Swallow, Pamela Curtis

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Swallow, Pamela Curtis


Female. Education: Rutgers University, M.L.I.S. (library science).


E-mail—[email protected]


Author and elementary school librarian.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Authors Guild, RiverStone Writers, Bucks County Authors of Books for Children, New Jersey Educational Association.

Awards, Honors

Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year designation, 2003, for It Only Looks Easy; Children's Book Award nomination, Florida Reading Association, 2005, for Groundhog Gets a Say.


Melvil and Dewey in the Chips, illustrated by Judith Brown, Shoe Tree Press (Belvidere, NJ), 1986, reprinted, Libraries Unlimited (Westport, CT), 2004.

Leave It to Christy, Putnam (New York, NY), 1987.

No Promises, Putnam (New York, NY), 1989.

Melvil and Dewey in the Fast Lane, illustrated by Judith Brown, Shoe Tree Press (Belvidere, NJ), 1989, reprinted, Libraries Unlimited (Westport, CT), 2004.

A Writer's Notebook: The Ultimate Guide to Creative Writing, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.

It Only Looks Easy, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

Melvil and Dewey Gone Fishin', illustrated by Lorena Eliasen, Libraries Unlimited (Westport, CT), 2004.

Melvil and Dewey Teach Literacy: A Teaching Guide to Using the "Melvil and Dewey" Series, illustrated by Lorena Eliason, Libraries Unlimited (Westport, CT), 2004.

Groundhog Gets a Say, illustrated by Denise Brunkus, Putnam's (New York, NY), 2005.


Author and librarian Pamela Curtis Swallow has written a number of books for younger readers. Inspired by her work as a children's librarian, she focuses on building literacy skills in her "Melvil and Dewey" series, while books such as Groundhog Gets a Say and Leave It to Christy are geared to younger elementary graders. In Groundhog Gets a Say Swallow shares interesting information about ground hogs with young readers. Remarking on Swallow's fun and entertaining approach, a critic for Kirkus Reviews noted of the book: "nonfiction of this quality that can be read as a picture book is rare." Swallow sets her collection of interesting facts about the burrowing rodent in a story about Groundhog and who worries that his brethren are accorded only a single day of glory: the proverbial Groundhog's Day. In an attempt to spread the word about his species' worth, Groundhog lectures his forest-dwelling friends—which include a squirrel, crow, hog, and a younger ground hog—about the all the wonderful qualities each ground hog possesses. Readers learn about the types of foods ground hogs eat, marvel at the daily habits of the creatures, and meet the distant relatives of ground hogs.

A Publishers Weekly reviewer, appraising Groundhog Gets a Say, commented on Swallow's ability to create a "snappy conversational tone" in her picture-book text, a tone that is enhanced by her characters' humor. Kitty Flynn, reviewing the work in Horn Book, described Groundhog Gets a Say as a "remarkably informative book with lots of read-aloud and classroom potential." Likewise, Booklist critic Diane Foote deemed Swallow's nonfiction title as a "entertaining book" that "presents quite a bit of information about groundhogs."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, April 15, 2003, Karin Snelson, review of It Only Looks Easy, p. 1472; December 15, 2005, Diane Foote, review of Groundhog Gets a Say, p. 52.

Horn Book, January-February 2006, Kitty Flynn, review of Groundhog Gets a Say, p. 71.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2003, review of It Only Looks Easy, p. 317; October 15, 2005, review of Groundhog Gets a Say, p. 1147.

Kliatt, May, 2003, Claire Rosser, review of It Only Looks Easy, p. 14.

Publishers Weekly, March 3, 2003, review of It Only Looks Easy, p. 76; November 14, 2005, review of Groundhog Gets a Say, p. 69.

School Library Journal, April, 2003, B. Allison Gray, review of It Only Looks Easy, p. 169; January, 2006, Rebecca Sheridan, review of Groundhog Gets a Say, p. 114.


Greenwood Publishing Group Web site,http://www.greenwood.com/ (April 2, 2007), "Pamela Curtis Swallow."

Rutgers University Council on Children's Literature Web site,http://www.ruccl.org/ (April 2, 2007), "Pamela Curtis Swallow."