Married; children: two.
Scriptwriter and children's book author. Food Network, script writer for television programming; scriptwriter for soap operas and films; freelance writer. Coach for middle-school and high-school basketball.
Pecorino's First Concert, illustrated by AnnaLaura Cantone, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2005.
Pecorino Plays Ball, illustrated by AnnaLaura Cantone, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2006.
The Littlest Grape Stomper, illustrated by Giselle Potter, Schwartz & Wade (New York, NY), 2007.
Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2007.
Alan Madison has worked in many aspects of writing: everything from magazine articles and soap operas to
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fortune cookies. "The fortune cookie was the best thing I ever wrote," Madison explained on his home page. "It said, ‘Write a children's book.’" Following the advice of his own fortune-cookie script, Madison embarked on a career as a children's book author with the picture book Pecorino's First Concert.
The hero of Madison's picture-book debut, Pecorino is a curious young boy who, on his first trip to an orchestral performance, explores the instruments on stage and gets stuck inside a tuba. Mary Elam, writing in School Library Journal, called Pecorino's First Concert an "entertainingly silly tale." Agreeing that the book's characters and story are silly, a Kirkus Reviews contributor added: "The language and character names are silly, too, and will delight readers who revel in wordplay."
Pecorino's adventures continue in Pecorino Plays Ball, in which the silly boy attempts to learn the basics of baseball but finds that he cannot even manage to chew his gum correctly. This failing turns out to be a blessing, however, when a sticky glove and a fly ball combine to make the lad a hero. A Kirkus Reviews contributor commented on "Madison's delight in jokes and silly words, with which he's liberally salted his tale." GraceAnne A. DeCandido, writing in Booklist, deemed Pecorino Plays Ball to be "silly, decidedly odd, and generally giggle inducing," and in her School Library Journal review Roxanne Burg calle the picture book "lighthearted nonsense."
In The Littlest Grape Stomper Madison introduces a new odd-ball hero. Sixto Poblano is a boy with six toes on each foot, and his physical difference is known to all because he often goes barefoot. Although having extra toes sometimes make Sixto clumsy, when he is recruited to stomp grapes the boy quickly becomes a hero. "In florid prose, Madison … elevates Sixto to legendary status," wrote a contributor to Publishers Weekly in a review of The Littlest Grape Stomper. A Kirkus Reviews contributor predicted that young readers "will enjoy both Sixto's triumph and the overall goofiness of this small tall tale."
Velma Gratch, the quirkily named heroine of Madison's picture book Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly, begins the first grade knowing that she can not live up to the stellar examples set by her two older sisters. However, when Velma visits a butterfly conservatory, a place where neither of her sisters has been, a butterfly flutters close to the girl and roosts on Velma's finger, refusing to move for days. Madison wraps butterfly facts into his unusual story, showing Velma going through her own metaphorical journey from cocoon to butterfly.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, February 1, 2006, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Pecorino Plays Ball, p. 56.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2005, review of Pecorino's First Concert, p. 686; January 1, 2006, review of Pecorino Plays Ball, p. 43; January 15, 2007, review of The Littlest Grape Stomper, p. 77.
Publishers Weekly, August 8, 2005, review of Pecorino's First Concert, p. 234; January 8, 2007, review of The Littlest Grape Stomper, p. 50.
School Library Journal, August, 2005, Mary Elam, review of Pecorino's First Concert, p. 102; March, 2006, Roxanne Burg, review of Pecorino Plays Ball, p. 198.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), February 26, 2006, Mary Harris Russell, review of Pecorino Plays Ball, p. 7.
Alan Madison Home Page,http://www.madisonia.com (August 6, 2007).
Simon and Schuster Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (August 6, 2007), "Alan Madison."