invention—the mobile.

A Google Images search for Alexander Calder will yield pages and pages of his amazing work.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20 Birthday: Sir Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary, explorer
July 20, 1919-January 11, 2008

Triumph on Everest: A Photobiography of Sir Edmund Hillary by Broughton Coburn (National Geographic Children’s Books, reprint, 2003)

With Sherpa Norgay, Hillary climbed the highest mountain in the world. See the pictures. Read the words.

Photos of Hillary, facts about Everest, other world famous mountains, and info about the famous climb can be found at the Scholastic Teachers site.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18 Birthday: Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, political leader
July 18, 1918-

Mandela: From the Life of the South African Statesman by Floyd Cooper (Philomel, 1996)

Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist, became the first President of South Africa elected by blacks and whites.

You’ll find information about Mandela and his work at the Nelson Mandela Foundation site.

July 18 Birthday: Molly Brown

Molly Brown, activist and philanthropist
July 18, 1867-October 26, 1932

The Heroine of the Titanic by Joan W. Blos, illustrated by Tennessee Dixon (HarperCollins, 1991)

A survivor of the Titanic, Brown was responsible for saving many lives during the disaster as well as spearheading a fund to raise money for surviving passengers who needed assistance after the tragedy.

Denver’s Historic Molly Brown House has a website devoted to “accurately portray the story of Margaret Tobin Brown.” There are lots of great things to explore in the Just for Kids section.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16 Birthday: Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Ida B. Wells-Barnett, educator and journalist
July 16, 1862-Mar. 25, 1931

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

Born in Civil War times, Wells-Barnett was first a teacher. Then she was a part owner of a newspaper where she exposed the injustices of segregation in print.

Lakewood Public Library posts a biography of Wells-Barnett on their website.

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15 Birthday: Rembrandt Van Rijn

Rembrandt Van Rijn, artist
July 15, 1606-October 4, 1669

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

Rembrandt was a Dutch painter. The Night Watch is his most famous painting.

Check out the biography of Rembrandt at the WebMuseum, Paris.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14 Birthday: Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie, musician
July 14, 1912-October 3, 1967

Woody Guthrie: Poet of the People by Bonnie Christensen (Knopf, 2001)

This is a celebration of folk singer Guthrie’s life—through the good times and the bad.

The Official Woody Guthrie Website contains lyrics, photos, a biography and more.

July 14 Birthday: Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford, U. S. President
July 14, 1913-December 26, 2006

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

Number 38 loved orange chocolate cake. A former football star and congressman, Ford had a dog named Liberty when he was in the White House.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum has biographical and primary source materials on Ford.

Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12 Birthday: Henry Thoreau

Henry Thoreau, writer
July 12, 1817-May 6, 1862

Walking with Henry: Based on the Life and Works of Henry David Thoreau by Thomas Locker (Fulcrum, 2002)

Based on Thoreau’s writing, this is a fictionalized account of a trek with the man who loved nature and believed in simple living.

Read Henry David Thoreau: Who He Was and Why He Matters at

July 12 Birthday: Kristi Yamaguchi

Kristi Yamaguchi, athlete
July 12, 1971-

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

K is for Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic figure skater and champion of others.

Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation has a bio and photos of the skating star.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

July 11 Birthday: E.B. White

E. B. White, writer
July 11, 1899-October 1, 1985

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

Some writer! White’s day job was as a writer for The New Yorker, but children will know him from his classic, Charlotte’s Web.

Meet the Author E.B. White at the site by Houghton Mifflin Reading.

July 11 Birthday: James Stevenson

James Stevenson, writer and illustrator
July 11, 1929-

When I Was Nine by James Stevenson (Greenwillow, 1986)

Stevenson writes and illustrates a slice-of-life story about his memorable summer in the 1930s. A charmer. highlights Stevenson’s titles.

July 11 Birthday: John Q. Adams

John Q. Adams, U.S. President
July 11, 1767-February 23, 1848

Young John Quincy by Cheryl Harness (Bradbury Press, 1994)

This is a look at the early life of a future U.S. president. Adams was the son of President John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams.

Drop by the White House and read about John Q. Adams.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10 Birthday: Joe Schuster

Joe Schuster, artist
July 10, 1914-July 30, 1992

Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman, illustrated by Ross MacDonald (Knopf, 2008)

Everyone will champion this story of ingenuity and perseverance. Together, mild-mannered and unassuming teens Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster created the most inspiring and beloved comic book hero of all-time—Superman. Their struggles in the industry were heartbreaking and their successes equally phenomenal. A super read!

Click here and faster than a speeding bullet, you’ll be reading all about planet Krypton, Superman’s birthplace.

July 10 Birthday: Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune, educator
July 10, 1875-May 18, 1955

Mary McLeod Bethune by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (HarperTrophy, 1994)

Dedicated to education for all, Bethune sought opportunities for African-American children in South Carolina after the Civil War.

The Lakewood Public Library hosts a biography of McLeod Bethune on their site.

Monday, July 08, 2013

July 8 Birthday: Kathe Kollwitz

Kathe Kollwitz, artist
July 8, 1867-April 22, 1945

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

Kollwitz, a German sculptress was interested in social justice and publicly opposed the Nazis.

The Kathe-Kollwitz-Museum in Berlin is open online everyday. Look at the exhibition and artist’s work.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

July 7 Birthday: Satchel Paige

Satchel Paige, athlete
July 7, 1906 (?)-June 8, 1982

Satchel Paige by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome (Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2000)

Major league pitching great, Satchel Paige first played (and set records) in the Negro Leagues. When the major league integrated, he was the first African-American pitcher in the American League.

Paige: The Official Web Site hosts a biography, photos, quotes and stats.

July 7 Birthday: Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall, artist
July 7, 1887-March 28, 1985

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

Chagall, a Russian painter, studied in Paris, was arrested during a Nazi raid, and later released because of American intervention. He worked everyday up until his death at 97.

Go to the Guggenheim Museum for a short bio of Chagall and collection selections.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

July 6 Birthday: Bill Haley

Bill Haley, musician
July 6, 1925-February 9, 1981

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

Bill Haley and the Comets started singing C&W music but switched to rock and roll. Their song Rock Around the Clock was a huge hit and some say started the rock ‘n’ roll craze. posts a bio of 1987 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Haley.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

July 4 Birthday: Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster, musician
July 4, 1826-January 13, 1864

Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1993)

Foster, the writer of My Old Kentucky Home, Oh, Susanna and Beautiful Dreamer is remembered in this collective biography.

Listen to samples of Foster’s talent, download pages of sheet music and cast your vote for your favorite Foster song at the PBS American Experience site about him.

July 4 Birthday: Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge, U.S. President

July 4, 1872-January 5, 1933

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

President # 30 served two terms. In a brief paragraph, Krull highlights Coolidge's eccentricities.

To view a portrait of Coolidge and facts about his life, visit The Internet Public Library POTUS site.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

July 2 Birthday: Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall, judge
July 2, 1908-January 24, 1993

A Picture Book Biography of Thurgood Marshall by David A. Adler, illustrated by Robert Casilla (Holiday House, 1997)

This is the bio of the first African-American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall with an emphasis on his childhood.

Read more about Marshall on this ThinkQuest project site.

Monday, July 01, 2013

July 1 Birthday: Princess Diana

Princess Diana a.k.a. Lady Diana Frances Spencer, advocate

July 1, 1961-August 31, 1997

Paths to Peace: People Who Changed the World  by Jane Breskin Zalben (Dutton, 2006)

Dedicated to others, Princess Diana walked the walk.

Photos and features about Princess Diana are posted on The Royal Family page on the Official Web Site of the British Monarchy.

July 1 Birthday: Louis Bleriot

Louis Bleriot, aviator

July 1, 1872-August 2, 1936

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909 by Alice and Martin Provensen (Viking Juvenile, 1983)

This Caldecott Medal Winner takes readers on the glorious journey of the man who flew across the English Channel first.

Read more about Bleriot via the Chasing the Sun program devoted to aviation innovators.