Suen, Anastasia 1956(?)-

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

SUEN, Anastasia 1956(?)-

PERSONAL: Born c. 1956.


ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Lee & Low books, 95 Madison Ave., Ste. 606, New york, NY 10016. E-mail—[email protected]


CAREER: Educator and author of children's books. Educator since 1977; credentialed elementary school teacher; Southern Methodist University, writing teacher; University of North Texas, children's literature teacher; moderator of cw-biz (online group for children's literature creators); conducts online workshops for adults; speaker at schools, libraries, bookstores, and book conferences. Former poetry consultant for Sadlier-Oxford; former advisor, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators; cofounder, Writer's Book Roundtable Conference; reading advisory board member, Rosen Publishing Group.


WRITINGS:

CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Man on the Moon, illustrated by Benrei Huang, Viking (New York, NY), 1997.

Window Music, illustrated by Wade Zahares, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.

Baby Born, illustrated by Chih-wei Chang, Lee and Low Books (New York, NY), 1998.

Delivery, illustrated by Wade Zahares, Viking (New York, NY), 1999.

Recien Nacido, Lee and Low Books (New York, NY), 2000.

One Hundred Day, illustrated by Christine Powers, Lee and Low Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Here Comes the Bus, illustrated by Linda Finch, Lee and Low Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Toddler Two, illustrated by Winnie Cheon, Lee and Low Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Air Show, illustrated by Cecco Mariniello, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2001.

Make a Turkey, illustrated by Kurt Nagahori, Lee and Low Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Block Party, illustrated by Kurt Nagahori, Lee and Low Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Raise the Roof!, illustrated by Elwood H. Smith, Viking (New York, NY), 2003.

Splish, Splash!, Sadlier-Oxford (New York, NY), 2004.

Ice Cream Money, illustrated by Farah Aria, Lee and Low Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Fractals: The Art of Math, Celebration Press (Parsippany, NJ), 2004.

Remarkable Robots, Celebration Press (Parsippany, NJ), 2004.

Subway, illustrated by Karen Katz, Viking (New York, NY), 2004.

Finding a Way: Six Historic U.S. Routes, Celebration Press (Parsippany, NJ), 2005.

Mysterious Magnets, Celebration Press (Parsippany, NJ), 2005.

Pencil Talk and Other School Poems, illustrated by Susie Lee Jin, Lee and Low Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Red Light, Green Light, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2005.

Wetlands, Celebration Press, (Parsippany, NJ), 2005.


"PETER'S NEIGHBORHOOD" SERIES; BASED ON CHARACTERS CREATED BY EZRA JACK KEATS

Hamster Chase, illustrated by Allan Eitzen, Viking (New York, NY), 2001.

Willie's Birthday, illustrated by Allan Eitzen, Viking (New York, NY), 2001.

The Clubhouse, illustrated by Allan Eitzen, Viking (New York, NY), 2002.

Loose Tooth, illustrated by Allan Eitzen,Viking (New York, NY), 2002.


"HELPING ORGANIZATIONS" SERIES

Doctors without Borders, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Habitat for Humanity, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Peace Corps, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Red Cross, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2002.

UNICEF: United Nations Children's Fund, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2002.

ASPCA: The American Society for the Prevention ofCruelty to Animals, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2005.


"SPORTS HISTORY SERIES"

The Story of Soccer, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Story of Hockey, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Story of Football, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Story of Figure Skating, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Story of Basketball, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Story of Baseball, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2005.

OTHER

Picture Writing: A New Approach to Writing for Kids and Teens, Writer's Digest Books (Cincinnati, OH), 2002.


Author's books have been translated and published in Spanish and Japanese.


SIDELIGHTS: Writer and educator Anastasia Suen told CA: "I began writing in 1967 and teaching in 1977. I am the author of sixty-seven books for children and of Picture Writing, a book about how to write for children. I teach writing to students of all ages (from second graders to senior citizens), and my children's books also include numerous titles written for textbook series. These books cover a wide range of ages (from the simplest books for babies to nonfiction texts for junior high). Several of my picture books have been reprinted in anthologies for use in the classroom."


Man on the Moon tells the story of the Apollo Eleven space mission, introducing children to astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins, and attempting to explain what they did during their journey to the moon. She uses just a few simple sentences on each page to accompany illustrations by Benrei Huang. Suen's father worked at Cape Canaveral, and she herself was thirteen years old at the time of Armstrong's famous moon walk. Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan commented that "teachers and parents who want to introduce the historic even to children will find this attractive book a good starting place."


With Window Music, Suen turns her attention to the joys of riding on a train. The title phrase refers to 1880s slang for the view through a train window as the scenery zips by, and Suen focuses on this viewpoint as she weaves her story. The text uses simple, rhythmic rhymes to describe the sights and sounds observed during a train trip. A contributor to Publishers Weekly observed that "this magical excursion is music with several movements, returning readers to a familiar theme in the final stanzas."


Baby Born follows a baby through its first year of life, chronicling developmental advances such as crawling, teething, and first steps and first words. Suen uses gentle, easy rhyming text that is designed to be read out loud. A reviewer for Kirkus Reviews called Suen's work "an adorable lift-the-flap book that works on a number of levels."


Continuing with Suen's underlying theme of teaching children how things work, Deliver explains the many different things that can be delivered, from the morning newspaper to boxes, groceries, flowers, and more. Suen includes the various methods by which deliveries can be made, covering planes, trains, boats, and even pipelines. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented that "Suen's spare text lacks the lyrical quality of her previous book, Window Music, while Kay Weisman of Booklist observed "the text is succinct enough for even fidgety toddlers," and went on to call the book "a good choice."


Raise the Roof! follows a man, a woman, and their dog as they work their way through the various stages of building a house. Even the dog pitches in, operating a concrete mixer while dressed in a hardhat, and helping the woman saw lumber, both of them wearing safety goggles. Lauren Adams, in a review for Horn Book, remarked that "written in concise, catchy verse and illustrated in a retro-cartoon style, this upbeat picture book has a fresh charm and an easy sense of humor." A contributor to Publishers Weekly referred to Suen's effort as a "cheery but tepid how-to book." School Library Journal reviewer Lisa Dennis observed that the book's "brevity and the fact that the words are well matched to the pictures suggest that the book may work as well for beginning readers as it does as a read-aloud."


In Subway, Suen tells the story of a little girl and her mother as they go for a ride on the subway. The text mimics the rhythms and movement of the underground trains, focusing on the details that are most likely to capture the attention of a toddler. Gillian Engberg, in a review for Booklist, commented that "with just a few lines of simple poetry on each page, Suen describes a subway ride's rushing movement and sound," and a contributor to Kirkus Reviews wrote that "this is the subway as seen through the eyes of one thrilled at the adventure: busy, joyful, and exciting." Margaret R. Tassia, reviewing for School Library Journal, stated that "for youngsters who have never been on a subway, this title provides a wonderful introduction."


Suen has also written several volumes in series of books for children about the history of sports, including The Story of Soccer and The Story of Baseball.

The purpose of the series is to give children a background on the various sports, and the books cover basic information, including the women's baseball league and the origins of the World Cup and Olympic competitions. Booklist reviewer John Peters noted that "the popular topics and inviting look of this series may tempt reluctant or below-grade-level readers to give it a try."


Another series to which Suen has contributed is the "Helping Organizations" books. The Red Cross explains the work of the charity, using color photos to illustrate the way volunteers, including children, help people in need around the world. UNICEF: United Nations Children's Fund shows how children can raise money to help families, whether they are poverty stricken or the victims of emergencies. Hazel Rochman, in a review for Booklist, commented that "new readers will be drawn by the drama of worldwide disasters and by the actions of those who can make a difference."


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 1, 1997, Carolyn Phelan, review of Man on the Moon, p. 477; September 1, 1999, Kay Weisman, review of Delivery, p. 144; September 13, 1999, review of Delivery, p. 82; June 1, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Air Show, p. 1886; April 15, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of The Club House, p. 1409; May 15, 2002, John Peters, review of The Story of Baseball, p. 1598; June 1, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of The Red Cross, p. 1728; February 15, 2003, Todd Morning, review of Raise the Roof!, p. 1077; February 1, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Subway, p. 982.

Horn Book, March-April, 2003, Lauren Adams, review of Raise the Roof!, p. 206.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 1998, review of BabyBorn, p. 1196; September 1, 1998, review of Window Music, p. 1294; December 15, 2002, review of Raise the Roof!, p. 1857; January 15, 2004, review of Subway, p. 89.

New York Times Book Review, January 4, 1998, Julie Salamon, review of Man on the Moon, p. 20; November 15, 1998, Robin Tzannes, review of Window Music, p. 46.

Publishers Weekly, November 10, 1997, review of Man on the Moon, p. 73; September 21, 1998, review of Window Music, p. 83; September 13, 1999, review of Delivery, p. 82; December 16, 2002, review of Raise the Roof!, p. 65; February 2, 2004, review of Subway, p. 75.

School Library Journal, October, 1998, Martha Topol, review of Baby Born, pp. 114-116; January, 2001, JoAnn Jonas, review of Toddler Two, p. 110; March, 2001, Sally R. Dow, review of Willie's Birthday, p. 220; April, 2001, Lisa Smith, review of Hamster Chase, p. 123; March, 2002, Kathleen Simonetta, review of Habitat for Humanity and UNICEF: United Nations Children's Fund, p. 222, and Blair Christolon, review of The Story of Soccer, p. 222; April, 2002, Laura Scott, review of Loose Tooth, p. 124, and Elizabeth Stumpf, review of ASPCA: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Doctors Without Borders, p. 141; August, 2002, Holly T. Sneeringer, review of The Clubhouse, p. 170; February, 2003, Lisa Dennis, review of Raise the Roof!, p. 123; February, 2004, Margaret R. Tassia, review of Subway, p. 124.

Teaching Children Mathematics, Maxine Pincott, review of One Hundred Day, Here Comes the Bus, and Everybody Wears Braids, p. 550.


ONLINE

Anastasia Suen's Home Page,http://www.asuen.com (December 8, 2004).