Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Birthdayographies Update

Stay tuned as Birthdayographies upgrades.

For now, peruse the archives to find your favorite birthday or subject. Enjoy! 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 5 Birthday: With Books and Bricks: How Booker T. Washington Built a School

Booker T. Washington, African American, author, educator, advisor
b. April 5, 1856
d. Nov. 14, 1915

(Albert Whitman, 2014)

by Suzanne Slade
illustrated by Nicole Tadgell

Summary: After the Civil War ended Booker T. Washington fulfilled his dream of attending school, then set out to teach. Finding many eager students in Tuskegee, Alabama but no school, Booker decided to build his own school. So he rolled up his sleeves and dug clay, molded thousands of bricks, and constructed his own kiln to fire them. But brick making was more difficult than he'd imagined. Yet, Booker continued the back-breaking work, built a fine school, and welcomed all who shared his passion for learning.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April 4 Birthday: Muddy Waters, musician

Muddy Waters, musician
Apr. 4, 1913-Apr. 30, 1983

The Blues Singers: Ten Who Rocked the World by Julius Lester, illustrated by Lisa Cohen (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 2oo1)

Mississippi born, Waters quit school at ten and worked in cotton fields. He moved to Chicago in 1943 and in 1948 made his first commercial record.

The Official Muddy “Mississippi” Waters site is the place to go for resources about this electrified blues man.

April 4 Birthday: Maya Angelou, writer

Maya Angelou, writer
Apr. 4, 1928-

Women of Hope: African Americans Who Made a Difference by Joyce Hansen, Scholastic, 1998.

The author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is a producer, actor and director, too. She recited her poem On the Pulse of Morning at President Clinton's inauguration.

The Maya Angelou Official Website offers a bio and photos.

Friday, April 3, 2015

April 3 Birthday: The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps

 Goodall, primatologist

April 3, 1934-

The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter (Schwartz & Wade, 2011)

The story of how Jane Goodall's love for all the animals in the world leads her to study chimps in Africa and be their advocate and friend. Today, she still continues to speak out and protect the animals and their homes.

Drop by the Jane Goodall Institute for videos, interviews and biographical information.

April 3 Birthday: Me, Jane. Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall, primatologist

April 3, 1934-

Me, Jane by Patrick McDonnell (Little Brown, 2011)

As a young child, Goodall dreamed of a life in Africa, a life with the animals. The charming photograph of Goodall on the last page shows that dreams can come true.

Drop by the Jane Goodall Institute for videos, interviews and biographical information.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April 2 Birthday: Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian

Maria Merian, scientist

April 2, 1647-Jan. 13, 1717

Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (Henry Holt, 2010)

Although Europeans during the Middle Ages thought insects were evil, Maria Merian thought them beautiful and harmless. Through careful observation and study she eventually proved metamorphosis was a natural process. Written in first person, Merian’s account of her quest for truth during her thirteenth year is transformative.

The Academy of Natural Sciences shows the different stages of the life of a butterfly.

April 2 Birthday: Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen, writer
Apr. 2, 1805-Aug. 4, 1875

Perfect Wizard: The Hans Christian Andersen by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Dennis Nolan (Dutton, 2005)

This is the story of Andersen, the “ugly duckling” who grew up to write incredible fairy tales.

Drop by the Hans Christian Andersen for research, texts and information.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Birthday: Wangari's Trees of Peace. Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai, peace advocate

Apr. 1, 1940-

Wangari's Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter (Harcourt, 2008)

A member of the Kikuyu ethnic group, Maathai has and is doing much to make the world a better place. In particular, she is interested in the green movement and women’s rights. She won the Nobel Peace Prize because she “stood up courageously against the former oppressive regime in Kenya.” This book is about how she led the way to change.

Read the press release from the Nobel Peace Prize for Maathai received in 2004.

April 1 Birthday: It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw

 "Bill" Traylor, artist
Apr. 1, 1854 - Oct. 23, 1949

It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw by Don Tate, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Lee & Low Books, 2012).

Bill Traylor, a self-taught artist and former slave, began drawing at eighty-five, inspired by his life growing up in Alabama.

It Jes' Happened website is devoted to Bill Traylor and other outsider artists and their powerful work.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31 Birhtday: Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez, civil rights activist
Mar. 31, 1927-Apr. 23, 1993

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Harcourt, 2003)

A heartfelt account of Chavez’s childhood, his days as a field laborer and as the nonviolent organizer of the 1965 grape boycott.

America’s Library posts several great stories about Chavez for kids.