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Viewing Blog: Anneographies, Most Recent at Top
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Author Anne Bustard on her fave picture book biographies and a few collected biographies, too, birthday by birthday.
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1. Passing the torch to Birthdayographies!

HibiscusFlowerI’ve loved celebrating every birthday with you!

I began Anneographies after my picture book biography, Buddy: the Story of Buddy Holly was published.

Now, I'm turning my attention to fiction.

I’m thrilled that debut picture book biography author Donna Bowman Bratton will build on Anneographies and blog birthday by birthday at her new site. Thank you, Donna!

Please visit Birthdayographies today!

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2. November 30 Birthday: Mark Twain


Mark Twain, writer
Nov. 30, 1835-Apr. 21, 1910


The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy) by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham (Scholastic, 2010)

Told from Twain's daughter's point of view, Susy give the inside (and hilarious) scoop on her famous father.

The Hannibal Courier Post looks at the life and works of Samuel Clemens.

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3. November 29 Birthday: Tzu Hsi


Tzu Hsi, royal
Nov. 29, 1835-Nov. 15, 1908


Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 2000)

Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi ruled her country for 47 years. It was said that she loved to read.

Fordham University posts information about the Court Life in China.

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4. November 29 Birthday: Louisa May Alcott


Louisa May Alcott, writer
Nov. 29, 1832-Mar. 6, 1888


Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1994)

Based on her own childhood with her three sisters in Concord, Massachusetts, Alcott's most famous work, Little Women was followed by other classics such as Little Men, Jo's Boys, and Eight Cousins. Alcott also wrote works for adults.

Visit Orchard House, where Alcott lived when writing Little Women.

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5. November 28 Birthday: Luke Howard



Luke Howard, scientist
November 28, 1772-March 21, 1864

The Man Who Named the Clouds by Julie Hannah and Joan Holub, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye (Albert Whitman, 2006)

From childhood, Howard was an intrepid cloud watcher. He kept weather journals and painted the clouds. As an adult, frustrated because a classification system for clouds did not exist, Howard created one. And it is still in use today.

Float on over to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to see photos of common cloud types and to read about the classification system.


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6. November 27 Birthday: Bruce Lee


Bruce Lee, athlete
Nov. 27, 1940-July 20, 1973


Be Water, My Friend: The Early Years of Bruce Lee by Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee (Lee & Low Books, 2006)

A master of Kung fu, Chinese American Bruce Lee turned the West on to martial arts.

The Bruce Lee Foundation preserves the legacy of Bruce Lee.

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7. November 27 Birthday: Jimi Hendrix


Jimi Hendrix, musician
November 27, 1942-September 18, 1970


Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix by Gary Golio, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe (Clarion Books, 2010).

Meet the heart and soul of the rock ‘n’ roller who electrified the 1960s--before he became a star. Through vibrant language and dynamic illustrations, readers are introduced to Hendrix’s childhood friends, his inspirations, his songs, his fire.

The official Jimi Hendrix website offers news, video, music, album information and a bio of this pioneer.

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8. November 24 Birthday: Frances H. Burnett


Frances H. Burnett, writer
Nov. 24, 1849-Oct. 29, 1924


Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1994)

Burnett, the author of the children's classic, The Secret Garden, originally illustrated by Tasha Tudor, was nicknamed "Fluffy." Who knew?

A brief biography of Burnett is posted on a UK site devoted to fantasy.

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9. November 23 Birthday: Franklin Pierce


Franklin Pierce, U.S. President
Nov. 23, 1804-Oct. 8, 1869


Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1998)

One paragraph about the 14th president who put the first Christmas tree in the White House can be found in this collective biography.

Read Pierce's Inaugural Address on Friday, March 4, 1853, posted on The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School.

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10. November 22 Birthday: Sieur De La Salle


Sieur De La Salle a.k.a. Rene-Robert Cavelier, explorer
Nov. 22, 1643-Mar. 20, 1687


Despite All Obstacles: LaSalle and the Conquest of the Mississippi by Joan Elizabeth Goodman, illustrated by Tom McNeely (Mikaya Press, 2001)

Follow La Salle from his birth in France through his Mississippi adventures through a text filled with excerpts from letters, diaries and journals.

The Handbook of Texas Online provides a biographical sketch of La Salle.

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11. November 21 Birthday: Isaac B. Singer


Isaac B. Singer, writer
Nov. 21, 1904-1991


Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1994)

Singer spent his childhood in a Jewish ghetto in Poland. He escaped the Holocaust, became a writer and won the Nobel Prize in literature for his work.

Isaac Bashevis Singer is profiled at the Jewish-American Hall of Fame.

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12. November 19 Birthday: Indira Gandhi


Indira Gandhi, politician
Nov. 19, 1917-Oct. 31, 1984


Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 2000)

Indira Gandhi served as the Prime Minister of India during portions of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. This remarkable woman is highlighted in this book dedicated to women who have changed the world.

Remembering Indira Gandhi highlights Gandhi's contributions.

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13. November 19 Birthday: James Garfield


James Garfield, U.S. President
Nov. 19, 1831-Sept. 19, 1881


Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1998)

One pithy paragraph about the 20th president who had a dog named Veto is included in this book about U.S. presidents.

Visit the White House to learn more about Garfield.

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14. November 18 Birthday: Wilma Mankiller


Wilma Mankiller, Chief
Nov. 18, 1945-


Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World by Cynthia Chin-Lee, illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy (Charlesbridge, 2005)

Wilma Mankiller, the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation who served for over ten years during the 1980s and 90s, made health and education her top issues.

A brief bio of Mankiller is posted at the National Women's Hall of Fame site.

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15. November 17 Birthday: Isamu Noguchi


Isamu Noguchi, artist
Nov. 17, 1904-Dec. 30, 1988


Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1995)

Although Noguchi was discouraged from pursuing art, thank goodness he persisted. Now, works of this important sculptor can be found in Detroit and Atlanta, to name just a few places.

The Noguchi Museum has exhibitions and collections that feature Noguchi's life and work. Visit online today.

See also the Aaron Copland (November 13) and Martha Graham (May 11) collaboration of Ballet for Martha: Making Appalacian Spring.

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16. November 15 Birthday: Georgia O'Keeffe


Georgia O'Keeffe, artist
Nov. 15, 1887-Mar. 6, 1986


My Name is Georgia: A Portrait by Jeanette Winter (Silver Whistle, 1998)

From the age of twelve, O'Keeffe knew she wanted to be an artist. Using O'Keeffe's own words within the text as well as O'Keeffe-like illustrations, readers are in for a vivid look at an interesting life.

The O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, offers an online look at some of her amazing work.

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17. November 14 Birthday: Aaron Copland



Aaron Copland, composer
November 14, 1900-December 2, 1990

Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring by Jan Greenburg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca (Flash Point, 2010)

This is the story behind the story of the collaboration of three artists—a choreographer, a composer (Copeland) and an artist—who created the magnificent ballet, Appalachian Spring. Thank you Martha Graham, Aaron Copeland and Isamu Noguchi.

Interviews, features and music of Copland are archived at NPR Music.

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18. November 14 Birthday: William Steig


William Steig, writer and illustrator
Nov. 14, 1907-Oct. 3, 2003


When Everyone Wore a Hat  by William Steig (Joanna Colter Books, 2003)

In this picture book autobiography, Steig looked at the year he was eight, when the world was at war, and he had dreams for the future.

A cartoonist for the New Yorker, Steig was in his 60s when he began writing and illustrating children's books. Stop by Macmillan Publishers for a bio.

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19. November 14 Birthday: Robert Fulton


Robert Fulton, inventor
Nov. 14, 1765-Feb. 24, 1815


Robert Fulton: From Submarine to Steamboat by Steven Kroll, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth (Holiday House, 1999)

Fulton's name is synonymous with steamboats. But first he was a sign painter, air-gun inventor and apprentice jeweler. Read all about his life and inventions in this picture book biography.

Read more about Robert Fulton on this site from the University of Rochester.

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20. November 13 Birthday: Robert Louis Stevenson


Robert Louis Stevenson, writer
Nov. 13, 1850-Dec. 3, 1894


Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1994)

Treasure Island, Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson penned these classics and more. He suffered from tuberculosis and wrote mostly in bed. A Scot, he eventually settled in Samoa.

Want to listen to a classic read aloud? Download Treasure Island at Librivox.org, a site dedicated to promoting recordings in the Public Domain.

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21. November 12 Birthday: Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Elizabeth Cady Stanton, social activist
Nov. 12, 1815-Oct. 26, 1902


Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote by Tanya Lee Stone illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon (Henry Holt & Company, 2008)

As a child, Elizabeth Cady wanted to do “anything any boy could.” And she did. As an adult, Stanton and others proposed women should have the vote. Millions of women took up the cause, and eighteen years after her death, Stanton’s dream became law.

Find the papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony at the Rutgers site dedicated to findings and publishing their work.

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22. November 11 Birthday: LaVern Baker


LaVern Baker, musician
Nov. 11, 1929-Mar. 10, 1997


Shake, Rattle and Roll: The Founders of Rock and Roll by Holly George-Warren, illustrated by Laura Levine (Houghton Mifflin, 2001)

"Tweedle Dee," a top song recorded in 1954 and "Jim Dandy," a 1956 hit made Baker, a jazz-and-R&B-vocalist-turned-rocker famous. As an African American, Baker suffered backlash from her early records being labeled "race records." But she continued to record and eventually the barriers came down.

Read more about Baker's life and music at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

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23. November 9 Birthday: Benjamin Banneker


Benjamin Banneker, mathematician & astronomer
Nov. 9, 1731-Oct. 9, 1806


Dear Benjamin Banneker by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Voyager, 1998)

Banneker, an 18th century  free African American was passionate about learning. Aside from excelling professionally in the fields of math and astronomy, he published an almanac and corresponded with Thomas Jefferson about slavery. Brian Pinkney's hallmark style—scratchboard—illuminates this story.

Go to the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum in Baltimore to learn more about this multi-talented man.

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24. November 7 Birthday: Alexa Canady


Alexa Canady, physician
Nov. 7, 1950-


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

Canady was the first black female neurosurgeon in the U.S. and has won numerous awards for her work. This collective biography includes a photograph and one-page biography of her.

Read more about Canady on the National Institute of Health site.

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25. November 7 Birthday: Marie Curie


Marie Curie, physicist and chemist
Nov. 7, 1867-July 4, 1934


Marie Curie by Leonard Everett Fisher (Atheneum, 1994)

Life as a pioneering scientist was not easy but Curie, a Polish-French pioneer in radioactivity persevered and ultimately won two Nobel Peace Prizes for her efforts.

Visit the Nobel Award site to read more about Curie.

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