Juana Medina is the author and illustrator of Juana & Lucas; 1 Big Salad, A Delicious Counting Book and ABC Pasta, An Entertaining Alphabet, as well as the illustrator of Doreen Cronin’s Smick. Juana and Lucas is about a girl’s experience learning English. A sequel to Juana and Lucas and a new concept book called Sweet Shapes are in the works.
Ms. Medina grew up in Bogota, Columbia, in the Andes Mountains. As a child, she got in trouble for drawing cartoons of her teachers. She went to the Corcoran School of Art and Design and the Rhode Island School of Design. Currently, she teaches animation at George Washington University. She resides in Van Ness.
Her favorite children’s books are Nicholas by Goschinny & Sempé and Me and My Sister Clara, by Dimiter Inkiow. She also likes the picture books of Dick Bruna, best known for Miffy the bunny.
Ms. Medina believes that the Noyes Library for Children is so important because " Early literacy plays an essential role not only encouraging children to read, but offering an invaluable chance to discover other worlds and find themselves. Through stories, children develop curiousity and empathy. Places as unique as the Noyes Library also offer an important space, where young readers and their families can feel very much at home while reading. Developing strong bonds, as they get together to participate in activities, surrounded by a fabulous collection of books housed in this beloved one-room library.
Read more about Ms. Medina at http://www.juanamedina.com/. Check out her books at the Noyes Library for Young Children and other Montgomery County Public Libraries.
By Beth Meyer
Henry Cole has illustrated over 50 picture books and written – and illustrated – four of his own. His newest work is Spot, the Cat, a black and white, wordless picture book about a cat's journey through a city. Cole has most often collaborated with author Pamela Edwards Duncan. He has also illustrated books for Julie Andrews (the Little Bo books) and Harvey Fierstein (The Sissy Duckling). Among his other well-known titles are Moosetache and Moostletoe and And Tango Makes Three, as well as the award-winning Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad, which Cole wrote and illustrated.
Mr. Cole grew up on a dairy farm in Virginia and enjoyed creating birthday cards for friends. He worked for over 17 years as a math and science teacher at an elementary school before he became an illustrator. Artists Norman Rockwell, Paul Klee, John Singer Sargent, and N.C. Wyeth have inspired him. His favorite children's books are Charlotte's Web by E. B. White and Who Really Killed Cock Robin? by Jean Craighead George. He lives in Old Town Alexandria.
Mr. Cole believes that the Noyes Library for Children is so important because "kids who enjoy reading and understand the importance of the written word are at an advantage both professionally and personally, all through their lives.”
Read more about Mr. Cole at http://www.henrycole.net/. Check out his books at the Noyes Library for Young Children and other Montgomery County Public Libraries.
By Beth Meyer for the January / February 2017 issue of the Make.MORE.Noyes Community Update
The coming elections provide a good opportunity to teach your children how the government works. North Potomac author Syl Sobel specializes in these kinds of books. He has written Presidential Elections and Other Cool Facts, How the U.S. Government Works and four other books about politics.
Sobel recently retired after working for over 30 years as the Director of Publications at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, DC. When his older daughter was in first grade, she asked him to write a book explaining how the government works. Then, his younger daughter asked him to write another book about the presidents.
Four more books followed: The U.S. Constitution and You, The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, and Our Pledge of Allegiance. Sobel also has a blog called "Civics & Civility."
Growing up, Dr. Seuss was Sobel’s favorite children's book author. At an early age, he read books about U.S. History, especially World War II since his father was a WWII veteran. He also enjoyed biographies about the Founding Fathers.
Syl Sobel feels that the Noyes Library for Young Children is so important because "A child can go anywhere and learn about anything by reading. And reading improves writing." Read more about Sobel on his website http://www.sylsobel.com/. Check out his books at Montgomery County Public Libraries.
By Beth Meyer for the November/December issue of the Make.More.Noyes Community Update
Priscilla Cummings' picture books about the Chesapeake Bay make perfect beach reads for the younger set. They include Beddy Bye in the Bay, Chesapeake 1-2-3 and Chesapeake ABC. Her fiction series about Chadwick the Crab celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. She has also written a number of books for preteens and teens.
Cummings grew up on a dairy farm in Massachusetts. Her first stories were about the barn cats that lived there. Her pets included two horses, cats, white rabbits, hamsters, and goldfish. Her favorite children's book is Charlotte's Web. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire, where she majored in English Literature. She was a journalist before she was an author. Her first book was Chadwick the Crab about a crab who wanted to be a star at the Baltimore aquarium. Over the years she wrote several other picture books about animals found in the Chesapeake Bay. She lives in Annapolis with her husband and two cats.
Cummings believes the Noyes Library is an important place. “Libraries are a gateway to knowledge and exploring the world,” she says. “Through reading books we load up on information. Through reading we learn how to think and make good decisions that help us all to have better, happier lives. Best of all, reading can be a wonderful escape—and a lot of fun!"
Read more about Cummings at www.priscillacummings.com. Check out her books at the Noyes Library for Young Children and other Montgomery County Public Libraries.
by Beth Meyer for the SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2016 EDITION OF THE MAKE.MORE.NOYES COMMUNITY UPDATE
Chevy Chase, MD author Laura Gehl recently came out with her fourth children’s book, Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching, illustrated by Joyce Jan. The book is about an older sister who cannot wait for her sibling to hatch. It was inspired by the stubborn behavior of Gehl’s four kids. Gehl’s other books are: One Big Pair of Underwear, And Then Another Sheep Turned Up, and Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel.
Due out in time for Halloween is Peep and Egg: I'm Not Trick-or-Treating. Growing up in Massachusetts, Gehl loved to read, write, and visit the library, and enjoyed making greeting cards with her brother. Her favorite books were Bread and Jam for Frances, George and Martha, and The Secret Garden. Favorite children's book authors include Richard Scarry, L.M. Montgomery, Gordon Korman, and Susan Cooper. She has a degree in psychology from Yale and a PhD in neuroscience.
Gehl believes Noyes Library is a special space "where adults relax and breathe, while children read and play." She says, "Because of Noyes' contained nature, kids can learn to love books without their grownups worrying that the kids will escape or shushing them in order to avoid disturbing adult patrons." Read more about Gehl at www.lauragehl.com, where you can also find free activity sheets and curriculum guides. Check out her books at the Noyes Library for Young Children and other Montgomery County Public Libraries.
by Beth Meyer for the April/May 2016 MAKE MORE NOYES COMMUNITY UPDATE
Karen Deans writes about inspiring people who do what they love and never stop, no matter what. Her two picture books are about some remarkable women in history: Playing to Win: The story of Althea Gibson, and Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Both are illustrated with pizzazz by two super illustrators, Elbrite Brown and Joe Cepeda.
Deans was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and always wanted to grow up to become a writer. Meanwhile, she played a lot of tennis with her older brother, read a lot of books with her younger sister, and spent a lot of time drawing and writing stories, and then turning them into little books with glue and tape. She loved reading the Madeline books, which inspired her college study in Paris, as well as any book by Richard Scarry or Beverly Cleary. (Yes, she named her cats Beezus and Ramona.) Currently she’s a big fan of graphic novels, like Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson.
She wrote her first children’s book after going to the library with her youngest daughter Maisy when she was in first grade. They were looking for a biography about the tennis champion Althea Gibson. They came up empty handed, because a book didn’t exist, so she set about writing one. She enjoys researching interesting people and learning about what makes them tick. It’s fun to make connections between the time period, the place and the special relationships that help build a person’s character. Everyone has a unique story! Deans is also a painter and is currently developing some illustrations for a children’s book manuscript which she has also written.
Deans believes the Noyes Library is a very special place. Aside from being the most inviting little cottage one could ever happen upon (like a fairy tale!), it is also a haven for young lives, a place to begin endless adventures and cultivate a lifelong respect for this magnificent institution. Long live libraries!
by Beth Meyer for the February/March 2016 MAKE MORE NOYES COMMUNITY UPDATE
Snuggle up and celebrate the winter holidays with books by local author Laura Krauss Melmed--Moishe's Miracle, Eight Winter Nightsand Hurry! Hurry! Have You Heard?
Her latest book, Before We Met, illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong, is about an expectant mother's hopes and dreams for her new baby and is due out in May. Melmed grew up an only child in New York City.
At an early age, she enjoyed creating plays and talent shows with her friends and pets. Her favorite books were A Child's Garden of Verses, All-of-a-Kind Family, The Princess and the Goblin and fairy-tales by Hans Christian Andersen and Andrew Lang. She went to college at S.U.N.Y. in Buffalo and got her Masters of Education in Early Childhood Education at Tulane. She taught Head Start and kindergarten in New Orleans public schools. She now lives in Washington, D.C. Her son inspired her to write her first picture book, The First Song Ever Sung, when he asked her about the first song.
Melmed feels that the Noyes Library for Young Children is important because of its long history promoting literacy in a charming setting dedicated to bringing children and books together. Read more about her at www.laurakraussmelmed.com.
Check out her books at the Noyes Library for Young Children and other Montgomery County Public Libraries here.
by Beth Meyer for the December 2015 MAKE MORE NOYES COMMUNITY UPDATE
Mary Quattlebaum, who lives in Washington, D.C., is the author of 22 books for children. In addition, she writes children's book reviews for The Washington Post and Washington Parent magazine.
Quattlebaum grew up in a large family in the country. Her family's pets included hamsters, horses, dogs, cats, goats, turtles, chickens and ducks. Every two weeks, they visited the public library and checked out so many books that they needed a clothes basket to carry them. Her favorite books as a child were Misty of Chincoteague, Jane's Blanket, and The Golden Treasury of Poetry. From a very early age, she was enthralled by sounds and poetry.
Quattlebaum first began to be interested in writing for kids when she worked as a medical writer for a children's hospital. She and her husband volunteered weekly to entertain sick children with a combination of magic and poetry. They encouraged the children to write creatively too. Their writing inspired her to create stories herself. Her first book was Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns in 1994. Her latest nonfiction book - Mighty Mole and Super Soil, with illustrations by Chad Wallace - came out in September and is dedicated to her brother. The book sprang from discussions she had with one of her brothers. He wants a smooth lawn with no mole hills, while Quattlebaum and her family cherish their backyard mole for the good he does to the soil. The book includes two pages of activities for kids and two for educators and parents.
The Noyes Children's Library is special to Quattlebaum because of "its history and focus on kids and their books.” Read more about Quattlebaum at www.maryquattlebaum.com. Check out Quattlebaum's books at the Noyes Library for Young Children and other Montgomery County Public Libraries.
by Beth Meyer for the October-November 2015 MAKE MORE NOYES COMMUNITY UPDATE
Minerva Louise is a beloved character for patrons of the Noyes Library for Young Children. On her intrepid adventures, the loveable hen mistakes flower pots and mittens for hats. She is the creation of local children's book author Janet Stoeke.
Stoeke grew up in an artistic family in Connecticut. She received a liberal arts education at Colgate University and continued her studies at George Washington University. Her early jobs involved working with children - gymnastics instructor, baby photographer and manager of the children's section of a bookstore. She is now the mother of four children. When she worked in the ad department of Washingtonian Magazine, her boss showed her an article about a Dutton Picture Book Contest. Stoeke was inspired by her recent dream about a chicken sitting on a windowsill. She won the cash prize and a contract. Thus, Minerva Louise the silly white hen was born. There are now 11 Minerva Louise books. Her newest book Snowy Hens, the fourth in her Loopy Coop Hens series, will be out in October 2016.
Stoeke has three books that are perfect for young children getting ready for school: Minerva Louise and School, Bus Stop and School Library. In Bus Stop, three nervous kindergartners get on the school bus for the first time. Her favorite books for children are Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, I Want My Hat Back by John Klassen and anything by Marla Frizee. Stoeke admires Noyes because "getting a reader hooked early on the fun that reading can be is one of my big goals." Read more about Stoeke on her website http://www.janetstoeke.com/. Check out Stoeke's books at the Noyes Library for Young Children and other Montgomery County Public Libraries.
by Beth Meyer for the August/September 2015 MAKE MORE NOYES COMMUNITY UPDATE
Chevy Chase, MD resident Susan Stockdale's books about animals are known for their bold, colorful illustrations, vivid rhymes, and scientific accuracy. Her books are displayed at Gala Artisans Jewelry & Gifts in downtown Kensington. Stockdale has just written her seventh picture book, Spectacular Spots, which explores familiar and exotic animals with spots and why they have them.It follows her previous book, Stripes of All Types. She also wrote Fabulous Fishes, Bring on the Birds, Nature's Paintbrush, and Carry Me. Her first book was Some Sleep Standing Up, which was inspired by seeing a flamingo sleep standing up at the zoo.
Stockdale began her career as a painter of fantasy landscape. Her experience as a textile designer is readily apparent in her illustrations emphasizing pattern and color. All of her books are meticulously researched and checked by scientists. They feature a two-page spread on animal facts. For Spectacular Spots, she traveled the rainforests of Costa Rica. She has received awards from the American Library Association, Parent's Choice, and the National Science Teachers Association. The Washington Post praised her: "If the paintings are the feast, Stockdale's words are the dessert."
Some of Stockdale's favorite children's books are The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater and River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet. Her favorite animals are tigers, whale sharks, and keel-billed toucans.
Stockdale is a big fan of Noyes because it is "such a cozy, intimate, and friendly library.” To teach your children more about animals and their habitats, check out Stockdale's books at the Noyes Library for Young Children and other Montgomery County Public Libraries. You can read more about Susan Stockdale on her website.
by Beth Meyer for the June/July 2015 MAKE MORE NOYES COMMUNITY UPDATE
(getting to know our local authors and illustrators)