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 Picture Books Author of the Month
Arnold Lobel

22 May 1933 -- 4 December 1987

Biography
Arnold Lobel was born on May 22, 1933 in Los Angeles, California to Joseph and Lucille (Stark) Lobel. His parents moved to California shortly after the wedding in the hopes of finding happiness outside of their native Schenectady, New York. They returned to Schenectady six months later when he was just a baby.

Lobel grew up in a large ramshackle house, where the front lawn sloped down to a treelined street. While his early childhood was a happy one, a series of illnesses kept him hospitalized for long periods of time as he grew older. He often kept himself busy drawing. His good health returned with adolescence.

He had always had an intereste in being an artist. As a result, he applied to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York when he graduated from high school. He was accepted and found a new sense of independence and excitement in the Big Apple.

During his studies, Lobel discovered book illustration. It was a branch of art that he foundextremely interesting. Lobel graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Pratt Institute in 1955.

Besides fine-tuning his artistic abilities, Lobel met Anita Kemler while he was taking courses at the Pratt Institute. The two married shortly after graduation in 1955. The two found a home in Brooklyn and lived there for a number of years. Anita, who is also a well-known writer and illustrator of children's books, and Lobel had two children: a daughter named Adrianne and a son named Adam.

It was in 1961 that Lobel was first published. It was for a book by Fred Phleger entitled Red Tag Comes Back. Lobel was the illustrator of the book. He illustrated books for famous authors such as Charlotte Zolotow, Jean Van Leeuwen, and Cheli Duran Ryan.

The first book that he wrote and illustrated on his own was A Zoo for Mister Muster. It was published in 1962 and went on to be named one of the New York Times Best Illustrated Books of 1963.

Lobel once said, "Most of the ideas for my books I find have really not come from observing my own children as much as from my own childhood. I find that the majority of my books have as their central characters 'child substitutes rather than real children." [3]

His illustrations were completed in a variety of styles. Some of his books are illustrated in pencil with two or three colors. Others are in full color. There are also some in black and white pen and ink.

He enjoyed painting, listening to music, the theater, and reading.

Lobel died of cardiac arrest on December 4, 1987 in New York, New York. He was the illustrator of more than sixty-five books by other authors and contributed as an author or illustrator to more than 100 books.

Information for this biography was taken from:
1) Anne Commire (ed.).  Something About the Author, #6; Gale Research Company: Detroit, Mich., 1978.
2) "Arnold (Stark) Lobel, 1933-1987", Gale Literary Databases; (http://galenet.com).
3) Doris DeMontreville and Donna Hill (eds.). AThe Third Book of Junior Authors; H.W. Wilson Company: New York, 1972.
4) Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast (ed.). St. James Guide to Children's Writers; St. James Press: New York, 1999.

Titles
E-LOB Fables (1980) -- Twenty original fables about an array of animal characters from a crocodile to an ostrich.

E-LOB Giant John (1964) -- Giant John finds a job working at the castle, but he starts to dance when he hears the beautiful music of the fairies. Dancing in the forest is one thing, but dancing in the castle is another.

E-LOB The Great Blueness and Other Predicaments (1968) -- When a wizard discovered that each color he invented for the colorless world had a different emotional effect on people, he luckily had an accident which resulted in red apples, green leaves, and yellow bananas.

E-LOB How the Rooster Saved the Day (1977) -- Because night protects his identity, a thief tries to prevent a clever rooster from crowing up the morning.

E-LOB The Ice-Cream Cone Coot and Other Rare Birds (1971) -- Describes in verse such unusual birds as the shuttercluck, the milkbottle midge, the waterglass goose, and the highbutton bobolink.

E-LOB The Rose in My Garden (1984) -- A variety of flowers grow near the hollyhocks that give shade to the bee that sleeps only on one rose in the garden.

E-LOB A Treeful of Pigs (1979) -- A farmer's wife uses drastic measures to get her husband to abandon his lazy ways.

E-Lobel A Zoo for Mister Muster (1962) -- When their friend, Mister Muster, fails to come to the zoo, all the animals escape and visit him at his apartment.

ABC-Lobel Days With Frog and Toad (1974) -- Frog and Toad spend their days together, but find that it is sometimes nice to be alone.

ABC-Lobel Frog and Toad All Day (1976) -- Two friends share experiences throughout all four seasons of the year.

ABC-Lobel Frog and Toad Are Friends (1970) -- A collection of five tales recounting the adventures of two best friends.

ABC-Lobel Frog and Toad Forever (1972) -- More adventures of two best friends as they share cookies, plant a garden, and test their bravery.

ABC-Lobel Mouse Soup (1977) -- A mouse convinces a weasel he needs the ingredients from several stores to make a tasty mouse soup.

ABC-LOB Mouse Tales (1972) -- As seven mouse boys lie awake one night, they ask their Papa to tell them a story, but he does better than that -- he tells them seven stories, one for each boy.

ABC-LOB Owl at Home (1975) -- Owl lives by himself in a warm little house. One evening he invites Winter to sit by the fire. Another time he finds strange bumps in his bedroom. And when Owl goes for a walk one night, he makes a friend that follows him all the way home.

ABC-LOB Small Pig (1969) -- Because the farmer's wife insists on cleaning his mud puddle, a little pig runs away to the city where he becomes permanently stuck in what he thought was a mud puddle.

ABC-LOB Ugly Elephant (1981) -- Uncle Elephant comes to the rescue when his nephew's parents are lost at sea and cares for him until they are found again.

Titles Illustrated by Arnold Lobel
EE-GER A Three Day Hat (1985) by Laura Geringer -- A hat collector is having a very bad day until he meets his true love in the hat section of a department store.

E-P-PAR/ABC-Parish Dinosaur Time (1971) by Peggy Parish -- An easy-to-read introduction to eleven different dinosaurs that discusses their size, diets, distinctive characteristics, and their difficult to pronounce names.

E-Viorst I'll Fix Anthony (1969) by Judith Viorst -- A little brother thinks of the ways he will someday get revenge on his older brother.

E-YOU Miss Suzy's Birthday (1974) by Miriam Young -- Miss Suzy's adopted children and forest friends try to think of a special gift for her birthday.

E-YOU Miss Suzy's Easter Surprise (1972) by Miriam Young -- Miss Suzy loves her home dearly, but then four orphan squirrels turn up that need love, too.

E-Zolotow The Quarreling Book (1963) by Charlotte Zolotow -- Gruffness and anger is passed along from person to person until a little dog starts a chain of happiness that reverses the trend.

ABC-Baker Little Runner of the Long House (1962) by Betty Baker -- Little Runner wants to play big boys games and wear old clothes and scary masks like the older boys, but Mother thinks he's too young ... until clever Little Runner thinks of a funny trick to get what he wants.

ABC-Benchley Red Fox and His Canoe (1964) by Nathaniel Benchley -- A young Indian boy receives a larger canoe along with some unforeseen complications.

ABC-Benchley Sam the Minuteman (1969) by Nathaniel Benchley -- Sam and his father fight as minutemen against the British at the Battle of Lexington.

ABC-BEN The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck (1967) by Nathaniel Benchley -- When Mama Cluck loses her baby chick Arthur, the owl detective finds him boxed for a shipment to the children's zoo.

ABC-MOR Seahorse (1972) by Robert A. Morris -- An introduction to the characteristics and life cycle of the seahorse.

ABC-Myrick The Secret Three (1963) by Mildred Myrick -- The discovery of a bottle containing a coded message leads two boys to a new friend with whom they form a club.

ABC-Selsam Greg's Microscope (1963) by Millicent Ellis Selsam -- Greg makes fascinating discoveries about things he finds at home when he looks at them through his new microscope.

ABC-VAN More Tales of Oliver Pig (1981) by Jean Van Leeuwen -- The further adventures of Oliver Pig and his family.

ABC-Van Leeuwen The Tales of Oliver Pig (1979) by Jean Van Leeuwen -- Five adventures of Oliver Pig and his family.

J-398.2-GRI Hansel and Gretel (1971) by the Brothers Grimm -- A retelling of the adventures of a brother and a sister left in the woods by their wicked stepmother.

J-811-PRE Circus (1974) by Jack Prelutsky -- Poems and illustratrations that depict the sights and sounds of the circus.

J-811.008-RAN The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983) Edited by Jack Prelutsky -- More than 550 poems by American, British, and other anonymous poets.

J-811.54-PRE Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast: Dinosaur Poems (1988) by Jack Prelutsky -- A collection of humorous poems about dinosaurs.

Audio Recordings of Lobel's Works
E-Lobel Frog and Toad (1987) -- A complete and unabridge collection of stories that are taken from Lobel's popular books Frog and Toad Are Friends, Frog and Toad Together, Frog and Toad All Year, and Days With Frog and Toad.

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