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Alyssa Satin Capucilli (1957-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

biscuit illustrated york harpercollins

Born 1957, in Brooklyn, NY; Education: Sarah Lawrence College, B.A.

Addresses

Agent—Liza Voges, Kirchoff/Wohlberg, 866 U.N. Plaza, New York, NY 10017.

Career

Dancer, teacher, and author. Currently teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Authors Guild, Authors League.

Honors Awards

American Booksellers Association Pick of the Lists designations, 1994, for Good Morning, Pond, 1996, for Biscuit, and 1997, for Bathtime for Biscuit; Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award winners, 2002, for Biscuit's New Trick, and 2004, for Only My Dad and Me and Biscuit's Big Friend; Washington Irving Children's Book Choice Award, 2004, for Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats; Garden State Book Award, 2005, for Biscuit Goes to School.

Writings

Peekaboo Bunny, illustrated by Mary Melcher, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1994.

Good Morning, Pond, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1994.

Peekaboo Bunny Friends in the Snow, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1995.

Inside a Barn in the Country: A Rebus Read-along Story, illustrated by Tedd Arnold, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1995.

Wee Mouse Christmas, illustrated by Linda Birkinshaw, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.

Inside a House That Is Haunted: A Rebus Read-along Story, illustrated by Tedd Arnold, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Iris Hiskey Arno) Wake up, Night, Kidsbooks (Chicago, IL), 1998.

Inside a Zoo in the City: A Rebus Read-along Story, illustrated by Tedd Arnold, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

The Potty Book for Girls, illustrated by Dorothy Stott, Barron's Educational (Hauppage, NY), 2000.

The Potty Book for Boys, illustrated by Dorothy Stott, Barron's Educational (Hauppage, NY), 2000.

Bear Hugs, illustrated by Jim Ishi, Golden Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats, illustrated by Joan Rankin, Margaret K. McElderry (New York, NY), 2001.

What Kind of Kiss?, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

The Brightest Star, illustrated by Clare Beaton, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.

Only My Mom and Me, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Only My Dad and Me, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Little Spotted Cat, illustrated by Dan Andreason, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Capucilli's books have been translated into French, Hebrew, Afrikaans, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Bulgarian, and Greek.

"BISCUIT" SERIES

Biscuit, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

Biscuit Finds a Friend, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

Bathtime for Biscuit, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

Hello, Biscuit!, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.

Biscuit's Picnic, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.

Happy Birthday, Biscuit!, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.

Biscuit's New Trick: A Scratch-and-Sniff Book, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Happy Halloween, Biscuit!, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Happy Thanksgiving, Biscuit!, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Happy Easter, Biscuit!, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Happy Valentine's Day, Biscuit!, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Time to Paint, Biscuit!, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Merry Christmas, from Biscuit, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Biscuit's Valentine Day, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Biscuit's Day at the Beach, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Biscuit Wants to Play, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

Biscuit Visits the Farm, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Biscuit Meets the Neighbors, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Biscuit Goes to the Park, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Biscuit Goes to School, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Happy Hanukkah, Biscuit, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Biscuit's Big Friend, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Biscuit Loves School, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Biscuit Is Thankful, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Biscuit and the Bunny, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

What Is Love, Biscuit?, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Biscuit Wins a Prize, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.

Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.

Biscuit Storybook Collection, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.

Biscuit Loves Mother's Day, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.

Biscuit Loves Father's Day, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.

Biscuit Gives a Gift, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.

Biscuit's Hanukkah, illustrated by Pat Schories and Mary O'Keefe Young, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Biscuit's Graduation Day, illustrated by Pat Schories and Mary O'Keefe Young, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Biscuit's Fourth of July, illustrated by Pat Schories and Mary O'Keefe Young, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Biscuit's Birthday, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Biscuit and the Baby, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Meet Biscuit!, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Biscuit Visits the Big City, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.

Biscuit's Touch-and-Feel Christmas, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.

Biscuit's Snowy Day, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.

Biscuit's 100th Day of School, illustrated by Pat Schories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.

Sidelights

Alyssa Satin Capucilli is the imaginative author of books for both pre-schoolers and beginning readers. Her creations include lift-the-flap books for toddlers that feature gentle, lovable characters and easily identifiable objects as well as a series of beginning readers starring Biscuit, a rambunctious golden-haired puppy whose adventures are brought to life by illustrator Pat Schories.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1957, Capucilli developed an early love of books, and looked forward to weekly trips to the library with her mother and sisters. "I could hardly wait to choose a special book from all of the books that lined the shelves," she once recalled to Something about the Author ( SATA ). "As a matter of fact, my sisters and I would often play library at home! We would take turns pretending to be the librarian, and we would recommend books to each other, check them out, and tell each other to 'SSSSHHH!'" Among Capucilli's favorite authors were Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, and Beverly Cleary, whose stories about Henry and his dog, Ribsy, she loved. "The funny thing was, although I loved to imagine myself as different characters in books," Capucilli added, "I never imagined that the authors who created them were real people!"

Although as a child she wrote stories, poems, and puppet shows, Capucilli never took her writing seriously until many years later. In the meantime, she focused on her love of dance, a method, she explained, of "telling stories in another way." She became a professional dancer and soon was teaching as well as performing on stage. While reading to her own two children, her love affair with children's books was rekindled, and she began to split her time between work as a dance instructor and performer and work as a writer.

Capucilli's first published book was Peekaboo Bunny, a lift-the-flap book published in 1994. Illustrated by Mary Melcher, the book helps small children navigate in a garden, and it was popular enough to prompt a sequel, Peekaboo Bunny Friends in the Snow. The connection between objects and sounds has inspired several of Capucilli's other books, including Good Morning, Pond, which uses repetition and rhythm to teach the names of pond-dwelling creatures, and books that tell stories using rebuses, pictures of items that, when sounded out in order, make words. One such, Inside a Barn in the Country, illustrated by Tedd Arnold, encourages young listeners to mimic barnyard noises and uses rebuses for the text. Booklist reviewer Stephanie Zvirin praised Capucilli's thoughtfully designed text as "part poetry, part puzzle game, and part tool for learning the sounds animals make." Noting that the text models itself after the familiar "This Is the House That Jack Built," a Publishers Weekly contributor said that "Capucilli and Arnold give their work plenty of extra bounce."

Capucilli introduces a new character to young readers in Biscuit. A small, soft-eared, lovable puppy the color of freshly baked, golden biscuits, Capucilli's Biscuit bounds into the life of a young girl, quickly becoming her best friend as she interprets his "Woof, Woof" to mean many things. From wanting a small snack before bedtime to being tucked in snugly under layers of blankets, the activities of Biscuit and his young owner are depicted in "oodles of contextual clues," easy-to-read sentences, and "repetitive word and phrases," according to School Library Journal reviewer Gale W. Sherman. "I find that inspiration for stories and characters comes from so many places: our memories, our family, our friends, our pets, our own observations and our own wonderings," Capucilli explained. "I first got the idea to write about … Biscuit after watching my daughter dog-sit a neighbor's huge golden retriever! But deep inside, I think that the 'Biscuit' stories are really about that puppy I always imagined I would someday have, from when I was a young girl, reading and dreaming."

Novice readers have encountered Biscuit's "Woof, Woof" in numerous other books. Illustrated by Schories, the series has even become so popular with readers that a stuffed toy puppy resembling the floppy-eared canine has become available. In Biscuit Finds a Friend the puppy noses a small duckling out from under the porch of his family's house, and the two become fast friends. Cooper deemed the story "just right" for beginning readers. In Bathtime for Biscuit the task of getting the pup into hot water is made easier through a variety of antics, and Capucilli tells her story in a way that "makes this a good choice for the youngest readers and listeners alike," in the opinion of School Library Journal contributor Sharon R. Pearce.

Biscuit celebrates his first birthday with his many new friends in Happy Birthday, Biscuit!, offering equal appeal to "librarians who find it difficult to sustain a squirmy toddler's interest," according to Lauren Peterson's Booklist appraisal. In Biscuit's New Trick the young dog learns how to fetch a ball. Biscuit is so eager to play that his owner can't stop him from chasing the ball even when it rolls into a sloppy mud puddle. School Library Journal reviewer Janie Schomberg noted that the tale "provides plenty of repetition for new readers." Biscuit's Valentine's Day, a lift-the-flap book, describes the pup's busy day chewing on ribbon and playing with balloons. Youngsters "will enjoy the simple action," wrote Booklis t critic Ilene Cooper.

In Happy Hanukkah, Biscuit!, another lift-the-flap holiday book, the puppy attends a Hanukkah celebration with his owner. While the party guests spin the dreidel and make beeswax candles, Biscuit causes all sorts of mischief. A contributor in Kirkus Reviews deemed the work "a pleasant addition to the Biscuit canon." The playful pup tackles the ABCs in Biscuit Goes to School, a story "that will capture the attention of the newest reader," observed Cooper. When his owner leaves the house one morning, the curious Biscuit follows along and eventually makes his way into her school building. Capucilli's "hallmark combination of questions and statements, liberally interspersed with Biscuit's jovial barks, executed in the most basic language—is at once familiar and encouraging" to children, remarked a Kirkus Reviews critic.

Capucilli has created several other picture books featuring genial, engaging creatures. In What Kind of Kiss? a bear cub seeks the answer to his questions about smooching. He learns that Mama enjoys a "rise-and-shine" kiss to start the day and Papa enjoys a "shaving cream" kiss. The cub questions other creatures, including a puppy and a bird, about their favorite kisses. At day's end, the cub makes a list of his favorites, ending with a good-night kiss. Booklist reviewer Connie Fletcher called What Kind of Kiss? "a satisfying snuggle of a book," and a Kirkus Reviews critic deemed the work "a warm and cozy depiction of the contented bliss of a well-loved child."

Only My Dad and Me describes the outdoor adventures of a young rabbit and his father. According to School Library Journal contributor Leslie Barban, "children will delight in discovering what the cozy twosome" have planned.

Furry felines are the subject of Capucilli's popular works Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats and Little Spotted Cat. In the former, Mrs. McTats lives happily with her gray cat, Abner, but when two more cats, Basil and Curly, come scratching at her door, she invites them to stay. Surprisingly, more and more cats keep arriving, in alphabetical order, until the house is bursting with twenty-five in all. Mrs. McTats can't help feeling that something is missing, however, until a puppy named Zoom shows up to set things right. The author has created "a picture of cozy domesticity while incorporating a subtle lesson in letters and numbers," observed a Publishers Weekly reviewer.

A kitten refuses his mother's call to take a nap in Little Spotted Cat. Tangling with yarn and hopping along with a grasshopper prove far more appealing to the little cat, who knows he should obey his mother but just can't stop himself from playing. In the words of Booklist critic Jennifer Mattson, young readers of Capucilli's tale will "recognize … their own reluctance to miss out on fun."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 15, 1995, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Inside a Barn in the Country, p. 935; August, 1996, Ilene Cooper, review of Biscuit, p. 1910; May 1, 1997, Ilene Cooper, review of Biscuit Finds a Friend, p. 1503; November 1, 1998, p. 506; June 1, 1999, Lauren Peterson, review of Happy Birthday, Biscuit!, p. 1838; December 15, 2000, Carolyn Phelan, review of Inside a Zoo in the City: A Rebus Read-along Story, p. 824; February 15, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of Biscuit's Valentine's Day, p. 1139; September 1, 2001, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats, p. 113; November 1, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Biscuit Wants to Play, pp. 485-486; April 1, 2002, Connie Fletcher, review of What Kind of Kiss?, pp. 1331-1332; August, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of Biscuit Goes to School, p. 1969; July, 2003, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Biscuit's Big Friend, p. 1899; March 15, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Spotted Cat, p. 1298.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2001, review of What Kind of Kiss?, p. 1610; June 15, 2002, review of Biscuit Goes to School, p. 877; November 1, 2002, review of Happy Hanukkah, Biscuit!, p. 1616; March 15, 2005, review of The Spotted Cat, p. 248.

Publishers Weekly, January 3, 1994, p. 82; March 27, 1995, review of Inside a Barn in the Country, p. 84; May 28, 2001, review of Mrs. Mctats and Her Houseful of Cats, p. 87; September 22, 2003, review of The Brightest Star, p. 69.

School Library Journal, November, 1994, pp. 72-73; April, 1995, p. 98; July, 1996, Gale W. Sherman, review of Biscuit, p. 57; June, 1997, p. 85; September, 1998, p. 165; October, 1998, Sharon R. Pearce, review of Bathtime for Biscuit, p. 87; June, 1999, p. 91; June, 2000, Janie Schomberg, review of Biscuit's New Trick, p. 102; September, 2000, Jane Marino, review of The Potty Book for Girls and The Potty Book for Boys, p. 186; August, 2001, Caroline Ward, review of Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats, p. 144; December, 2001, Karen J. Tannenbaum, review of What Kind of Kiss?, pp. 91-92; May, 2002, Shauna Yusko, review of Bathtime for Biscuit, p. 7; October, 2002, Ilene Abramson, review of Happy Hanukkah, Biscuit!, p. 58; May, 2003, Leslie Barban, review of Only My Dad and Me, p. 109; October, 2003, Susan Patron, review of The Brightest Star, p. 61.

ONLINE

Alyssa Satin Capucilli Web site, http://www.alyssacapucilli.com(July 15, 2005).

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almost 3 years ago

Hello i got a quick question how do you come up with your story ideas