Kaye, Peggy 1948-
KAYE, Peggy 1948-
CAREER: Author and illustrator of children's books. Former teacher in New York, NY public and private elementary schools; private tutor in reading and math; educational consultant.
MEMBER: National Writers Union, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, International Reading Association.
AWARDS, HONORS: Parents' Choice award, 1991, for Games for Learning; Distinguished achievement award, 2000, for column in Sesame Street Parents.
Games for Reading: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Read, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1984.
Games for Math: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Learn Math—from Kindergarten to Third Grade, Knopf (New York, NY), 1987.
Homework: Math, six volumes (with teachers' guide), American School Publishers (New York, NY), 1989.
Homework: Reading (with teachers' guide), American School Publishers (New York, NY), 1990.
Games for Learning: Ten Minutes a Day to Help Your Child Do Well in School—from Kindergarten to Third Grade, Farrar, Strauss (New York, NY), 1991.
Games for Writing: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Learn to Write, Noonday Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Afterwards: Folk and Fairy Tales with Mathematica Ever Afters, 2 volumes, Cuisenaire (White Plains, NY), 1996-1997.
Games with Books: Twenty-eight of the Best Children's Books and How to Use Them to Help Your Child Learn—from Preschool to Third Grade, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2002.
Series supervising author and author of volumes 1-3 of "Gifted Child Enrichment Reading Series," and volumes 1-2 of "Gifted Child Enrichment Math Series," illustrated by Doug Cushman, American Educational Publishing (Columbus, OH), 1995.
Contributor to periodicals, including Slate, New York Times Book Review, and Tall; columnist for Creative Classroom, 1989-95, and Sesame Street Parents, 1999.
SIDELIGHTS: Peggy Kaye is a teacher of English and mathematics whose personal battle to develop writing skills has given her insight into the hurdles many young students face in learning to read and write. Her popular series for parents that began in 1984 with Games for Reading: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Read has expanded into five volumes designed to harness children's natural ability to play to the task of developing academic skills. As Mark Zimmerman explained in his review of Games for Writing: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Learn to Write for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, "There is method in her madness. … [Kaye's] games are designed to foster enthusiasm for learning, [and] to develop the mind-muscle that grows with the pleasure of learning new and challenging things." Praising Games for Reading in Publishers Weekly, a contributor described Kaye's book as a "cache of [seventy-five] very worthwhile activities," while in Booklist Karen Stang Hanley commended the author's inclusion of clearly written instructions and dubbed the work "a welcome and unique addition to the parenting shelf."
The format in each of Kaye's "Games" books is similar. In Games for Writing, for example, she includes a host of word maps, word games, and even teaches a fun form of writing she calls "wribbling"—half writing, half scribbling. Games for Math, Games with Books, and Games for Learning round out Kaye's mix of play and learning. Denise Perry Donavin noted in her Booklist review that Games for Writing would "ward off writer's block in young children," while Booklist contributor Tracie Richardson described the seventy games included in Games for Math as "deceptively simple and fun to play."
Kaye told CA: "I was the worst writer in my elementary school classes, high school classes, college classes, and graduate school classes. I despaired when I had to compose a paper. I suffered every time I needed to write a letter. When I had to write, pencils were my enemies, but when I drew, pencils were close friends. I drew constantly. I still draw constantly. I wasn't the best artist in my class, although I also wasn't the worst, but I didn't care. When I drew I was at peace.
"It would not have astonished my childhood friends and teachers to discover that I illustrate my books. Regarding my development as a writer of these books, one step led to another in a more-or-less straightforward fashion. It began when I decided to become a teacher. Then I started making up games to help children learn. I began sending home instructions for some of those games. Parents were grateful, enthusiastic even. I got a contract for a book of games. I published Games for Reading, and then Games for Math, and then Games for Learning, and then Games for Writing, and, finally, Games with Books.
"I still find writing difficult. Who doesn't? But sometime between the third and fourth 'Game' books, I began calling myself a writer and, better yet, I discovered that I enjoy writing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Arithmetic Teacher, May, 1989, F. Alexander Norman, review of Games for Math, p. 32.
Booklist, May 15, 1984, Karen Stang Hanley, Games for Reading, p. 1281; April 1, 1989, review of Games for Math p. 1350; July, 1991, Tracie Richardson, review of Games for Learning, pp. 2015-2016; August, 1995, Denise Perry Donavin, review of Games for Writing, p. 1915.
Curriculum Review, November, 1997, review of Afterwards: Folk and Fairy Tales with Mathematical Ever Afters, p. 14.
Instructor, January, 1989, Theresa Denman, review of Games for Math, p. 89.
Library Journal, June 1, 1984, review of Games for Reading p. 1128; March 1, 1988, Joanne Troutner, review of Games for Math, p. 64; July, 1991, Linda Beck, review of Games for Learning, p. 111.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, June 3, 1984, Jonathan Kirsch, review of Games for Reading, p. B15; November 26, 1995, Martin Zimmerman, review of Games for Writing, p. 15; March 5, 2002, Bernadette Murphy, review of Games with Books, p. E3.
Publishers Weekly, April 13, 1984, review of Games for Reading, pp. 64-65; May 20, 2002, review of Games with Books, p. 69.
Teaching Children Mathematics, October, 1997, Janet Fuller, review of Afterwards, p. 125.
Peggy Kaye Web site,http://www.peggykaye.com (May 5, 2003).