Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 1-3Composed in short, simple sentences, these sketchy autobiographies focus almost entirely on what each author might say in response to children's questions. Because Kuskin's descriptions of how she writes are interspersed with selections from her poetry, Thoughts might prove to be a more lively read-aloud experience than Mysterious World; and Kuskin's whimsical illustrations provide additional interest. Some of the information is available in other sources, such as Major Authors & Illustrators for Children & Young Adults (Gale, 1992) or the sound filmstrip, First Choice: Poets & Poetry: Karla Kuskin (Pied Piper, 1979). Mahy's story is unique because of setting (rural New Zealand), and because of the high quality of the accompanying photographs showing the author at work and play. There are some unnecessary details included, however; the fact that she gets dressed, makes her bed, and has breakfast doesn't heighten readers' perception of her writing process. Nonetheless, Mahy does come across as quite approachable, and this title could serve as an introduction to her works. In both volumes, the prose is serviceable but flat, depriving readers of the variety and elegance of language that they have come to associate with these writers' fiction and poetry. The presentations are enhanced by excellent-quality, recent full-color photographs, as well as by reproductions of older pictures from family albums. Useful additions where author studies are an important part of the curriculum.Martha Rosen, Edgewood School, Scarsdale, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Author notes provided by Syndetics
Margaret Mahy was born on March 21, 1936 in Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. She received a B.A. degree from the University of New Zealand. She worked as a nurse, an assistant librarian, and a children's librarian in England and New Zealand. Her first book, A Lion in the Meadow, was published in 1969. She became a full-time author in 1980. During her lifetime, she wrote more than 120 children's books including The Haunting, The Changeover, Memory, The Seven Chinese Brothers, The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate and A Summery Saturday Morning. She won the Esther Glen Award five times, the Carnegie Medal of the British Library Association three times, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Hans Christian Andersen Award, and in 1999, she won the New Zealand Post Children's Book Award in two categories, Picture Book and Supreme Award. She died after a brief illness on July 23, 2012 at the age of 76. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)