Prince, April Jones 1975-
Prince, April Jones 1975-
Born April 17, 1975; married; children: two sons. Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A. (journalism and mass communications), 1997; Radcliffe Publishing Course, graduate, 1997.
Home and office—Shrewsbury, MA. E-mail—[email protected]
Meet Our Flag, Old Glory, illustrated by Joan Paley, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2004.
Who Was Mark Twain?, illustrated by John O'Brien, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 2004.
Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing, illustrated by François Roca, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2005.
What Do Wheels Do All Day?, illustrated by Giles Laroche, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2006.
Valentine Friends, illustrated by Elisabeth Schlossberg, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2007.
Jackie Robinson: He Led the Way, illustrated by Robert Casilla, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 2008.
April Jones Prince uses poetry to share interesting facts and stories with hidden lessons in her books for young children. Her verses, comprised of a straight-forward prose using a simple vocabulary, also engage readers, creating a sense of anticipation through guessing games in What Do Wheels Do All Day? and presenting an exciting tale of derring do in Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing. Prince also introduces intriguing character from America's past in her picture-book biographies Who Was Mark Twain? and Jackie Robinson: He Led the Way, and tells a story about the nation's flag in Meet Our Flag, Old Glory.
What Do Wheels Do All Day? explains to children the many functions of wheels and provides examples of what wheels do. Several different types of wheels are covered: Prince includes descriptions of a ferris wheel, car wheels, and windmills. In School Library Journal Janet S. Thompson remarked that the "anticipatory quality of the rhymes" works together with the visual images supplied by illustrator Giles Laroche to "help children to guess the next word, making this a fun choice for storytime." Carolyn Phelan, reviewing What Do Wheels Do All Day? for Booklist, summarized the picture book as "simply written" and "well-illustrated."
Another rhyming picture book, Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing moves back in time and reveals how famous American circus showman Phineas T. Barnum concocted an elaborate event to win over the skeptics of New York City's newly built Brooklyn Bridge in 1884. After the bridge was completed, its height and span was such that many New Yorkers were afraid to traverse it for fear it would collapse. Enter Barnum, who proved the sturdiness and reliability of the Brooklyn Bridge by
parading twenty-one elephants across the magnificent structure. Prince expands her story of Barnum and the Brooklyn Bridge by incorporating a number of interesting facts in her poetic verses. School Library Journal reviewer Barbara Auerbach praised Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing as "well researched," noting that Prince's text is "sparse, yet powerful." Equally enthusiastic, Booklist reviewer Karin Snelson called the real-life story one that is "told with real poetry."
Prince loves writing about history for young people. "I grew up fascinated by the details of the past: what people did, ate, and wore. Today I love taking tantalizing people or ‘nuggets’ from history and weaving them into stories that are exciting and engaging for children. As I like to tell students when I visit schools, I have wanted to be a children's book author since I was in third grade. I feel lucky that I can combine my passions into a job that I'm crazy about."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, October 15, 2005, Karin Snelson, review of Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing, p. 58; April 15, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of What Do Wheels Do All Day?, p. 50.
Horn Book, May-June 2006, Lolly Robinson, review of What Do Wheels Do All Day?, p. 299.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2005, review of Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing, p. 981; May 1, 2006, review of What Do Wheels Do All Day?, p. 465.
Library Media Connection, January, 2005, Barbara Feehrer, review of Meet Our Flag, Old Glory, p. 68.
School Library Journal, August, 2004, Sheilah Kosco, review of Meet Our Flag, Old Glory, p. 112; November, 2005, Barbara Auerbach, review of Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing, p. 104; June, 2006, Janet S. Thompson, review of What Do Wheels Do All Day?, p. 140.
Children's Bookwatch,http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ (November, 2005), review of Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing.