Books to Treasure Author/Illustrator to Share His Talents with Families

   Philip C. Stead, award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, is the featured illustrator for Tulsa City-County Library’s 2014 “Books to Treasure,” an annual event promoting the beauty of children’s literature and introducing the community to popular book illustrators.

   Stead will speak, answer questions and sign copies of his books during a special visit Nov. 14, 7 p.m. at Hardesty Regional Library’s Connor’ s Cove, 8316 E. 93rd St.  This event is free and open to the public.

   Focusing on his interest in art, Stead earned a fine-arts degree at the University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design.  After college he worked at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum for two years designing publications and displays before returning to Michigan to focus on his art and writing.

   He is the author and illustrator of “Sebastian and the Balloon,” “Bear Has a Story to Tell,” “Hello, My Name is Ruby,” “Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat,” “A Home for Bird” and his debut “Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast,” which was applauded by School Library Journal for “its wry humor and illustrations worthy of a Roald Dahl creation.”

   Together, with his wife Erin E. Stead, also an illustrator, they created “A Sick Day for Amos McGee.”  Working from their studio home, a 100-year-old barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Stead’s words were brought to life with Erin’s wood-block prints and pencil.  Their book received the Caldecott Medal and was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2010 and a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of 2010.  The pair also collaborated on the book “Bear Has a Story to Tell,” which was selected as an E.B. White Read-Aloud Award honor book.

   “A Sick Day for Amos McGee” follows a zookeeper who enjoys treating the animals in the zoo like friends as he develops a special bond with each one.  On the day Amos is sick and home from work, the animals unite and travel to his house to care for him.

   “Books to Treasure” is sponsored by the Tulsa Library Trust through a grant from the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation.  The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation is providing one free copy of Stead’s “A Home for Bird“ to each second-grader in Tulsa County.  Students also have the opportunity to receive a special library card featuring artwork from the featured book.

   To enhance the author’s visit, Tulsa City-County Library children’s librarians will visit second-grade classes at all public and private schools in Tulsa County to promote the program.  Librarians have created specific lesson plans using Stead’s books focusing on curriculum areas such as reading, math, writing, science and social studies.

   For more information on “Books to Treasure,” call the AskUs Hotline, 918-549-7323, or visit the library’s webpage, www.tulsalibrary.org.

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