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Shapiro, Jody Fickes 1940–

Shapiro, Jody Fickes 1940–

Personal

Born December 25, 1940, in Detroit, MI; married Perry Shapiro (a professor of economics); children: David, Michael; (step children) Mark, Jon, Carol, and Tom Fickes; Elizabeth, Sam, and Sarah Shapiro. Education: Wayne State University, degree, 1961; Peabody College, M.L.S., 1964; also attended University of Michigan.

Addresses

Home—Ventura, CA. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Writer. Librarian in Oak Ridge, TN, 1964; children's librarian in Glendora, CA, 1966-78; Adventures for Kids (children's bookstore), owner, 1979-2006; author of children's books, 2003—.

Awards, Honors

Charles S. Haslam Award for Excellence in Bookselling, American Booksellers Association, 2002; Lucile Micheels Pannell Award for excellence in children's bookselling, Women's National Book Association, 1994; Dorothy C. McKenzie Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Field of Children's Literature, Children's Literature Council of Southern California, 2006.

Writings

Up, Up, Up! It's Apple Picking Time, illustrated by Kitty Harvill, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2003.

Family Lullaby, illustrated by Cathie Felstead, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to books, including Great Books I Have Read, by Bev Armstrong, Learning Works (Santa Barbara, CA), 1998. Book column editor for The Gifted Education Communicator (newsletter).

Sidelights

After working much of her career as a children's librarian and owner of a children's bookstore in California, Jody Fickes Shapiro began penning her own books for the youngest reader in 2003 with the publication of Up, Up, Up! It's Apple Picking Time. Throughout her years as a librarian and bookseller, "children's book ideas were always in the back of my mind but I was too busy reading other people's books to write my own," Shapiro related on her home page. However, seeing the need for a title set outside the typical Midwestern orchard, the author used her family's experience helping relatives on a California apple ranch to write Up, Up, Up! The book follows the activities of a family visiting their grandparents' orchard, collecting fallen apples for cider, picking fresh apples to sell, and preparing others for pie. Reviewing the picture book in School Library Journal, Linda M. Kenton described Up, Up, Up! as "a pleasant addition to harvest units and storytimes."

Shapiro's picture book Family Lullaby features "repeated words and design [to] create a lullaby to family love," a Kirkus Reviews critic remarked. In the book, each member of the family contributes to the nurturing of the youngest child, with dad burping, mom feeding, and grandpa playing with the happy baby. According to a Publishers Weekly contributor, in Family Lullaby Shapiro offers "a deserving testament to the extended family at the core of a child's universe."

During an interview with Sally Lodge for Publishers Weekly, Shapiro explained the differences in writing her first two children's books. While working on Up, Up,Up! she viewed her manuscript "more as a bookseller than an author." However, Shapiro noted, "once I got the writing bug I decided to try other books as well," moving into picture books and books for readers in the middle grades. As for the career transition that has drawn her into writing children's literature, the former librarian and bookseller remarked to Lodge: "There is still plenty of material in my brain and more books that I would love to get out of my system and out into the world…. It's fun to be wearing a new hat at this stage of my life."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2003, review of Up, Up, Up! It's Apple Picking Time, p. 1079; April 15, 2007, review of Family Lullaby.

Publishers Weekly, September 15, 2003, review of Up, Up, Up!, p. 64; September 29, 2003, Sally Lodge, "Making the Leap: A Trio of Booksellers Don Authors' Caps" (interview), p. 24; May 21, 2007, review of Family Lullaby, p. 53.

School Library Journal, September, 2003, Linda M. Kenton, review of Up, Up, Up!, p. 190; July, 2007, Amy Lilien-Harper, review of Family Lullaby, p. 84.

ONLINE

Jody Fickes Shapiro Home Page,http://www.jodyfickesshapiro.com (October 17, 2008).

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