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Freedman, Claire

Freedman, Claire

Personal

Born in England.

Addresses

Home and office—Essex, England.

Career

Children's writer. Previously worked at Harrods and at British Broadcasting Corporation.

Awards, Honors

Richard & Judy Book Club Award, 2007, for Aliens Love Underpants!

Writings

An Ark Full of Activities, HarperCollins UK (London, England), 2001.

Where's Your Smile, Crocodile?, illustrated by Sean Julian, Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 2001.

Tiggy Tiger: Brave Explorer, illustrated by Cecilia Johansson, Orchard (London, England), 2001, Barron's (Hauppauge, NY), 2002.

Good Night, Sleep Tight, illustrated by Rory Tyger, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2003.

Gooseberry Goose, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2003.

Hushabye Lily, illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello, Orchard (New York, NY), 2003.

Night-Night, Emily!, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2003.

Dilly Duckling, Margaret K. McElderry (New York, NY), 2004.

By My Side, Little Panda, illustrated by Rory Tyger, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2004.

Oops-a-Daisy!, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2004.

Snuggle up, Sleepy Ones, illustrated by Tina Macnaughton, Good Books (Intercourse, PA), 2005.

One Magical Morning, illustrated by Louise Ho, Good Books (Intercourse, PA), 2005.

New Kid in Town, illustrated by Kristina Stephenson, Good Books (Intercourse, PA), 2006.

Squabble and Squawk, illustrated by Leonie Shearing, Simon & Schuster UK (London, England), 2006.

A Kiss Goodnight, illustrated by Alison Edgson, Good Books (Intercourse, PA), 2007.

One Magical Day, illustrated by Tina Macnaughton, Good Books (Intercourse, PA), 2007.

Good Night, Sleep Tight, illustrated by Rory Tyger, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2007.

Aliens Love Underpants, Barron's (Hauppauge, NY), 2007.

I Love You, Sleepyhead, illustrated by Simon Mendez, Good Books (Intercourse, PA), 2008.

Follow That Bear If You Dare!, illustrated by Alison Edgson, Good Books (Intercourse, PA), 2008.

Sidelights

Author Claire Freedman discovered that she had a knack for writing children's books while attending a local writing group in her native England. She began submitting short works to magazine publishers, and in 2001 graduated to children's books when her first picture-book text appeared in Where's Your Smile, Crocodile? and An Ark Full of Activities. Freedman's work has won her recognition from parents and children alike, as well as earning a Richard & Judy Book Club Award in 2007.

Many of Freedman's picture books utilize animal characters to tell very human stories. In Where's Your Smile, Crocodile? Kyle the crocodile wakes up grumpy, and none of his friends are able to cheer him up, no matter how silly they act. When the grouchy Kyle meets a young lion cub who is lost, he tries to cheer the frightened creature up as they search together for the cub's mama lion. In the process, Kyle learns that he had his smile all along. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted the "worthwhile lesson" in the tale, and a Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that, while the message is not new, "it's lightly proffered and colorfully imagined."

The young gosling in Goosberry Goose also thinks he is missing something: while his friends are all busy getting ready for winter, Gooseberry feels the need to practice flying. Worried, he asks his parents what he should do differently, and they explain that because geese fly south for the winter, he is doing everything right. "Read- ers will be captivated by this irrepressible gosling's infectious charm," wrote Martha Topol in a School Library Journal review of Goosberry Goose, and a Publishers Weekly contributor had special praise for Freedman's "vivacious and assured storytelling."

Hushabye Lily finds a young rabbit having trouble falling asleep, until the bunny's mother convinces her that all the farm yard noises are part of a lullaby. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented on the "lilting prose" Freedman uses in telling her simple tale, and Andrea Tarr wrote in School Library Journal that Hushabye Lily would make "a grand storytime choice." Another bed-time tale, Good Night, Sleep Tight begins as Grandma Bear tries to convince little Archie to fall asleep. Finally, she finds success when she tells the young cub stories of his own parents, which quickly lull Archie off to dreamland. "Freeman's … language, with its familiar words and rhythms, resonates with security and affection," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor in a review of Good Night, Sleep Tight. "The language has a gentle cadence that is relaxing and soothing," Carolyn Phelan noted in Booklist, and a critic for Kirkus Reviews predicted that Freedman's story will provide "a real bedtime treat for both parents and children alike." Snuggle up, Sleepy Ones is filled with exotic animals who drift off to sleep. The "flowing cadences of [Freedman's] … rhyming couplets will lull young sleepyheads pleasantly into la-la land," predicted a Kirkus Reviews contributor, and a Publishers Weekly critic noted that the book's "rhymes have a comforting lilt."

Dilly Duckling, another of Freedman's animal-centered picture books, finds a young duck losing a feather while playing. Although the duckling worries that his mother will be mad, Mother Duck explains that losing feathers is just part of life. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the Dilly Duckling "a breezy look at the changes of growing up." Oops-a-Daisy! is also a tale of growing up; this time: Daisy the rabbit is frustrated because she cannot learn to hop. However, with effort and the help of her friends, she builds confidence and is sure that, someday, she will hop as well as her mother. A Publishers Weekly critic noted that Freedman's "crisp, descriptive prose, and evocative nonsense phrases" will engage readers in Oops-a-Daisy!

Night-Night, Emily! is one of Freedman's stories that features a human child as the protagonist. In the story, Emily cannot fall asleep without her favorite bear, and as she searches the house for her toy, she gradually fills her bed with a menagerie of other stuffed animals. Sally R. Dow, writing in School Library Journal, called Night-Night, Emily! "a good choice for nighttime sharing."

Freedman leaves Planet Earth altogether in Aliens Love Underpants!, a beginning reader that received the Richard & Judy Book Club Award in 2007. "I first sent in a story about aliens, but the publishers came back to me saying that they wanted a different spin on it," Freedman explained to Candice Krieger in the Jewish Chronicle. "So I sent in something that was completely mad, but they seemed to really like it. I am really pleased to have won the award."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2001, Shelley Townsend-Hudson, review of An Ark Full of Activities, p. 1676; December 15, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of Good Night, Sleep Tight, p. 753; March 1, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Dilly Duckling, p. 1194.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2001, review of Where's Your Smile, Crocodile?, p. 1212; July 15, 2003, review of Good Night, Sleep Tight, p. 963; August 1, 2003, review of Hushabye Lily, p. 1016; December 15, 2003, review of Dilly Duckling, p. 1450; May 15, 2005, review of Snuggle up, Sleepy Ones, p. 588; October 1, 2006, review of New Kid in Town, p. 1013; October 15, 2006, review of Squabble and Squawk, p. 1070.

Magpies, November, 2001, review of Where's Your Smile, Crocodile?, p. 27.

Publishers Weekly, August 20, 2001, review of Where's Your Smile, Crocodile? p. 78; June 2, 2003, review of Hushabye Lily, p. 50; October 6, 2003, review of Good Night, Sleep Tight, p. 82; November 10, 2003, review of Gooseberry Goose, p. 60; February 9, 2004, review of Oops-a-Daisy!, p. 79; June 20, 2005, review of One Magical Morning, p. 75; June 27, 2005, review of Snuggle up, Sleepy Ones, p. 61.

School Librarian, spring, 2002, review of Tiggy Tiger Brave Explorer, p. 18; spring, 2004, Janet Fisher, review of Going on the Loose, p. 19; autumn, 2004, Joyce Banks, review of Oops-a-Daisy!, p. 131; summer, 2005, Emma Doman, review of By My Side, Little Panda, p. 74.

School Library Journal, November, 2001, Patti Gonzales, review of Where's Your Smile, Crocodile?, p. 122; November, 2003, Andrea Tarr, review of Hushabye Lily, p. 93; December, 2003, Linda M. Kenton, review of Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Martha Topol, review of Gooseberry Goose, both p. 113; January, 2004, Sally R. Dow, review of Night-Night, Emily! p. 98; April, 2004, Judith Constantinides, review of Dilly Duckling, p. 110; May, 2004, Be Astengo, review of Oops-a-Daisy!, p. 110; May, 2005, Sheilah Kosco, review of One Magical Morning, p. 83; July, 2005, Sally R. Dow, review of Snuggle up, Sleepy Ones, p. 72; June, 2007, Jayne Damron, review of A Kiss Goodnight, p. 96.

ONLINE

Jewish Chronicle Online,http://www.thejc.com/ (November 1, 2007), Candice Krieger, "Claire Freedman Wins a Richard & Judy Book Award."

Simon & Schuster Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (December 1, 2007), "Claire Freedman."

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