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Picture Books: A Reading for Children

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Date and time
Saturday, October 04, 2003
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Children's book creators Barbara McClintock, Phyllis Root, and Helen Oxenbury read their stories aloud to a group of children at the Boston Athenaeum. Barbara McClintock reads from her book Dahlia. One morning Charlotte gets a package from her Aunt Edme. Inside is a delicate doll. Charlotte never wanted a doll, and she certainly doesn't want this one. She names the doll Dahlia and tells her that she and Bruno, her bear, "like digging in dirt and climbing trees. No tea parties, no being pushed around in frilly prams. You'll just have to get used to the way we do things." Dahlia doesn't seem to mind. What's more, she seems to like getting dirty while making mud cakes and racing wagons. But at the end of the day, Charlotte's aunt arrives for a visit and wants to see how Dahlia is doing and Charlotte gets another surprise. Phyllis Root and Helen Oxenbury read from their book Big Momma Makes the World. When Big Momma makes the world, she doesn't mess around. Earth, she says, get over here. And it does. With a little baby on her hip and laundry piling up, Big Momma asks for light and dark, sea and sky, creepers and crawlers, and lots of folks to trade stories with on the front porch. And when the work is done, Big Momma is pleased all right. "That's good," she says, "That's real good."

Barbara McClintock is an American illustrator and author of children's books. McClintock was born in Flemington, NJ on May 6, 1955 and spent her early childhood in Clinton, NJ. She moved to North Dakota with her mother and sister when she was nine years old. After attending Jamestown College in Jamestown, North Dakota, she moved to New York City a week following her 20th birthday on the recommendation of Maurice Sendak, whom she called to ask advice about how to become a children's book illustrator. McClintock studied briefly at The Art Students League of New York. She worked for Jim Henson, illustrating books for his Fraggle Rock cable television series early in her career. Her books have won numerous awards, including four New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Books, a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor award, two Time Magazine Best Books, eight NY Public Library 100 Recommended Books, a Golden Kite award, two Parents Choice, an ALA Notable Book, a NEBA, starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, SLJ, Kirkus and Horn Book. The Minneapolis Children's Theatre made a ballet/opera of her book *Animal Fables From Aesop*.
Born in 1938, in Suffolk, England, Helen Oxenbury attended Ipswich School of Art and Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. Oxenbury is best known for her work as a writer and illustrator of children's books. She has also worked as a stage designer in Colchester, England, 1960 and a television designer in London. Her many honors include the Kate Greenaway Award, British Library Association (BLA), 1969, for *The Quangle-Wangle's Hat*; the Baby Book Award, Sainsbury's, 1999, for *Tickle, Tickle*; the Kurt Maschler Award, 1999, and Kate Greenaway Award, BLA, 2000, both for *Alice's Adventures in Wonderland*; Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Award, 2003, for *Big Momma Makes the World*.

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