—Edgar Allan Poe
Jane Goodall is the world’s foremost expert in chimpanzees. Born on April 3, 1934, she spent 45 years studying wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. In addition to being honored as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, she was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2002. She has received many awards, including the French Legion of Honor, the Medal of Tanzania, the Kyoto Prize, and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Yet, not only did Goodall make lasting contributions to science and environmentalism, she led a fascinating life. Learn twenty interesting facts about Jane Goodall below:
The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to the panel-determined, best-illustrated children’s book of the year. Whether that book honors traditions in a meaningful way or pushes the artistic boundaries of what is common for children’s books differs from year to year, but one can be assured that each year the winner and finalist have accomplished something special. The 2001 Caldecott Medal recipient, David Small, was awarded the medal for his fusion of political cartoons and caricatures into a delightful and educational book for children. Let’s take a closer look at Small’s career in this edition of our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators Series:
British writer Virginia Woolf is undoubtedly one of the most important literary figures in both English literature and feminist literature. Her novels, essays, criticism, and work toward education reform have made her a frequent subject of study and firmly declared her relevant, even today when we are nearing sixty years since her death. Her work makes her a pillar of both feminism and modernism. Today, on the anniversary of her birth, let's take a closer look at her life and the ways in which she has stayed on the forefront of popular culture and zeitgeist.
Edwin Aldrin Jr, better known as Buzz Aldrin, is perhaps one of America's best known explorer heroes. In 1969 he became one of the first men to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. He has served as one of the most prominent faces of NASA for many years, inspiring generations of people to go into the fields of aerospace and astronautics through his outspoken advocacy for space travel and exploration.
Even after Aldrin's retirement from NASA, he has continued to further knowledge of the importance of understanding space as a writer, authoring eleven books for a variety of age groups, including Footsteps on the Moon; The Return, Look to the Stars; Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet; and most recently, 2016's No Dream is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon. Though we all know Buzz Aldrin the astronaut and Buzz Aldrin the writer, here are some lesser-known facts about one of NASA's biggest names.
On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife, “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival… It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other.”
Adams was nearly correct in his prediction. Americans have indeed memorialized the Declaration of Independence as he envisioned; however, the celebrations have been on July 4th—the date written on the Declaration of Independence—instead of July 2nd, the date the Second Continental Congress adopted the resolution of independence. Today, as we celebrate the birthday of George Washington, let us salute the Founding Fathers not only for creating a great nation, but also for being the country’s first book collectors.
Every year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association. The committee reviews children's books published throughout the year and selects one book whose art exemplifies the best of American illustration. To be named winner of the Caldecott Medal is a massive achievement and often comes as a sign that the book is destined to be loved by generations of children. These distinguished books are sought after by both children and collectors, and they occupy well-loved places on numerous shelves. Continuing our ongoing Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators Series, let's take a closer look at 1948 Winner, Roger Duvoisin.
Janet Evanovich was born in South River, New Jersey in 1943. Evanovich has become a household name thanks to her much beloved adventure series featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. A prolific writer, she has published over sixty novels, many of which have topped the New York Times Best Sellers list. Her novels are published all over the world and have been translated into more than 40 languages. In celebration of this writer's amazing career, here are five things you might not know about one of America's most loved adventure novelists.
Why is it that the books we read as children have such an impact on our lives? Is it because they offer some of the first reflections of the thoughts and experiences that we encounter early on? Is it because they grant us the opportunity to take in stories in a way that educates and entertains in a format perfectly geared toward that point in our development? Or maybe it's the way children's literature can transcend time and space. After all, even as we grow, it offers us an opportunity to connect with our histories as well as with the children who come in to our lives after we've "grown up."