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Milgrim, David

Milgrim, David

Personal

Married: wife's name Kyra; children: Wyatt.

Addresses

Home—Wakefield, RI. Agent—Jan Collier Represents, P.O. Box 470818, San Francisco, CA 94147-0818; e-mail: janjan-collier.com. E-mail—david@davidmilgrim.com.

Career

Writer and illustrator. Previously worked as a graphic designer.

Awards, Honors

International Reading Association/Children's Book Council Children's Choice selection, for Cows Can't Fly; Parenting magazine Best Books of the Year selection, for See Pip Point; Cooperative Children's Book Council Choice selection, for Swing Otto Swing!

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED PICTURE BOOKS

Why Benny Barks, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.

Dog Brain, Viking (New York, NY), 1996.

Here in Space, Bridgewater Books (Mahwah, NJ), 1997.

Cows Can't Fly, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.

My Friend Lucky, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2002.

Thank You, Thanksgiving, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Time to Get up, Time to Go, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Young MacDonald, Dutton (New York, NY), 2006.

Another Day in the Milky Way, Putnam (New York, NY), 2007.

My Dog, Buddy, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2008.

Amelia Makes a Movie, Putnam (New York, NY), 2008.

"OTTO THE ROBOT" SERIES

See Otto, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2002.

Ride Otto Ride!, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2002.

See Pip Point, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2003.

Swing Otto Swing!, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2004.

See Santa Nap, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2004.

ILLUSTRATOR

Carol Carrick, Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Josephine Page, Little Lamb's Christmas, Cartwheel Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Kes Gray, My Mum Goes to Work, Hodder (London, England), 2006.

Sidelights

Writer and illustrator David Milgrim specializes in picture books for beginning readers. Among his popular titles are several books about the character Otto the robot and Otto's animal friends. "For children who are just beginning to read," Carolyn Phelan wrote in Booklist, "Milgrim's Otto books … offer the unbeatable combination of simple words and funny stories."

[Image not available for copyright reasons]

See Otto, Ride Otto Ride!, Swing Otto Swing!, See Pip Point, and See Santa Nap chronicle the adventures of a robot from another planet whose spaceship has run out of fuel, forcing him to land on Earth. Using a vocabulary of just twenty-one words, the first book follows the protagonist as he lands in a jungle and, after running afoul of a rhinoceros, makes friends with two cheerful monkeys. "Though the limited vocabulary imposes its own restraints," a commentator in Kirkus Reviews wrote of See Otto, "Milgrim uses visual humor with a touch of irony to craft a real story with enough action to appeal to new readers."

In Ride Otto Ride! the robot goes for a ride on Peanut the Elephant's back, but as more and more animal friends pile on, Peanut grows tired and cannot walk anymore. Working together, Otto and the others build a wagon for the pachyderm and pull Peanut to the watering hole where everyone can go for a swim. Nancy A. Gifford, reviewing the book for School Library Journal, explained that, "flowing much like a ‘Dick and Jane’ primer with added humor," Ride Otto Ride! "will appeal to fledgling readers." Reviewing the first two "Otto" books for Booklist, Phelan described Milgrim's series as "an appealing option for children just beginning to read and feeling as hopeful and adventurous as Otto."

In Swing Otto Swing! Otto attempts to swing through the trees on jungle vines, just like his monkey friends, Flip and Flop, can. However, the metallic and far-more-weighty Otto keeps falling. Only when he builds himself a hanging vine equipped with a seat can Otto swing in the air with his friends. Martha V. Parravano, writing in Horn Book, found that Swing Otto Swing! "contains humor, suspense, and a satisfying narrative arc." According to a Kirkus Reviews writer, "Milgrim provides clean illustrations, full of movement and with wildly varying perspectives that render words almost unnecessary to the understanding of the narrative."

In See Santa Nap, Santa is vacationing at an island locale following a typically exhausting Christmas. Joining the bearded one on his holiday, Otto and his animal pals cannot resist playing with their new gifts. Their loud and rambunctious ways, prevent Santa from catching up on his sleep, until Otto comes up with the perfect solution: he uses his new fishing rod to hoist the jolly old elf into a tree house. A contributor in Horn Book applauded the "simplest of easy-reader texts" and "action-packed illustrations," and a critic in Kirkus Reviews stated that Milgrim exhibits "a deft touch with his humorous illustrations full of quirky characters and slapstick comedy."

[Image not available for copyright reasons]

In addition to his "Otto" books, Milgrim has produced a number of original self-illustrated tales. In Dog Brain, for instance, he introduces Sneakers, a dog who does not want to perform such demeaning tricks as roll over or fetch. Sneakers pretends he does not understand what he is being asked to do. Likewise, when he is told to get off the furniture or stay out of the pool, Sneakers pretends not to understand and continues to do as he pleases. Even though the boy in the family has caught on to the dog's game, his parents refuse to believe that Sneakers is faking it. Stephanie Zvirin, in a Booklist review of Dog Brain, wrote that "Milgrim's illustrations are outrageous" and the story's "dry humor and the popularity of the subject, dogs, ultimately prevail."

Milgrim creates a fantasy tale in Cows Can't Fly, the story of a boy who draws a picture of flying cows, only to be informed by his father that it cannot be: only birds can fly. When the boy's drawing is blown by the wind into a cow pasture, the resident bovines become convinced that they can fly, and they begin to frolic in the air. "Appealing to the dreamer, the artist, and the anarchist in every child," Phelan noted, "this picture book will be great fun to read aloud."

In My Friend Lucky Milgrim presents a series of opposites as listed by a little boy who uses his dog, Lucky, to demonstrate them. These opposites are enunciated in extremely simple couplets and illustrated by spare black-line drawings on a field of white, with color reserved for the main characters themselves. In many cases, the demonstration of opposing concepts involves witty distinctions: for example, "Lucky's big" finds the dog looking down at a caterpillar, while "Lucky's small" shows him gazing up at a horse. To illustrate "Lucky's loud," the dog barks while the narrator tries to do his homework; in the converse the dog is still barking, but now the narrator has donned earmuffs.

Noting that in My Friend Lucky "the interplay of text and illustration has more subtlety and wit than most books of opposites," Carolyn Phelan added in Booklist that "there's no mistaking the meanings of the paired images." Kay Bowes, reviewing the same book for School Library Journal, dubbed the title "a gentle concept book about opposites," and a Publishers Weekly reviewer similarly described the picture book as "mild-mannered." A Kirkus Reviews critic characterized Milgrim's work as "a splendid primer in the art of visual irony" as well as "a love story" of a boy and his dog.

Milgrim presents a holiday story in Thank You, Thanksgiving. A little girl goes to the store on Thanksgiving Day to buy some whipped cream for the family's pumpkin pie, and along the way, she thanks all the things around her that she enjoys and appreciates, including her warm boots, a rabbits in the park, and the clouds above. A critic for Publishers Weekly called Thank You, Thanksgiving a "visually playful outing." "Milgrim helps young children recognize the blessings in their daily lives," Zvirin pointed out in her review of the work.

Time to Get up, Time to Go, a self-illustrated work told in verse, follows a young boy and his favorite stuffed doll through a busy day. Waking early, the preschooler feeds breakfast to his "baby" and then heads off to the playground before the pair enjoys a dip in a neighbor's wading pool. The youngster also delights in shopping for his companion, cooking it meals, nursing it back to health, and reading it stories. Though several picture books feature a male protagonist playing with a doll, Christine M. Heppermann observed in Horn Book that "the matter-of-factness with which Milgrim treats his character's actions … makes [Time to Get up, Time to Go] … stand out." Linda Staskus, writing in School Library Journal, praised "the minimal text, in which not a word is wasted," and a Kirkus Reviews writer observed that "the gentle rhymes will satisfy the youngest listeners and help set the stage for bedtime." Other reviewers complimented Milgrim's artwork, a Publishers Weekly writer stating that he "has a keen eye for detail … and a savvy sense of composition."

Milgrim spoofs a favorite children's song in Young MacDonald. A technologically gifted, lab-coated farm boy constructs a mysterious device that allows him to recombine the barnyard animals into humorously bizarre new creatures. When the lad places a horse and a pig in his gizmo, for instance, he creates a "hig" that bellows "Oink-Neigh." He also produces a "cowl" (cow-owl) that plays polo, a "doose" (donkey-goose) that skateboards, a "shicken" (sheep-chicken) that swims, and a "muck" (mouse-duck) that flies planes. The scientist becomes a victim of his own success, however, when he accidentally steps onto the platform with his pet dog. "The lyrics are great fun and have lots of wordplay," Staskus wrote of Young MacDonald, and Phelan stated that "the clean lines and flat colors of the digitally assisted artwork brim with energy and comedy."

Silliness is also given free rein in Another Day in the Milky Way. After Monty wakes up one morning, he discovers that his life has been turned upside down: his mother has three heads, his dog sports pink stripes, and his friends dress in horse costumes. Following the advice of a donkey named Tulip, Monty must consult with a mountaintop guru in order to find his way back to his real home. "The first-person narrative reads like a child relating a dream, complete with abrupt transitions and surreal events," remarked School Library Journal reviewer Suzanne Myers Harold, and Parravano noted that "cheerful cartoon illustrations … indulge completely in the offbeat while retaining a simplicity of shape and composition that will appeal" to young readers.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 1996, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Dog Brain, p. 144; November 1, 1997, Carolyn Phelan, review of Here in Space, p. 467; August, 1998, Carolyn Phelan, review of Cows Can't Fly, p. 2015; December 1, 1999, John Peters, review of Patrick's Dinosaur's on the Internet, p. 709; April 15, 2002, Carolyn Phelan, review of My Friend Lucky, p. 1408; September 15, 2002, Carolyn Phelan, review of Ride Otto Ride!, p. 241; February 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of See Pip Point, p. 1001; September 1, 2003, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Thank You, Thanksgiving, p. 135; July, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of Swing Otto Swing!, p. 1852; April 15, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of Young MacDonald, p. 54; February 15, 2007, Carolyn Phelan, review of Another Day in the Milky Way, p. 84.

Canadian Review of Materials, January 2, 2004, Dave Jenkinson, review of Little Lamb's Christmas.

Horn Book, May-June, 2004, Martha V. Parravano, review of Swing Otto Swing!, p. 334; November-December, 2004, review of See Santa Nap, p. 662; March-April, 2006, Christine M. Heppermann, review of Time to Get up, Time to Go, p. 176; January-February, 2007, Martha V. Parravano, review of Another Day in the Milky Way, 59.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2001, review of My Friend Lucky, p. 1553; August 1, 2002, review of See Otto, p. 1138; February 1, 2003, review of See Pip Point, p. 236; April 15, 2004, review of Swing Otto Swing!, p. 398; November 1, 2004, review of See Santa Nap, p. 1052; February 1, 2006, review of Young MacDonald, p. 134; April 1, 2006, review of Time to Get up, Time to Go, p. 352; August 15, 2006, review of My Mum Goes to Work, p. 841.

Publishers Weekly, August 19, 1996, review of Dog Brain, p. 65; May 25, 1998, review of Cows Can't Fly, p. 89; September 6, 1999, review of Patrick's Dino-

saur's on the Internet, p. 102; December 10, 2001, review of My Friend Lucky, p. 68; September 22, 2003, review of Thank You, Thanksgiving, p. 65; April 3, 2006, review of Time to Get up, Time to Go, p. 73; June 19, 2006, review of Young MacDonald, p. 62; January 15, 2007, review of Another Day in the Milky Way, p. 51.

Reviewer's Bookwatch, November, 2004, Kimberly Hutmacher, review of Thank You, Thanksgiving.

San Francisco Chronicle, October 26, 2003, Regan McMahon, review of Thank You, Thanksgiving, p. M6.

School Library Journal, February, 2002, Kay Bowes, review of My Friend Lucky, p. 108; March, 2003, Nancy A. Gifford, review of Ride Otto Ride!, p. 199; September, 2003, Janet M. Bair, review of Thank You, Thanksgiving, p. 185; July, 2004, Bethany L.W. Hankinson, review of Swing Otto Swing!, p. 83; April, 2006, Linda Staskus, review of Time to Get up, Time to Go, p. 112; May, 2006, Linda Staskus, review of Young MacDonald, p. 95; February, 2007, Suzanne Myers Harold, review of Another Day in the Milky Way, p. 92.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), February 18, 2007, Mary Harris Russell, review of Another Day in the Milky Way, p. 7; May 13, 2007, Maria Pontillas, review of Young MacDonald, p. 6.

ONLINE

David Milgrim Home Page,http://www.davidmilgrim.com (February 1, 2008).

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"Milgrim, David." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Milgrim, David." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/milgrim-david-0

"Milgrim, David." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/milgrim-david-0

Milgrim, David

MILGRIM, David

Personal

Married; wife's name Kyra; children: Wyatt.

Addresses

Home Petaluma, CA. Agent Jan Collier Represents, P.O. Box 470818, San Francisco, CA 94147-0818; fax: 415-383-9037. E-mail david@davidmilgrim.com.

Career

Writer and illustrator. Previously worked as a graphic designer.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED PICTURE BOOKS

Why Benny Barks, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.

Dog Brain, Viking (New York, NY), 1996.

Here in Space, Bridgewater Books (Mahwah, NJ), 1997.

Cows Can't Fly, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.

My Friend Lucky, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2002.

See Otto, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2002.

Ride Otto Ride!, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2002.

See Pip Point, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2003.

Thank You, Thanksgiving, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Swing Otto Swing!, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2004.

See Santa Nap, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2004.

ILLUSTRATOR

Carol Carrick, Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Josephine Page, Little Lamb's Christmas, Cartwheel Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Sidelights

Writer and illustrator David Milgrim specializes in picture books for beginning readers. Among his popular titles are several about the character Otto the robot and his animal friends. "For children who are just beginning to read," Carolyn Phelan wrote in Booklist, "Milgrim's Otto books . . . offer the unbeatable combination of simple words and funny stories."

In the story Dog Brain, Sneakers the dog does not want to perform any tricks, like roll over or fetch. He pretends he does not understand what he is being asked to do. Likewise, when he is told to get off the furniture or stay out of the pool, Sneakers pretends not to understand and continues to do as he pleases. Even though the boy in the family has caught on to the dog's game, his parents refuse to believe that Sneakers is faking it. Stephanie Zvirin in Booklist found that "Milgrim's illustrations are outrageous" and the story's "dry humor and the popularity of the subject, dogs, ultimately prevail."

Milgrim creates a fantasy tale in Cows Can't Fly, the story of a boy who draws a picture of flying cows and is told by his father that it cannot be, that only birds can fly. But when the boy's drawing is blown by the wind into a cow pasture, the local cows are convinced that they can fly, and they begin to frolic in the air. "Appealing to the dreamer, the artist, and the anarchist in every child," Phelan noted, "this picture book will be great fun to read aloud."

In My Friend Lucky Milgrim presents a series of opposites narrated by a little boy who uses his dog, Lucky, to demonstrate them. These opposites are enunciated in extremely simple couplets such as "I love Lucky /Lucky loves me," and illustrated by spare black-line drawings on a field of white, with color reserved for the main characters themselves. In many cases, the demonstration of opposing concepts involves witty distinctions: for example, "Lucky's big" finds the dog looking down at a caterpillar, while "Lucky's small" shows him gazing up at a horse. For "Lucky's loud," the dog is barking while the narrator tries to do his homework, and though "Lucky's quiet" shows him still barking, now the narrator has on earmuffs.

"Though the interplay of text and illustration has more subtlety and wit than most books of opposites," wrote Carolyn Phelan in Booklist, "there's no mistaking the meanings of the paired images." Kay Bowes in School Library Journal called My Friend Lucky "a gentle concept book about opposites," and a reviewer in Publishers Weekly similarly described it as a "mild-mannered book." A critic in Kirkus Reviews characterized it both as "a splendid primer in the art of visual irony" and "a love story" of a boy and his dog. "A winner," the review concluded, "and not just for dog lovers."

Milgrim presents a holiday story in Thank You, Thanksgiving, the story of a little girl going to the store on Thanksgiving day to buy some whipped cream for the family's pumpkin pie. Along the way, she thanks all the things around her that she enjoys and appreciates, including her warm boots, the rabbits in the park, and the clouds above. The critic for Publishers Weekly called Thank You, Thanksgiving a "visually playful outing." "Milgrim helps young children recognize the blessings in their daily lives," Zvirin pointed out.

See Otto, Ride Otto Ride!, and Swing Otto Swing chronicle the adventures of a robot from another planet whose spaceship has run out of fuel, forcing him to land on Earth. Using a vocabulary of just twenty-one words, the first book follows the protagonist as he lands in a jungle and, after running afoul of a rhinoceros, makes friends with two cheerful monkeys. "Though the limited vocabulary imposes its own restraints," a commentator in Kirkus Reviews wrote of See Otto, "Milgrim uses visual humor with a touch of irony to craft a real story with enough action to appeal to new readers."

In Ride Otto Ride! the robot goes for a ride on Peanut the Elephant's back, but as more and more animal friends pile on, Peanut grows tired and cannot walk anymore. So Otto and the others build a wagon for Peanut and pull him to the watering hole where everyone can go for a swim. Nancy A. Gifford, reviewing the book for School Library Journal, explained that, "flowing much like a 'Dick and Jane' primer with added humor, this tale will appeal to fledgling readers." Reviewing the first two works in Booklist, Phelan described the "Otto" series "an appealing option for children just beginning to read and feeling as hopeful and adventurous as Otto."

In Swing Otto Swing Otto attempts to swing through the trees on jungle vines, just like his monkey friends, Flip and Flop, can. However, the metallic and far-more-weighty Otto keeps falling. Only when he builds himself a hanging vine equipped with a seat can Otto swing in the air with his friends. Martha V. Parravano in Horn Book found that the story "contains humor, suspense, and a satisfying narrative arc." According to the critic for Kirkus Reviews, "Milgrim provides clean illustrations, full of movement and with wildly varying perspectives that render words almost unnecessary to the understanding of the narrative."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 1996, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Dog Brain, p. 144; November 1, 1997, Carolyn Phelan, review of Here in Space, p. 467; August, 1998, Carolyn Phelan, review of Cows Can't Fly, p. 2015; December 1, 1999, John Peters, review of Patrick's Dinosaur's on the Internet, p. 709; April 15, 2002, Carolyn Phelan, review of My Friend Lucky, p. 1408; September 15, 2002, Carolyn Phelan, review of Ride Otto Ride!, p. 241; February 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of See Pip Point, p. 1001; September 1, 2003, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Thank You, Thanksgiving, p. 135; July, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of Swing Otto Swing!, p. 1852.

Canadian Review of Materials, January 2, 2004, Dave Jenkinson, review of Little Lamb's Christmas.

Horn Book, May-June, 2004, Martha V. Parravano, review of Swing Otto Swing!, p. 334; November-December, 2004, review of See Santa Nap, p. 662; January-February, 2005, review of Swing Otto Swing!, p. 14.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2001, review of My Friend Lucky, p. 1553; August 1, 2002, review of See Otto, p. 1138; February 1, 2003, review of See Pip Point, p. 236; April 15, 2004, review of Swing Otto Swing!, p. 398; November 1, 2004, review of See Santa Nap, p. 1052.

Publishers Weekly, August 19, 1996, review of Dog Brain, p. 65; May 25, 1998, review of Cows Can't Fly, p. 89; September 6, 1999, review of Patrick's Dinosaur's on the Internet, p. 102; December 10, 2001, review of My Friend Lucky, p. 68; September 22, 2003, review of Thank You, Thanksgiving, p. 65.

Reviewer's Bookwatch, November, 2004, Kimberly Hutmacher, review of Thank You, Thanksgiving.

San Francisco Chronicle, October 26, 2003, Regan McMahon, review of Thank You, Thanksgiving, p. M6.

School Library Journal, February, 2002, Kay Bowes, review of My Friend Lucky, p. 108; March, 2003, Nancy A. Gifford, review of Ride Otto Ride!, p. 199; September, 2003, Janet M. Bair, review of Thank You, Thanksgiving, p. 185; July, 2004, Bethany L. W. Hankinson, review of Swing Otto Swing!, p. 83.

Virginian Pilot, November 2, 2004, Krys Stefansky, Swing Otto Swing!, p. E3.

ONLINE

David Milgrim Web site, http://www.davidmilgrim.com (January 22, 2005).*

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Milgrim, David." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Milgrim, David." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/milgrim-david

"Milgrim, David." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/milgrim-david