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Children's book author.
Zack's Alligator, illustrated by James Watts, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1989.
Zack's Alligator Goes to School, illustrated by James Watts, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
The Pig Is in the Pantry, the Cat Is on the Shelf, illustrated by Jennifer Plecas, Clarion (New York, NY), 2000.
The Bear Upstairs, illustrated by Doug Cushman, Holt (New York, NY), 2005.
The Kitchen Talks: Poems, illustrated by Petra Mathers, Holt (New York, NY), 2006.
Shirley Mozelle began her career as a writer for young children with the "I Can Read" titles Zack's Alligator and Zack's Alligator Goes to School, both of which feature the misadventures of Bridget the Alligator. She is also the author of picture books for young readers as well as a collection of poetry for the very young.
In The Pig Is in the Pantry, the Cat Is on the Shelf Mozelle tells the story of a farmer who leaves his house unlocked when he goes to town. When he returns, the man discovers that all of the animals on the farm have made themselves at home inside. Using "repetitive description, lots of numbers and animal sounds, plus a gentle tone," a reviewer for Publishers Weekly explained that Mozelle's book is designed to appeal to the "very young." While noting that the story is sometimes difficult to follow, Christine Lindsey wrote in School Library Journal that The Pig Is in the Pantry, the Cat Is on the Shelf is "filled with alliteration, animal antics, and opportunities to count and tell time." Booklist critic Connie Fletcher deemed the tale "a rollicking story line, filled with wordplay, animal noises, counting drills, and silly songs."
Valuing diversity and befriending people with different likes and dislikes are the themes of The Bear Upstairs. A writer bear is irritated when a noisy new neighbor moves in, banging and clanging throughout the day and disturbing her work. When she finally goes up to speak with him, she realizes that the clumsy neighbor is more than what she expected: he is a chef, and a huge fan of her cookbook. From her recipe, the chef creates an omelet that the two neighbors share together. "It's a familiar tale, but the message is upbeat," wrote a contributor to Publishers Weekly, while School Library Journal contributor Wendy Woodfill explained that Mozelle's "subtle message of acceptance and tolerance is conveyed with humor and wit and will surely strike a chord with many readers."
In The Kitchen Talks: Poems Mozelle includes twenty short poems that provide the perspective of familiar kitchen objects, from the refrigerator to the toaster. Teresa Pfeifer, reviewing the collection for School Library Journal, found the book to be "a playful take on commonplace objects," while Hazel Rochman wrote in Booklist that Mozelle's verses are "wonderful for reading aloud."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, August, 2000, Connie Fletcher, review of The Pig Is in the Pantry, the Cat Is on the Shelf, p. 2149; March 15, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of The Kitchen Talks: Poems, p. 49.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2005, review of The Bear Upstairs, p. 855; March 1, 2006, review of The Kitchen Talks, p. 236.
Publishers Weekly, March 27, 2000, review of The Pig Is in the Pantry, the Cat Is on the Shelf, p. 79; October 24, 2005, review of The Bear Upstairs, p. 56.
School Library Journal, May, 2000, Christine Lindsey, review of The Pig Is in the Pantry, the Cat Is on the Shelf, p. 150; November, 2005, Wendy Woodfill, review of The Bear Upstairs, p. 102; April, 2006, Teresa Pfeifer, review of The Kitchen Talks, p. 130.
Harper Collins Web site,http://www.harpercollins.com/ (May 18, 2007), "Sharon Mozelle."
Houghton Mifflin Web site,http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/ (May 18, 2007), "Sharon Mozelle."