1999 Summer Picture Book Biographies

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Nancy's picks for the best picture book biographies of Summer 1999 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 1999.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008
MARY ANNING
STONE GIRL, BONE GIRL. THE STORY OF MARY ANNING by Laurence Anholt.Orchard, 1999
Because she had always been fascinated by the strange bone shapes buried in the crumbly clay cliffs of Dorset, Mary Anning at age 12 makes one of the most important scientific discoveries of her time.....a sea monster as long as a tree and more that one hundred and sixty five million years old.
MARY ANTIN
STREETS OF GOLD by Rosemary Wells. Dial, 1999
In 1894 Mary Antin and her family fled Russia leaving behind familiar family, language and customs to come to America where for the first time she could go to school. As an adult she wrote The Promised Land to tell of her experiences...a book that is still read today. This short illustrated biography tells of both her struggles and of her remarkable achievement.
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
BACH'S BIG ADVENTURE by Sallie Ketcham. Orchard Books, 1999
Johann bragged that he was the greatest organist in all of Germany. His brother told him that Reincken in Hamburg was greater. In disbelief Johann walked the thirty miles to Hamburg to hear the old man play. His brother was right. Johann had much to learn and after playing with the old man, he was determined, with hard work, to someday be the best.
WILSON BENTLEY
SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Houghton-Mifflin, 1998.
Wilson Bentley had a passion for snowflakes as a boy that continued as an adult.Through his photographs and amazing observations, Wilson made discoveries not known to the greatest scientific minds of his day.
MELVILLE MURRELL
OUR NEIGHBOR IS A STRANGE, STRANGE MAN by Tres Seymour. Orchard, 1999.
Here is a lively portrait of the creator of the very first human-powered airplane to take flight---even before the Wright Brothers. The bright illustrations by Walter Krudup and the gentle humor of the text are just right for Melville's story.
BEATRIX POTTER
MY DEAR NOEL, THE STORY OF A LETTER FROM BEATRIX POTTER. by Jane Johnson. Dial 1999
Because of her special friendship with young Noel Moore, Beatrix Potter sent him many illustrated letters when he became ill. These letters later became her first and most famous book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit.