Vidrine, Beverly Barras 1938-
Vidrine, Beverly Barras 1938-
Born September 30, 1938, in New Iberia, LA; daughter of Charles (a building contractor) and Estelle Barras; married Dennis J. Vidrine (an attorney), July 22, 1961; children: Denise Vidrine Torian, William, Kenneth. Education: University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette), B.A. (elementary education); attended Lamar State College of Technology (now Lamar University) and Institute of Children's Literature. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Classical music, playing piano.
Educator and writer. Elementary school teacher in Lafayette, LA, 1960-61, 1973, 1988-91, Beaumont, TX, 1961-62, 1964-65, Baton Rouge, LA, 1970-72, and Broussard, LA, 1973-76; law office of Dennis J. Vidrine, Lafayette, office manager, legal secretary, and bookkeeper, 1976-88.
Writers Guild of Acadiana (historian, beginning 1991), Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
A Mardi Gras Dictionary, illustrated by Patrick Soper, Sunflower Press (Lafayette, LA), 1994.
A Christmas Dictionary, illustrated by Patrick Soper, Pelican Publishing (Gretna, LA), 1997.
St. Patrick's Day Alphabet, illustrated by Patrick Soper, Pelican Publishing (Gretna, LA), 2001.
Easter Day Alphabet, illustrated by Alison Davis Lyne, Pelican Publishing (Gretna, LA), 2003.
Halloween Alphabet, illustrated by Alison Davis Lyne, Pelican Publishing (Gretna, LA), 2004.
Thanksgiving Day Alphabet, illustrated by Alison Davis Lyne, Pelican Publishing (Gretna, LA), 2006.
Contributor of short fiction to magazines, including U.S. Kids.
A Louisiana native, Barbara Barras Vidrine worked for many years as an elementary-school teacher before turning to writing for children. Her first two books, A Mardi Gras Dictionary and A Christmas Dictionary, introduce young children to the sights, sounds, traditions, and history of two holidays with both Christian and secular significance. New Orleans' lavish Mardi Gras carnival ushers in Shrove Tuesday or "Fat Tuesday," the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of the period of fasting known as Lent. More familiar to non-Louisiana readers is Christmas, in which the arrival of Santa Claus and the birth of Jesus Christ both figure in the day's history and traditions. Vidrine's books are especially
significant to her family; her eight grandchildren are featured in the colorful illustrations that artists create to accompany her texts.
Other holidays are explored by Vidrine in her series of illustrated concept books. St. Patrick's Day Alphabet explains twenty-six Irish traditions surrounding the Irish-born saint and the holiday that honors him. Easter Day Alphabet explores the history of another Christian holiday that has become a favorite of children, and in keeping with Easter traditions readers can search for the golden egg concealed in the artwork on each page. Turning from Easter bunnies to ghouls, Halloween Alphabet bring to life the sights, sounds, and general spookiness of another child-friendly holiday, while the history of a uniquely North American day of thankfulness and celebration is presented in Thanksgiving Day Alphabet. Praising Thanksgiving Alphabet, which focuses on the original 1621 harvest festival in the Massachusetts colony, Mary Elam wrote in School Library Journal that Vidrine's text "informs with unusual words and names …, creating a useful teaching tool" for elementary-grade readers.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2006, review of Thanksgiving Day Alphabet, p. 969.
School Library Journal, July, 2003, Jane Marino, review of Easter Day Alphabet, p. 119; December, 2004, Wendy Woodfill, review of Halloween Alphabet, p. 138; November, 2006, Mary Elam, review of Thanksgiving Day Alphabet, p. 126.
Pelican Publishing Web site,http://www.pelicanpub.com/ (February 6, 2006), "Beverly Barras Vidrine."