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
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(getting to know our local authors and illustrators)