Townsend, Michael 1981-

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Townsend, Michael 1981-

Personal

Born July 1, 1981. Education: School of Visual Arts, degree.

Addresses

Home—Lansdale, PA.

Career

Children's book author and illustrator.

Awards, Honors

Gryphon Award, Center for Children's Books, 2008, for Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!

Writings

Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2007.

Sidelights

Michael Townsend's debut picture book, Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!, was published shortly after its author/illustrator's graduation from New York City's School of Visual Arts. Dubbed by Curled up with a Good Kid's Book online reviewer Zane Ewton as "silly in the best possible way," the book introduces an energetic and well-meaning young boy. Billy Tartle is looking forward to picture day at his elementary school, and the key to a fantastic picture is a fantastic haircut. The power struggle between Billy and his mom takes place at the barber shop, where Barber Ken plays mediator in the battle between a bright pink, spiky Mohawk and a tidy, good-boy haircut. When Mom wins, it is left to the resourceful Billy to find another way to shake up picture day. In Publishers Weekly a critic predicted that "readers with a rascally bent will likely get a kick out of Billy's overactive imagination and puckish behavior." Linda M. Kenton wrote in School Library Journal that Townsend's digitized comic-book art is "sharp and bright," and in Kirkus Reviews a contributor enjoyed the author/illustrator's "definite predilection for tomfoolery."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July-August, 2007, Deborah Stevenson, review of Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2007, review of Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!

Publishers Weekly, July 9, 2007, review of Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!, p. 53.

School Library Journal, July, 2007, Linda M. Kenton, review of Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!, p. 86.

ONLINE

Curled up with a Good Kid's Book Web site,http://www.curledupkids.com/ (October 13, 2008), Zane Ewton, review of Billy Tartle in Say Cheese!

Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.ca/ (October 13, 2008), "Michael Townsend."

About this article

Townsend, Michael 1981-

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