Reviews for Author : A True Story


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 March 1997
Gr. 2^-4. Lester's wry, funny, illustrated autobiography has the immediacy of an author's visit to the library or the classroom. There is no bragging; in fact, she talks a lot about disappointment and failure, from a problem in first grade with her "mirror writing" to her repeated rejections as an adult author. Her comic cartoons are as direct and unassuming as the words: on one page she contrasts her own cartoon of a pig with her illustrator Lynn Munsinger's virtuoso performance. Kids will recognize themselves in Lester's eagerness (as a three-year-old she knew exactly what her writing said; even upside down, the words said the same thing), and they will be encouraged by her persistence and by her admission that writing is hard; sometimes she just can't come up with a single idea. Sometimes, though, ideas come so fast she can barely write them down. Both modest and celebratory, this book is a lively answer to that inevitable question, Where do you get your ideas? ((Reviewed March 15, 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997
A disarming and very funny autobiographical look at the evolution of a writer describes Lester's experiences--including her earliest three-year-old scribbles and the acceptance of her first manuscript (on the seventh try). Illustrated with Lester's own rather childlike illustrations, this lighthearted but realistic (and helpful) guide for the writer has lots of fresh tips for young authors-in-the-making. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1997 #3
A disarming and very funny autobiographical look at the evolution of a writer describes Lester's experiences-from her earliest three-year-old scribbles through the acceptance of her first manuscript (on the seventh try) to the time when, as a not-very-famous author, she autographed books next to a very famous author ("Her line had no end. Mine had no beginning"). Illustrated with Lester's own rather childlike illustrations (but with a Copyright 1998 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 July #5
Lester's lighthearted look at how she came to write children's books will give aspiring authors of any age a lift and encouragement to persevere. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1997 February #1
Lester's (Tacky the Penguin) lighthearted look at how she came to write children's books will give aspiring authors of any age a lift and encouragement to persevere, even in the face of learning disabilities (as a child) and multiple rejection slips (as a novice writer). Candid and a little self-effacing, Lester tells of her struggles with the creative process, noting that both as an elementary school student and as a published author, "Often I can't come up with a single idea, and my stories get stuck in the middle, and I can't think of a title." She accompanies her breezy narrative with her own cheerful, somewhat rudimentary cartoons pictures, save on one spread where she drolly juxtaposes her childlike drawing of a pig next to a highly polished rendering by her frequent collaborator, Lynn Munsinger. Some of the best moments here are transitional: a picture shows the young Lester dreaming of joining the circus when she grows up; the next page continues, "Since no one from the circus came looking for me, I became a teacher." Her ending playfully concludes, "I'm glad I didn't join the circus.... I never dreamed I'd become an author. So this is better than a dream come true." Her admirers will agree. All ages. (Mar.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1997 May
K-Gr 4?Lester breezily reveals some truths about herself, her achievements, and nonachievements. Readers find out that even as a youngster, the author loved to write. She had to learn not to write backwards, she suffered frustrations, and spent a lot of time dreaming. She became a teacher, never became an artist, started writing children's books, suffered frustrations, and ultimately achieved her goal. In the course of telling her life story, Lester tells youngsters how she writes, why she writes, and what it's like to be an author. The narrative is highlighted throughout with exuberant childlike drawings, which indicate that although she never became an artist, Lester is certainly a competent illustrator. The book will interest her many fans and should encourage and inspire young writers. This unique picture-book autobiography is less detailed than titles in the "Meet the Author" series (Richard C. Owen). It's a delightful, jolly romp that should find a wide and appreciative audience.?Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL

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School Library Journal Reviews 1997 December
K-Gr 4 A picture-book autobiography that looks at the genesis of a writer from childhood to first publication, with all of the setbacks along the way. Jaunty cartoons add just the right tone to this inspirational success story. (May) Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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