Vestergaard, Hope

views updated

Vestergaard, Hope

Personal

Born in New Orleans, LA; married; children: two sons. Education: Smith College, B.S. (psychology and geology; magna cum laude).

Addresses

Home and office—MI. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Writer and educator. Worked variously as an early-childhood teacher, center director, and freelance curriculum consultant.

Member

International Reading Association, National Association for the Education of Young Children, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

Oppenheim Gold Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, 2005, for Hello Snow!

Writings

Baby Love, illustrated by John Wallace, Dutton (New York, NY), 2002.

Driving Daddy, illustrated by Thierry Courtin, Dutton (New York, NY), 2003.

Wake Up, Mama!, illustrated by Thierry Courtin, Dutton (New York, NY), 2003.

Hello, Snow!, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, Melanie Kroupa Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Weaving the Literacy Web, Redleaf Press (St. Paul, MN), 2005.

Hillside Lullaby, illustrated by Margie Moore, Dutton (New York, NY), 2006.

What Do You Do—When a Monster Says Boo?, illustrated by Maggie Smith, Dutton (New York, NY), 2006.

I Don't Want to Clean My Room!, and Other Poems about Chores, Dutton (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of articles to various publications.

Sidelights

As an early-childhood educator, Hope Vestergaard is an advocate of reading to children as a way to stimulate their development. In an essay posted on the Red Leaf Press Web site, she wrote: "Good teachers don't need research studies to understand the benefits of extending children's experiences with their favorite books. They can see the results on the faces of the children they teach: high interest in book-related activities, increased comprehension, and last, but certainly not least, joy." Contributing to the quality books available to young children, Vestergaard has also written picture books such as Hillside Lullaby, I Don't Want to Clean My Room!, and Other Poems about Chores, and Driving Daddy, each featuring artwork by well-known illustrators. In an interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith for Cynsations, Vestergaard noted that one of the challenges of writing picture books is being able to engage and maintain young children's attention. "It's quite a challenge to figure out what makes these kids tick," she noted, "and such a joy when you see that you've captured their imagination."

The majority of Vestergaard's stories are geared for a pre-school audience, and she has been cited for the minimalist and rhythmic nature of her rhyming texts. Her story plots are also simple, and focus on the typical activities a pre-schooler encounters in his or her daily

life: such things as romps in the snow, snuggling into bed at bedtime, and dealing with siblings. Angela J. Reynolds, in her assessment of Hillside Lullaby for School Library Journal, observed that Vestergaard's tale is "told through simple, rhymed language" that can "calm fears about nighttime noises." In Booklist, Gillian Engberg commented on the cadence of Vestergaard's writing in Hillside Lullaby, adding that the book's text "swings along with the rocking rhythm of a bedtime song." Joanna Rudge Long wrote in a review of Hello Snow! for Horn Book that "Vestergaard varies the pattern without missing a beat," a skill that has made her books so attractive to storybook fans.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 2003, Lauren Peterson, review of Driving Daddy, p. 1204; November 1, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of Hello, Snow!, p. 494; February 15, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Hillside Lullaby, p. 105; July 1, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of What Do You Do—When a Monster Says Boo?, p. 68.

Horn Book, November-December 2004, Joanna Rudge Long, review of Hello, Snow!, p. 703.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2002, review of Baby Love, p. 1702; October 1, 2004, review of Hello, Snow!, p. 971; March 1, 2006, review of Hillside Lullaby, p. 241; July 1, 2006, review of What Do You Do—When a Monster Says Boo?, p. 683.

Publishers Weekly, November 4, 2002, review of Baby Love, p. 83.

School Library Journal, December, 2002, Julie Joy, review of Baby Love, p. 131; March, 2003, Kristin de Lacoste, review of Driving Daddy, p. 208; November, 2004, Rebecca Luhman, review of Hello, Snow!, p. 119; February, 2006, Angela J. Reynolds, review of Hillside Lullaby, p. 111; August, 2006, Shelley B. Sutherland, review of What Do You Do—When a Monster Says Boo?, p. 100.

ONLINE

Cynsations Web site,http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ (October 29, 2005), Cynthia Leitich Smith, interview with Vestergaard.

Hope Vestergaard Home Page,http://www.hopevestergaard.com (April 2, 2007).

Red Leaf Press Web site,http://www.redleafpress.org/ (April 2, 2007), Hope Vestergaard, "Bringing Books to Life: Using Children's Favorite Books throughout the Curriculum."