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Transcript of Cynthia Rylant
Newberry Award- Missing May (1993)
Caldecott Honor- When I Was Young in the
Mountains (1982), The Relatives Came (1985)
Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Books- The Relatives
Came (1985), Missing May (1993), The Relatives Came and Appalachia: The Voices of Sleeping Birds (1991)
"Best Book of the Year for Young Adults" by
American Library Association: A Kindness (1988),
Soda Jerk (1990), A Couple of Kooks and Other
Stories about Love (1990) We would like to kick off this presentation by giving you a sample of one of Cynthia Rylant's works: Most of Cynthia's books are made up of experiences from her own life... EARlY
LIFE -Cynthia Rylant was born in Hopewell, Virginia on June 6, 1954.
-Her parents' unhappy marriage ended when she was just four years old.
-After this occurred, Rylant's mom attempted to start her life over again by going to nursing school.
-Because of this, Rylant went to live with her grandparents in Cool Ridge, West Virginia, a very rural area. -Her grandparents home was up in the mountains and there was no electricity or running water and they had no car.
-And they had no money for books.
-Although she missed her parents dearly, many of Rylant's strongest memories come from this time in her life. "It's that time that seems to have sunk thickest into my brain and my heart, and much of what I saw and heard then, has come into my books..." -When I Was Young in the Mountains, her first book, was published in 1982, winning the American Book Award. The story was based on her life in Cool Ridge. -Rylant lived with her grandparents for four years.
-She then went back with her mother, and the two moved to Beaver, a small town in southern West Virginia.
-She went to elementary and high school here. -After high school, with no real career plans, she attended Morris Harvey College (which is now the University of Charleston), graduating in 1975.
-She followed that degree with a Master of Arts in English from Marshall University, graduating in 1976. WORKING
LIFE -Out of college, she worked as a waitress for awhile.
-She then became a librarian at the Akon Public Library in Ohio.
-It was while working in the children's section of the library that Rylant was first truly exposed to children's literature; there had been no libraries or book stores in the mostly poor area of Cool Ridge.
-She discovered classics such as Goodnight Moon and Charlotte's Web. These inspired her to write her own stories and without telling anyone, she began to write. After her first book, Rylant went to Kent state for her Professional Librarian degree. INSPIRATIONS -She has always loved cats and dogs and many of her pets have appeared in her books.
Ex: Martha Jane is in The Bookshop Dog; Gracie Rose is in the The Great Gracie Chase; Edward Velvetpaws and Tomato are in Cat Heaven. In the popular Henry and Mudge series, Mudge was her 200-pound English mastiff. Her son Nate, was seven years old at the time when they got Mudge. The two together soon became Henry and Mudge. "Simple things make
good books" Many of her favorite things to do are also
found in her books:
-Mr. Putter makes tea and takes naps in the Mr. Putter and Tabby books.
-Lila and Whistler explore the seashore in The Lighthouse Family books.
-Annie dresses fancy in the Annie and Snowball books.
-Murray watches "Jeopardy" in Gooseberry Park. LIFE AS
A WRITER -She has written over 137 books, including children's stories, picture books, her autobiography, and poems. 1982 When I Was Young in the Mountains
1983 Miss Maggie
1983 This Year's Garden
1984 Waiting to Waltz....a Childhood (poetry)
1985 A Blue-Eyed Daisy (a novel; also published as Some Year for Ellie)
1985 Every Living Thing (stories)
1986 A Fine White Dust (novel)
1986 Night in the Country
1986 The Relatives Came (1987) Birthday Presents
(1987) Children of Christmas:
Stories for the Season
(1988) All I See
(1988) A Kindness (novel)
(1989) But I'll Be Back Again
(1989) Mr. Griggs' Work
1990 A Couple of Kooks and
Other Stories about Love
1990 Soda Jerk (poetry)
1991 Appalachia: The Voices of Sleeping
1992 An Angel for Solomon Singer
1992 Missing May
1992 Best Wishes
1993 I Had Seen Castles (novel)
1993 The Dreamer
1994 The Blue Hill Meadows
1994 The Old Woman Who Named Things
1994 Something Permanent (poetry) 1995 Dog Heaven
1995 Gooseberry Park
1995 The Van Gogh Cafe
1996 The Bookshop Dog (who will care for a dog when her owner becomes ill?)
1996 Margaret, Frank, and Andy: Three Writers' Stories, biographical stories (three volumes): A Story of Margaret Wise Brown, A Story of L. Frank Baum, and A Story of E. B. White.
1996 The Whales
1997 Cat Heaven
1997 Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story (a rich man gives gifts to poor children in Appalachia)
1998 Bear Day
1998 The Bird House
1998 Bless Us All: A Child's Yearbook of Blessings
1998 The Islander (novel)
1998 Tulip Sees America (a young man and his dog see the farms and mountains of America)
1999 Bunny Bungalow
1999 The Cookie-Store Cat
1999 Give Me Grace: A Child's Daybook of Prayers
1999 The Heavenly Village
2000 In November
2000 Thimbleberry Stories
2000 The Wonderful Happens
2001 Good Morning, Sweetie Pie
and Other Poems for Little Children
2001 The Great Gracie Chase
2001 Let's Go Home: The Wonderful
Things About a House
2002 Old Town in the Green Groves
2002 The Ticky-Tacky Doll
2003 God Went to Beauty School (poetry)
2004 Long Night Moon
2005 The Stars Will Shine Tonight
2005 Puppies and Piggies
2005 Miracles in Motion
2005 If You'll Be My Valentine
2005 Boris (poetry)
2006 Ludie's Life Series: -Annie and Snowball Series
-Cobble Street Cousins Series
-The Everyday Series
-Henry and Mudge Series
-The High Rise Private Eyes Series
-Little Whistle Series
-Mr. Putter and Tabby Series
-The Lighthouse Family Series http://vimeo.com/14844023 GREEK MYTHS She wrote the Beautiful Stories of Life because she had an interest in greek myths. "In these strange tales, are human things we all feel. We all feel false pride, we all trust the wrong person, we all become obsessive, we all fight for love, we all try to control fate. I wanted to tell the myths my way, from the heart, to illuminate our shared frailties and beauties." DOG HEAVEN -This was the first book she illustrated.
-She did so in 3 weeks. TODAY -Back at Kent State, she met her sweetheart and fellow author, Dav Pilkey, and they moved to Oregon together in 1990.
-She currently lives there with her son Nate and her four pets. Suggestions for
Future Authors: "Write what you know"