Funny and totally true childhood biographies and full-color illustrations tell the tales from the challenging yet defining growing-up years of J. K. Rowling, Beverly Cleary, J. R. R. Tolkien, and 12 other great writers.
Every great author started out as a kid. Before the best sellers, fan clubs, and beloved stories we know today, the world’s most celebrated writers had regular-kid problems just like you. Sam Clemens (aka Mark Twain) loved to skip school and make mischief, with his best friend Tom, of course! A young J. R. R. Tolkien was bitten by a huge tarantula—or as he called it, “a spider as big as a dragon.” Toddler Zora Neale Hurston took her first steps when a wild hog entered her house and started chasing her! Kid Artists tells their stories and more—the diverse and inclusive cast that includes Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, J. K. Rowling, Sherman Alexie, Jules Verne, Lewis Carroll, Stan Lee—through kid-friendly texts and full-color cartoon illustrations on nearly every page.
Quirk books have instantly become one of my favorite publishers over the last two years. Whenever I see their name, I have come to expect the highest quality book around. The latest edition of Kid Legends is no exception.
This book covers a wide variety of authors, the ones they did not dedicate full stories too are included in the index in the back. Shakespeare to Rowling to Woolfe, the authors included in the book cover a variety of genres, so it would be at the teacher/parents discretion whether or not to cover particular authors. The stories are engaging and fun to read. When reading a few selected biographies out loud, my children were able to ask a lot of questions, which opened up a lot more conversation between us.
Zora Neal Hurston and Langston Hughes. These two authors alone are the main reason I want to own a copy of this book. I have a huge fan of Harlem Renaissance and African American Literature, finding these two in the main section of the book, brought me a lot of joy. With the inclusion of Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man), Alice Walker (The Color Purple), Richard Wright, and Maya Angelou; Kid Authors offer a variety of well-known authors, with tidbits about their personal lives we would not have known (unless you did a lot of research). Thank you for including these authors, sometimes I feel many African American authors are forgotten as time passes (i.e. Hurston), it’s great to see their names referenced in a variety of literature for all ages. On the chapter about Langston Hughes, it says “he was voted class poet in eighth grade unanimously, but he had not written a poem yet, at least outside of his mind. So he went and started writing to prove himself.” I read this line to my son last night, as he was also unanimously voted class president; and he got very excited at the thought of a famous writer also being class president.
Having the ability to see how the author’s childhood directly influenced some of their major works was huge. I was never a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but……I am now a little more interested and have added “Little House on the Prarie” to my reading list.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking to add a great non-fiction children’s book to either their in-home library or classroom library. My children are 5 & 8, I’m 34–we all enjoyed reading this book.
Check out the Kid Legends Series now!