Children's Authors/Audrey Wood
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Biographical Information[edit | edit source]
- Audrey Wood is living proof that dreams can and do come true. She was born in 1948 to a third generation artist and his wife in Little Rock, Arkansas. Audrey Wood is an author whose childhood would seem to ensure a wonderful pallet of creativity for entertaining readers of all ages.
- Her unique life experiences began with the time she and her family spent with the Ringling Brothers’ Circus. While her father painted murals she was befriended by many circus employees and was told stories by most. During their stint with the circus, Audrey learned to swim and walk by seven months old, and, believe it or not, she climbed a seven foot chain link fence when she was one year old!
- After their time with the circus, the Brewers (Audrey’s maiden name) moved to Mexico, where she also learned to speak Spanish. With parents like hers (and their extensive home library), Audrey learned to love books and was reading by the time she was three years old. Audrey has been a storyteller from a young age, with her being the oldest of three girls she would share made up stories about the pictures in her parents' art books.
- It was in first grade that she decided she wanted to be an artist like her father, but it was in fourth grade that she added author to her list of dreams. As an adult she went to California to focus on her art. This is where she met and married Don Wood. They have teamed up on many books; they both try to make books enjoyable for children and adults alike. Together they have a son named Bruce, who has also carried on the family tradition of artistry. He also teamed up with his mom on a few books including Alphabet Mystery” and The Christmas Adventure of Space Elf Sam. The Woods also enjoy the company of a few furry, feathered, and scaly friends at their home. It is their pets, family, and close friends that they often use as characters in their stories.
- With all of the creativity and life experiences that Audrey Wood brings with her, it is no wonder why her books are exciting and fun to read. They often have great rhythm, wonderful interactions with the reader, and pull people in with their fun story lines.
Books of Interest[edit | edit source]
The Napping House, originally published in 1984, has been a long standing favorite book of many and a multi-award winner. Between this book's flow and the illustrations, it is sure to capture the imagination of anyone who reads it. The wonderful and natural rhythm of word usage (continually building upon what was stated on the previous page) makes this book easy and fun to read. The boy illustrated in this book is very representative of the Woods’ son Bruce.
- Alphabet Mystery, published in 2003, has been dubbed “an inspired selection for any age group” (Charlesworth, 2004). This book takes the readers along on an adventure to find the letter “x”, who mysteriously disappeared. This story does a wonderful job not only promoting alphabetic and phonemic awareness, but character and creativity as well. After all, the letters use a pencil to fly around on and go on quite the adventure looking for their friend.
- The Little Mouse the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear, published in 1984, is a story about a mouse that would simply like to eat a strawberry but keeps getting interrupted. Throughout the story the mouse does no talking, however, the illustrations speak volumes. This story is great because of its dramatically different use of perspective and the great use of descriptions. Children and adults alike will have fun coming up with the answer to who is speaking to the mouse.
- Ten Little Fish, published in 2004, this book is always a favorite with my students. The rhyming pattern in the book creates good opportunities for prediction for those who are just getting the hang of reading. This is also a great book for introducing subtraction as it lends itself very well to this outcome. The illustrations draw the readers in and make them feel as though they are swimming in the sea.
- Elbert’s Bad Word, published in 1988, A very whimsical lesson of children picking up on what adults are saying and using it. This story has good use of vocabulary and has a lot of meaning hidden in the pictures, and style and font of the words. This book lends itself very well to teaching a lesson to young readers without coming out and saying “NO” like they hear so often.
- The Bunyans, published in 1996, is another version of a tall tale that incorporates real life places and the formations that make them what they are. The way places like Bryce Canyon and Old Faithful are introduced it can cause excitement and enthusiasm to learn more about those areas. With words like barren, puma, barrier and pitched, this book has delightful vocabulary that helps to bring the story to life.
References[edit | edit source]
- Charlesworth, L. (2004, May/June). 31 Flavors of Reading. Instructor, 113(8), 20-27.
- Lodge, S. (2001). Reading Gets a Prescription. Publishers Weekly, 248(32), 25.
- Sigwald, J. Jones, T. (1996, October). Preschool and Primary Grades Fiction. School Library Journal, 42(10), 109-110.
- Walther, M. Fuhler, C. (2008/May). Motivating Writers. Making Every Book Count. 17(5), 54-55.
- Wood, Audrey. Alphabet Mystery. Scholastic Inc. New York. 2003.
- Wood, Audrey. The Bunyans. Scholastic Inc. New York. 1996.
- Wood, Audrey. Elbert’s Bad Word. Voyager Books. San Diego. 1988.
- Wood, Audrey. Ten Little Fish. Scholastic Inc. New Yourk. 2004.
- Wood, Audrey. The Little Mouse The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear. Children’s Play. 1984.
- Wood, Audrey. The Napping House. Harcourt Brace. 1984.
- Great Interview with Audrey and Don Wood http://www.harcourtbooks.com/authorinterviews/bookinterview_Wood.asp
- Audrey Woods official web site http://www.audreywood.com/mac_site/auds_jumpstation/aud_jumpstation.htm