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Author Visit: Virginia native, Henry Cole

I am so excited! Not only is today Halloween but the school I work out is having a Virginia author visit! I work at the same school my children attended… I wish this author visit program had been around for them! Our students are blessed by this opportunity.

Henry Cole was born in 1955 on a dairy farm near Purcellville, VA, and was an adored elementary-school science teacher for 16 years. He has since illustrated over 80 popular picture books. Mr. Cole has always loved art and science, which has made him a keen observer of details in nature. He now lives in both Florida and Virginia.

Cole is the author and illustrator of 12 books himself. He first published Jack’s Garden in 1997. Visit his website at HenryCole.

I am thrilled to have a signed copy his latest book, A Teeny Tiny Halloween! He is the illustrator and Lauren L. Wohl (a native New Yorker) is the author.

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SOUTH CAROLINA

Peggy Parish (1927-1988) first published Littlest Raccoon in 1961. Lovable Amelia Bedelia made her first appearance in 1963.

Welcome to the World of Amelia Bedelia

 

 

Parish’s nephew, Herman Parish, is continuing the series of the literal-minded housekeeper.

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IOWA

Mildred Wirt Benson, aka Carolyn Keene, (1905-2002) published Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock in 1930. Benson authored the first 23 Nancy Drew books.

I have read a few of the original series and some of the more contemporary versions as well as Junior novels. We’ve seen all the movies and I’m sure at some point I saw the TV show (along with the Hardy Boys). If you have never played one of the 33 Nancy Drew Adventures games by Her Interactive–you are missing out! I stumbled upon #13 Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon by accident one Christmas and we’ve been hooked ever since! Secret of the Old Clock was released as the 12th game in the series.

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ILLINOIS

Shel Silverstein (1930-1999) first published The Giving Tree in 1964. His books of silly poems are classic favorites.

Welcome to Shel Silverstein

 

 

Shel Silverstein’s birthday was Sept. 25th. I know I’m a few days late, but what is your favorite poem or book of his? Read it to celebrate.

WASHINGTON, DC

David Shannon (1959) wrote and illustrated How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball in 1984. Shannon also writes and illustrates the popular No David series.

No David Shannon

 

WISCONSIN

Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) published Little House in the Big Woods in 1932. There are 8 books in the original series with a 9th book published after her death and was unfinished. There are numerous spin-off series. The television series based on the books, Little House on the Prairie, starred Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landon. It aired for 9 seasons from 1974-1983. There is some speculation that Wilder’s daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, co-authored or wrote entirely the books attributed to Wilder.

Little House Books

I devoured these books as a child. I found them easier to read than Canadian author L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables at the time I attempted both. So much so that it would years later before I would try them again. I of course grew up on the books and the TV series. I was a bit disappointed when my daughters’ attention was not held by these classics. These are a close second to my all-time favorites by Louisa May Alcott.

WASHINGTON

Stephen Cosgrove (1945) began his Serendipity series in 1973. There are currently 70 different titles in the series, the most recent published in 1995, and all illustrated by Robin James. Each book comes with a moral issue tagline, covering such topics as growing up, disabilities, abuse, fear, friendship, prejudice, gossip, and helping the environment. Both Serendipity and  Little Mouse on the Prairie were made into an anime series and cartoon series respectively. Many titles have been translated into Spanish.

Stephen Cosgrove

 

My first Serendipity book was Nitter Pitter, written in 1978. The moral of the story is “Vanity can cost you friends.” I loved gorgeous and vibrantly colored illustrations by James. I loved the story of the vain horse. It began a life-long love affair with the whole series. When I had children I made it a mission to obtain copies of as many of the the Serendipity books as possible. I have made a good dent on the 70 titles but sadly some are so rare and so expensive that my collection is incomplete. My children now share my love for these charming tales as well.