Schaefer, Carole Lexa
Schaefer, Carole Lexa
Female. Education: Concordia University (River Forest, IL), B.S. (English/American literature and education), 1960; University of Washington, B.A. (early childhood education), 1980. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Candlewick Press, 2067 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02140. E-mail—[email protected]
Educator and author. Elementary-grade teacher in Taiwan, Switzerland, Micronesia, Missouri, and Mercer Island, WA, 1961-71; Little Friends Preschool, Seattle, WA, founder and director, beginning 1980.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, National Association for the Education of Young Children.
American Library Association (ALA) Notable Book designation, 1996, for The Squiggle; Washington State Book Award, Washington Center for the Book, and Oppenheim Gold Award, both 2001, both for Down in the Woods at Sleepytime; ALA Pick-of-the-List designation, 2003, and Children's Literature Choice listee, 2004, both for Someone Says; Charlotte Zolotow Book Award Highly Commended title, and Peace Corps Writers Best Book for Children designation, both 2005, both for The Biggest Soap.
Under the Midsummer Sky, illustrated by Pat Geddes, G.P. Putnam's (New York, NY), 1994.
In the Children's Garden, illustrated by Lynn Pauley, Holt (New York, NY), 1994.
The Squiggle, illustrated by Pierr Morgan, Crown (New York, NY), 1996.
Sometimes Moon, illustrated by Pierr Morgan, Crown (New York, NY), 1999.
The Copper Tin Cup, illustrated by Stan Fellows, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2000.
Down in the Woods at Sleepytime, illustrated by Vanessa Cabban, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2000.
Snow Pumpkin, illustrated by Pierr Morgan, Crown (New York, NY), 2000.
Two Scarlet Songbirds: A Story of Anton Dvorák; Knopf (New York, NY), 2001.
The Little French Whistle, illustrated by Emilie Chollat, Knopf (New York, NY), 2002.
One Wheel Wobbles, illustrated by Pierr Morgan, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.
Full Moon Barnyard Dance, illustrated by Christine Davenier, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.
Someone Says, illustrated by Pierr Morgan, Viking (New York, NY), 2003.
The Biggest Soap, illustrated by Stacey Dressen-McQueen, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2004.
Cool Time Song, illustrated by Pierr Morgan, Viking (New York, NY), 2005.
The Bora-Bora Dress, illustrated by Catherine Stock, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.
Dragon Dancing, illustrated by Pierr Morgan, Viking (New York, NY), 2007.
Schaefer's books have been translated into over a dozen languages.
Beep! Beep! It's Beeper!, illustrated by Julie Lacome, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2001.
Beeper's Friends, four volumes (contains Beeper and Stomp, Beeper and Honk, Beeper and Winky, and No One Home), illustrated by Julie Lacome, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.
Carole Lexa Schaefer, a teacher as well as an awardwinning children's-book author, has created over a dozen picture books and readers for younger children. While some of her picture books, such as Full MoonBarnyard Dance, carry a gentle message in their simple story, others are bursting with sound: The Little French Whistle reverberates with the shrill "thwee" of a young boy's new toy, while in Two Scarlet Songbirds: A Story of Anton Dvorák Schaefer describes how, during a summer spend in the American Midwest, a famous Russian composer found inspiration for his String Quartet in F major in the song of a scarlet tanager. Reviewing The Little French Whistle, School Library Journal contributor Robin L. Gibson wrote that Schaefer's "text … begs to be read aloud," while Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst noted in the same publication that Two Scarlet Songbirds "eloquently captures the essence of listening."
In Schaefer's first published picture book, The Squiggle, a group of nine preschoolers find their collective imagination sparked by a swirling red ribbon. In Someone Says, she returns to this preschool class, this time to follow the students as, through a series of suggestions, they transform a variety of activities into something magical. Schaefer's repetitive text "crackle[s] with rhythm and sound," noted Gillian Engberg in a Booklist review, the critic adding that Someone Says "perfectly captures preschoolers' exuberant energy." Proclaiming it "a glorious book," School Library Journal reviewer Marie Orlando appreciated the colorful, Chinese-inspired illustrations by Pierr Morgan, adding that Schaefer's story "is enriched with rhythmic, playful language," and a Kirkus Reviews writer dubbed Someone Says an "energetic tribute to imaginative play."
Set in the Truk islands of Micronesia, The Biggest Soap follows a young boy named Kessy. It is laundry day, and Kessy's mother is out of soap, so he is sent to the store to purchase some. On his way home, the boy encounters a series of situations wherein the bar of laundry soap is helpful, and he has only a small sliver left to bring back to his mother. Fortunately, Kessy has an imagination, and the colorful story he weaves to explain the missing soap entertains all the women gathering together for laundry day. In Booklist Julie Cummins praised the story as "refreshing, engaging, and thoroughly delightful," while a contributor to Kirkus Reviews noted that Schaefer's "enchanting tale … will encourage children's creativity and imagination." Tracy Bell recommended the book as a story-time read-aloud, writing that, "loaded with similes and some onomatopoeia, the text emphasizes the importance of the oral tradition."
In The Bora-Bora Dress a young tomboy is transformed into a graceful young lady when she puts on a beautiful new party dress that has been made just for her. Schaefer's "lyrically told" story is enhanced by "imaginative watercolors," according to a Kirkus Reviews writer, while Carolyn Phelan noted in Booklist that both "story and artwork are mesmerizing." Citing Catherine Stock's "luminous" artwork, Phelan added that Schaefer's use of "repeated words and sounds … lend … grace and style to the simple narrative."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, December 15, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Two Scarlet Songbirds: A Story of Anton Dvorák, p. 741; January 1, 2002, Julie Cummins, review of The Little French Whistle, p. 867; March 1, 2003, Diane Foote, review of One Wheel Wobbles, p. 1204; November 15, 2003, Gillian Engberg, review of Someone Says, p. 603; October 1, 2004, Julie Cummins, review of The Biggest Soap, p. 326; August, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Bora-Bora Dress, p. 2023.
Horn Book, September-October, 2004, Susan Dove Lempke, review of The Biggest Soap, p. 574.
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2002, review of The Little French Whistle, p. 50; July 15, 2003, review of Someone Says, p. 968; September 1, 2003, review of Full Moon Barnyard Dance, p. 1130; September 1, 2004, review of The Biggest Soap, p. 873; February 1, 2005, review of Cool Time Song, p. 181; July 15, 2005, review of The Bora-Bora Dress, p. 796.
New York Times Book Review, March 12, 2006, review of The Bora-Bora Dress.
Publishers Weekly, November 26, 2001, review of The Little French Whistle, p. 61; September 8, 2003, review of Someone Says, p. 75; September 15, 2003, review of Full Moon Barnyard Dance, p. 63.
School Library Journal, November, 2001, Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, review of Two Scarlet Songbirds, p. 136; February, 2002, Anne Knickerbocker, review of Beep! Beep! It's Beeper!, p. 100; April, 2002, Robin L. Gibson, review of The Little French Whistle, p. 122; May, 2003, Laura Scott, review of One Wheel Wobbles, p. 129; November, 2003, Maryann H. Owen, review of Full Moon Barnyard Dance, and Marie Orlando, review of Someone Says, p. 115; September, 2004, Tracy Bell, review of The Biggest Soap, p. 179; April, 2005, review of The Biggest Soap, p. 28, and Mary Hazelton, review of Cool Time Song, p. 110; August, 2005, Kara Schaff Dean, review of The Bora-Bora Dress, p. 106.
Carol Lexa Schaefer Home Page,http://www.clschaefer.com (September 20, 2006).