Lakin, Patricia 1944-
LAKIN, Patricia 1944-
Author of children's books. Previously worked as a school teacher.
ILLUSTRATED BY PATIENCE BREWSTER
Don't Touch My Room, Little Brown (Boston, MA), 1985.
Oh, Brother!, Little Brown (Boston, MA), 1987.
Just like Me, Little Brown (Boston, MA), 1989.
ILLUSTRATED BY DOUG CUSHMAN
Aware and Alert, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1995.
Get Ready to Read!, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1995.
A Good Sport, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1995.
Information, Please, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1995.
The Mystery Illness, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1995.
CHILDREN'S BOOKS, "AROUND THE WORLD" SERIES
Family: Around the World, Blackbirch Press (Woodbridge, CT), 1995.
Creativity: Around the World, Blackbirch Press (Woodbridge, CT), 1995.
Growing Up: Around the World, Blackbirch Press (Woodbridge, CT), 1995.
Grandparents: Around the World, Blackbirch Press (Woodbridge, CT), 1999.
Food: Around the world, Blackbirch Press (Woodbridge, CT), 1999.
Jet Black Pickup Truck, illustrated by Rosekrans Hoffman, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1990.
The Palace of Stars, pictures by Kimberly Bulckin Root, Tambourine Books (New York, NY), 1993.
Jennifer Capriati: Rising Star, Rourke Enterprises (Vero Beach, FL), 1993.
Dad and Me in the Morning, illustrated by Robert G. Steele, A. Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1994.
Don't Forget, pictures by Ted Rand, Tambourine Books (New York, NY), 1994.
Everything You Need to Know When a Parent Doesn't Speak English, Rosen Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1994.
Hurricane!, illustrated by Vanessa Lubach, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2000.
Fat Chance Thanksgiving, illustrated by Stacey Schuett, A. Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 2001.
Helen Keller and the Big Storm, illustrated by Diana Magnuson, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2002.
Harry Houdini: Escape Artist, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2002.
Clarence the Copy Cat, pictures by John Manders, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2002.
Snow Day!, pictures by Scott Nash, Dial Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Subway Sonata, illustrated by Heather Maione, Mill-brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.
Amelia Earhart: More than a Flyer, illustrated by Alan and Leah Daniel, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2003.
Beach Day!, pictures by Scott Nash, Dial Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Also author of a publication for the New York Philharmonic's "Young People's Concerts."
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Clara Barton, to be published by Simon and Schuster.
Patricia Lakin's books for young readers include volumes on serious subjects (Amelia Ear-hart: More than a Flyer) and even more serious ones (Aware and Alert, in which a police officer teaches children how to keep themselves safe from strangers), but quite a few are more whimsical. Snow Day!, for instance, concerns four playmates—Sam, Pam, Will, and Jill—who wake up and discover, to their delight, a thick blanket of freshly fallen snow. This alone is hardly unusual, but as the reader discovers in the first of illustrator Scott Nash's drawings, the four are crocodiles.
Nor is this the only twist. Dismayed to realize that today is a school day, the four friends remember that they can do something: in what John Peters of Booklist called a "perfectly timed revelation," it turns out that they are actually four school principals, and they call the local radio station to inform the newscaster that school is out for the day. Reviewers expressed doubt as to whether the characters really are school principals, or children pretending to be: hence the warning fromacriticin Publishers Weekly, "Kids, don't try this at home." Nonetheless, several reviewers praised the book's capacity to delight and amuse, as well as its ease of reading for youngsters, with few words (other than principal) over two syllables. The Publishers Weekly commentator called Snow Day! "A seamless work of storytelling about a classic snow job."
The title character in Clarence the Copy Cat is such an avowed friend of all living creatures that he cannot bring himself to kill anything—not even a mouse. His inability to perform as a mouser earns him an unceremonious eviction from the sandwich shop where he had lived and worked, and he spends several frustrated (but amusing) frames of John Manders's illustrations trying to obtain a new job before finding a home in a library. The subsequent peace is soon shattered, however, when a mouse shows up, and Clarence is forced to develop a novel means to ensure by peaceful methods that the creature will never come back.
"Readers will sympathize with poor Clarence and root for him as he battles with the rodent and finds a solution to the problem," promised Kristin de Lacoste in School Library Journal, and Connie Fletcher in Booklist called Clarence the Copy Cat "a well-plotted, action-packed, comically illustrated story." A critic in Kirkus Reviews noted the "humorous and satisfying solution to the problem," and concluded, "Librarians take note: Young customers …will find much to smile about here."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 1, 2002, Connie Fletcher, review of Clarence the Copy Cat, p. 508; November 15, 2002, John Peters, review of Snow Day!, p. 611.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2002, review of Clarence the Copy Cat, p. 1473.
New York Times Book Review, August 23, 1987, review of Oh Brother!, p. 27.
Publishers Weekly, October 21, 2002, review of Snow Day!, p. 73.
School Library Journal, October, 2002, Kristin de Lacoste, review of Clarence the Copy Cat, p. 116; November, 2002, Harriett Fargnoli, review of Snow Day!, p. 128.
Patricia Lakin Home Page,http://www.patricialakin.com (September 18, 2003).*