Children's LiteratureEver wonder what kind of person could spend her time blowing toilet paper around or sucking on five-foot straws as a job? Meet Vicki Cobb, noted children's book author and scientist extraordinaire. With help from her granddaughter, Abby, readers learn all about Cobb's work as a writer and the process she follows to create interesting experiments and science-related books for young readers. In addition, Abby shares more of the personal side of Cobb's life, and shows readers how Vicki Cobb is not only a well-known author, but also a very special grandmother. This interesting combination of how-to and biography allows readers to learn more about Vicki Cobb while providing tips on how to become a children's book author. Whether used on "Take Your Daughter to Work" Day or as part of a unit on careers, this book is a fun way to introduce children to the author of books they may read. Photographs, drawings and sample pages from Cobb's books provide a visual feast for readers. 2001, The Millbrook Press, $22.90. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer:Leah Hanson
School Library JournalGr 1-4-Prolific children's book author Vicki Cobb is highlighted in this biography, as told by her nine-year-old granddaughter, Abigail. Lots of colorful photos (Cobb alone; working with editors, co-authors, friends; and with her granddaughter) take up almost half the space on each page. The writing is simple and clear. Readers find out about the process of creating, writing, and publishing children's books. Cobb comes across as fun, interesting, and accessible. However, children Abby's age will most likely be looking for more information than is given here. The last page, "If You Want to Be a Children's Book Author-," gives good suggestions for beginning writers. Other books that cover the same information include the autobiographical "Meet the Author" series (Richard C. Owen), which has almost an identical format to this book and similar reading level. If you have a large need for easy biographies on people whom children will know and relate to, more than historical/political/scientific- famous people, this book is a nice addition.-Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsAdopting the voice of Vicki Cobb's real granddaughter Abigail, McElroy presents an authentic-sounding middle-grader's-eye view of Grandma at work and at play. With Cobb, a veteran author of nonfiction, there sometimes isn't all that much difference between the two, especially when "work" involves conducting science experiments with a leaf blower and a roll of toilet paper, or traveling to distant corners of the globe. To be sure, in the bright color photos Grandma is also seen visiting schools, talking with colleagues, thinking about a current project, and even, once, sitting down at the keyboard-as well as getting married, taking Abby into town for a shopping expedition, and fussing over her granddaughter's hair before a school play. Children with an interest in what other people's grandmas are like will be fascinated by this and its sister titles in the Meet My Grandmother series. "(Nonfiction. 7-9)"
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