Lakin, Patricia 1944–

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Lakin, Patricia 1944–

Personal

Born 1944, in Boston, MA. Education: B.A. (education).

Addresses

Home and office—New York, NY. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Author of children's books. Formerly worked as a school teacher. Presenter at schools.

Awards, Honors

Bank Street Children's Book Committee Best Book designation, 2001, for Hurricane!, and 2002, for Subway Sonata and Clarence the Copy Cat.

Writings

CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Don't Touch My Room, illustrated by Patience Brewster, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1985.

Oh, Brother!, illustrated by Patience Brewster, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1987.

Just like Me, illustrated by Patience Brewster, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1989.

Jet Black Pickup Truck, illustrated by Rosekrans Hoffman, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1990.

The Palace of Stars, illustrated 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, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1994.

Don't Forget, illustrated 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.

Aware and Alert, illustrated by Doug Cushman, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1995.

Get Ready to Read!, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1995.

A Good Sport, illustrated by Doug Cushman, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1995.

The Mystery Illness, illustrated by Doug Cushman, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1995.

Information, Please, illustrated by Doug Cushman, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1995.

Hurricane!, illustrated by Vanessa Lubach, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

Fat Chance Thanksgiving, illustrated by Stacey Schuett, Albert 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!, illustrated by Scott Nash, Dial Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Subway Sonata, illustrated by Heather Maione, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Amelia Earhart: More than a Flyer, illustrated by Alan and Leah Daniel, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2003.

Beach Day!, illustrated by Scott Nash, Dial Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Albert Einstein: Genius of the Twentieth Century, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2005.

Clara Barton: Spirit of the American Red Cross, illustrated by Simon Sullivan, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2006.

Abigail Adams: First Lady of the American Revolution, illustrated by Bob Dacey and Debra Bandelin, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2006.

Max and Mo's First Day of School, illustrated by Brian Floca, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2007.

Max and Mo Make a Snowman, illustrated by Brian Floca, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2007.

Rainy Day!, illustrated by Scott Nash, Dial Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2007.

Max and Mo Go Apple Picking, illustrated by Brian Floca, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2007.

"AROUND THE WORLD" SERIES; FOR CHILDREN

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.

Sidelights

Patricia Lakin's books for young readers range from picture books to nonfiction biographies such as Amelia Earhart: More than a Flyer and Harry Houdini: Escape Artist. Beginning readers are the focus of warm-hearted standalone stories such as Fat Chance Thanksgiving as well as her whimsical "Max and Moe" easy-reader series, in which two classroom hamsters deal with simple setbacks. Turning to a more-serious topic in Aware and Alert, in which a police officer teaches children how to keep themselves safe from strangers, Lakin also entertains children in picture books such as Hurricane! and Dad and Me in the Morning, the latter which finds a deaf boy and his father enjoying a special time together. Noting Lakin's use of easy-to read sentences and the addition of engaging cartoon art by Brian Floca, School Library Journal contributor Erika Qualls predicted that Max and Mo's First Day at School "will delight beginning readers," while Booklist critic Shelley Townsend-Hudson dubbed Fat Chance Thanksgiving a "loving story of determination and sharing" that also serves as an "ode to the spirit of Thanksgiving."

An amusing large-format picture book by Lakin, Clarence the Copy Cat features a title character who cannot bring himself to kill anything—not even a mouse. Evicted from the sandwich shop where he had lived and worked due to his un-cat-like behavior, Clarence finally finds a new home in a library. His peaceful new life is soon disrupted when a mouse shows up, and Clarence is forced to find a gentle way to ensure that the tiny rodent will never come back. "Readers will sympathize with poor Clarence and root for him as he … finds a solution to the problem," predicted Kristin de Lacoste in School Library Journal, and Booklist contributor Connie Fletcher dubbed Clarence the Copy Cat "a well-plotted, action-packed, comically illustrated story."

Hurricane!, featuring artwork by Vanessa Lubach, finds its human characters dealing with a problem: in this case, how to secure the family home from a violent storm. Noting that Lakin approaches her subject from a child's viewpoint, Booklist reviewer Shelley Townsend-Hudson concluded that Hurricane! "will be good for parent-child discussion." A writer, a painter, a choreographer, and a composer are each inspired to create a unique work of art during a ride on the subway to their day job in Subway Sonata, another picture book by Lakin, its story brought to life by artist Heather Maione.

In the beginning reader Snow Day! and its seasonal sequels, Lakin and illustrator Scott Nash team up and introduce four unusual playmates: alligators Sam, Pam, Will, and Jill. When the four friends wake up and discover a thick blanket of freshly fallen snow in Snow Day!, they decide that home is the place to be. Acting like school principals (which they may or may not be), they call the local radio station and inform the newscaster that school is out for the day. Praised for its surprise ending, Snow Day! was also noted for its use of simple vocabulary. In Publishers Weekly a commentator called the book "a seamless work of storytelling about a classic snow job."

Also featuring artwork by Nash, Rainy Day! and Beach Day! reintroduce Lakin's alligator friends. In Rainy Day! the four pals decided not to stay cooped up in the house during a rain storm, and enjoy playing in puddles until the rain turns to hail and a nearby library becomes a convenient refuge. Beach Day! finds the four travel-

ing to the seashore for a day in the sun. The author's "use of alliteration, rhyme, and repeated vowel sounds will help listeners build toward tackling [reading the story] … on their own," commented Jennifer Mattson in her Booklist review of Rainy Day! Also citing Lakin's well-structured text as useful for beginning readers, Phyllis M. Simon added in her School Library Journal review of Beach Day! that the amusing read-aloud is "a romp for the characters and readers alike."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 1, 1994, Annie Ayres, illustration of Dad and Me in the Morning, p. 1460; October 15, 2000, Shelley Townsend-Hudson, review of Hurricane!, p. 445; September 1, 2001, Shelley Townsend-Hudson, review of Fat Chance Thanksgiving, p. 119; November 1, 2002, Connie Fletcher, review of Clarence the Copy Cat, p. 508; November 15, 2002, John Peters, review of Snow Day!, p. 611; February 15, 2007, Jennifer Mattson, review of Rainy Day!, p. 84.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 1985, review of Don't Touch My Room, p. 169; May, 1987, review of Oh, Brother!, p. 171; October, 2001, review of Fat Chance Thanksgiving, p. 64; June, 2004, Elizabeth Bush, review of Beach Day!, p. 425.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2001, review of Fat Chance Thanksgiving, p. 1215; October 1, 2002, review of Clarence the Copy Cat, p. 1473; May 1, 2004, review of Beach Day!, p. 444; January 15, 2007, review of Rainy Day!, p. 75.

New York Times Book Review, August 23, 1987, review of Oh, Brother!, p. 27.

Publishers Weekly, April 24, 1987, review of Don't Touch My Room, p. 94; July 27, 1990, review of Jet Black Pickup Truck, p. 231; May 15, 1994, review of Don't Forget, p. 64; September 30, 2002, review of Clarence the Copy Cat, p. 70; October 21, 2002, review of Snow Day!, p. 73.

School Library Journal, October, 1995, Rosanne Cerny, review of "Around the World" series, p. 127; January, 2001, Sally R. Dow, review of Hurricane!, p. 103; October, 2001, Marlene Gawron, review of Fat Chance Thanksgiving, p. 123; October, 2002, Kristin de Lacoste, review of Clarence the Copy Cat, p. 116; November, 2002, Harriett Fargnoli, review of Snow Day!, p. 128; December, 2002, Edith Ching, review of Harry Houdini: Escape Artist, p. 124; May, 2004, Phyllis M. Simon, review of Beach Day!, p. 116; March, 2007, Linda Ludke, review of Rainy Day!, p. 174; September, 2007, Erika Qualls, review of Max and Mo's First Day at School, p. 168.

ONLINE

Patricia Lakin Home Page,http://www.patricialakin.com (June 3, 2008).