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Fontes, Justine

Fontes, Justine

Personal

Married Ron Fontes. Education: New York University, B.A. (English literature). Hobbies and other interests: Playing ping-pong, juggling, bellydancing, bodybuilding, spoiling cats.

Addresses

Home—ME. Agent—c/o Sonic Publishing, P.O. Box 585, Readfield, ME 04355. E-mail[email protected]

Career

Children's book author. Sonic Comics, Readfield, ME, co-founder, with husband, Ron Fontes, 2000.

Member

Phi Beta Kappa.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN

The Christmas Cub, illustrated by Lucinda McQueen, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.

(Adapter) Emmy's Dream House (based on a story by Jeffrey Scott), illustrated by Jan Gerardi, CTW Books/Random House (New York, NY), 2000.

Oh, No! A Baby Sitter!, illustrated by Dana Regan, Troll (Mahwah, NJ), 2001.

The Day the TV Broke, illustrated by Anne Kennedy, Troll (Mahwah, NJ), 2002.

Signs of Spring, illustrated by Rob Heffernan, Mondo (New York, NY), 2002.

Storm: Matchbox, illustrated by David Schleinkofer, Pleasant Company (Middleton, WI), 2002.

Trash, illustrated by Lee MacLeod, Pleasant Company (Middleton, WI), 2002.

The Easter Cub, illustrated by Lucinda McQueen, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.

Henry's Turn, illustrated by Rob Heffernan, Mondo (New York, NY), 2003.

Toy Trouble, illustrated by Rob Heffernan, Mondo (New York, NY), 2003.

Where Are Custard and Pupcake?, illustrated by Josie Yee, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 2003.

Rude Ralph, illustrated by Charles Jordan, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Jordan's Silly Sick Day, illustrated by Jared Lee, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Black Meets White, illustrated by Geoff Waring, Can-dlewick (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

Itchy Mitch, illustrated by Ron Fontes and "Mitch," Mondo (New York, NY), 2006.

My First Day of Preschool, illustrated by Matt Novak, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2006.

Also author of The Littlest Leprechaun, illustrated by Amanda Haley, for Little Simon.

Author's books have been published in French translation.

FOR CHILDREN; WITH HUSBAND, RON FONTES

(Reteller) How the Leopard Got Its Spots: Three Tales from around the World, illustrated by Keiko Mo-toyama, Golden Books (New York, NY), 1999.

(Adapter) Toy Story 2: Woody's Wild Ride, Mouse Works (New York, NY), 1999.

(Adapter) Toy Story 2: Rex to the Rescue!, Disney Press (New York, NY), 1999.

(Adapter) Stuart Little: Search and Find, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 1999.

(Adapter) Stuart Little: My Family Album, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 1999.

(Adapter) Stuart Little: George and Stuart, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 1999.

(Adapter) To Fly with Dragons (based on a script by Cliff Ruby and Elana Lesser and on characters created by Ron Rodecker), illustrated by Ted Enik, Sesame Workshop/Random House (New York, NY), 2000.

(Adapter) Star Wars Episode 1: Anakin's Pit Droid, illustrated by Christopher Moroney, Random House (New York, NY), 2000.

The Case of the Baffling Beast, illustrated by William Presing, Disney Press (New York, NY), 2000.

How the Turtle Got Its Shell, Golden Books (New York, NY), 2000.

(Reteller) How the Camel Got Its Hump: Tales from around the World, illustrated by Keiko Motoyama, Golden Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, Leader, Legend, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 2001.

George Washington: Soldier, Hero, President, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 2001.

(Adapter) Charles M. Schultz, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, illustrated by Paige Braddock, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2001.

Rescue Mission, Random House (New York, NY), 2001.

(Adapter) Charles M. Schultz, A Charlie Brown Valentine, illustrated by Paige Braddock, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2001.

Battle in the Arena, Random House (New York, NY), 2002.

How the Zebra Got Its Stripes, Golden Books (New York, NY), 2002.

(Adapter) Charles M. Schultz, It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, illustrated by Paige Braddock, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2002.

(Adapter) Charles M. Schultz, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, art adapted by Tom Brannon, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2002.

Delaware, the First State, World Almanac (Milwaukee, WI), 2003.

North Dakota, the Peace Garden State, World Almanac (Milwaukee, WI), 2003.

West Virginia, the Mountain State, World Almanac (Milwaukee, WI), 2003.

Wyoming, the Equality State, World Almanac (Milwaukee, WI), 2003.

(Adapter) Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat Movie Storybook, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.

Cheerios Action Park Adventure, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.

(Adapter) Charles M. Schultz, The Great Pumpkin Strikes Again!, art adapted by Tom Brannon, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2004.

(Adapter) Charles M. Schultz, Lucy Must Be Traded, art adapted by Tom Brannon, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2004.

Rachel Carson, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Proteins, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2005.

(Adapter) The Trojan Horse: The Fall of Troy (graphic novel), based on Virgil's Aeneid and The War at Troy by Quintus of Smyrna, illustrated by Gordon Purcell, Graphic Universe (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

(Reteller) Demeter and Persephone: Spring Held Hostage (graphic novel), Graphic Universe (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

(Reteller) Atalanta: The Race against Destiny (graphic novel), Graphic Universe (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

"A TO Z" SERIES; JUVENILE NONFICTION; WITH RON FONTES

Brazil, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

France, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

India, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Ireland, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Israel, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Italy, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Kenya, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Mexico, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Russia, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Sidelights

Justine Fontes is the author of many books for children, ranging from adaptations of television specials and movies to retellings of folk tales, story books for beginning readers, nonfiction titles, and graphic novels. Many of Fontes's books are collaborative efforts, written with her husband, Ron Fontes. Together, the pair have penned more than three hundred books for children, and have also cofounded the Sonic Comics publishing company.

Most of Fontes's solo titles are stories for very young readers. The Christmas Cub, for instance, tells of a young bear who does not want to sleep through the winter. His determination is rewarded when he learns about Christmas by watching a human family, and eventually meets Santa Claus himself. Reviewing the story for Resource Links, Janice Ling called The Christmas Cub "a light little tale that will appeal to most young readers."

In Signs of Spring a young girl named Lucy can smell spring in the air. On her way to school, she collects small objects that show spring has arrived. When she gets to school, Lucy realizes it was her turn for show and tell, and she has forgotten to bring anything. To solve the dilemma, her friends encourage Lucy to share what she has collected on the way to school. "Children will feel the magic of friendship and spring in this good-natured story," wrote Kelly Milner Halls in Booklist, while School Library Journal critic Be Astengo considered the tale "cheerful and pleasant."

Fontes encourages young readers to imagine what happens when colors combine in Black Meets White, a picture book featuring flaps to lift along with die-cut pages. Her "playful language enables the colors to embody feelings, actions, and other animate qualities," wrote a critic for Publishers Weekly, while a Kirkus Reviews contributor maintained that "this color study will definitely get—and survive—repeat visits."

Fontes's other titles include board books for very young readers. One example, Trash, is a board book built in the shape of a garbage truck that describes what garbage trucks do. Storm: Matchbox, shaped like a radar truck, introduces readers to that truck's job. Fontes has also authored My First Day of Preschool, a title designed to comfort young readers facing their first day away from home.

With her husband, Fontes has adapted several story books based on movies such as Toy Story 2, Stuart Little, and Star Wars, and several television specials

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featuring Charles M. Schultz's character Charlie Brown. They have also written several nonfiction titles for young readers, including profiles of states and countries and biographies of famous Americans. Sandra Welzen-bach, writing in School Library Journal, considered their books Brazil and Mexico—titles in the "A to Z" nonfiction series—"helpful, non-textbook sources for those interested in developing a basic understanding of these countries." Though Barbara Buckley wrote in School Library Journal that the Fontes' joint effort Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, Leader, Legend contains too many myths about the former U.S. president, she nonetheless wrote that the coauthors' "text is readable and fact-laden."

Along with their nonfiction and tie-in work, Fontes and her husband have also written several retellings of traditional stories, including three graphic-novel texts based on classical tales: The Trojan Horse: The Fall of Troy based on Virgil's Aeneid; The War at Troy, based on the account by Quintus of Smyrna; Demeter and Persephone: Spring Held Hostage; and Atalanta: The Race against Destiny.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2002, Kelly Milner Halls, review of Signs of Spring, p. 1734.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2005, review of Black Meets White, p. 682.

Publishers Weekly, July 18, 2005, review of Black Meets White, p. 204.

Resource Links, April, 2001, Janice Ling, review of French translation of The Christmas Cub, p. 45.

School Library Journal, August, 2002, Be Astengo, review of Signs of Spring, p. 155; August, 2001, Barbara Buckley, review of Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, Leader, Legend, p. 168; March, 2004, Sandra Welzenbach, review of Brazil and Mexico, p. 192; November, 2005, Roxanne Burg, review of Black Meets White, p. 90.

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