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William Wise (1923-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Sidelights

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Born 1923, in New York, NY. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1948.

Addresses

Agent—Curtis Brown, Ltd., 575 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022.

Career

Writer.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN

Jonathan Blake: The Life and Times of a Very Young Man, illustrated by Howard Simon, Knopf (New York, NY), 1956.

Silversmith of Old New York: Myer Myers, illustrated by Leonard Everett Fisher, Farrar, Straus & Cudahy (New York, NY), 1958.

Albert Einstein: Citizen of the World, Farrar, Straus & Cudahy (New York, NY), 1960.

The House with the Red Roof, illustrated by Jo Polseno, Putnam (New York, NY), 1961.

The Cowboy Surprise, illustrated by Paul Galdone, Putnam (New York, NY), 1961.

Alexander Hamilton, Putnam (New York, NY), 1963.

The Story of Mulberry Bend, illustrated by Hoot von Zitzewitz, Dutton (New York, NY), 1963.

In the Time of the Dinosaurs, illustrated by Lewis Zacks, Putnam (New York, NY), 1964.

Detective Pinkerton and Mr. Lincoln, illustrated by Hoot von Zitzewitz, Dutton (New York, NY), 1964.

The Two Reigns of Tutankhamen, Putnam (New York, NY), 1964.

The World of Giant Mammals, illustrated by Lewis Zacks, Putnam (New York, NY), 1965.

The Spy and General Washington, illustrated by Peter Burchard, Dutton (New York, NY), 1965.

The Terrible Trumpet, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1966, with illustrations by B. Biro, Norton (New York, NY) 1969.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, illustrated by Paul Frame, Putnam (New York, NY), 1967.

Monsters of Today and Yesterday, illustrated by Lee Smith, Putnam (New York, NY), 1967.

When the Saboteurs Came: The Nazi Sabotage Plot against America in World War II, illustrated by Robert Shore, Dutton (New York, NY), 1967.

Sir Howard, the Coward, illustrated by Susan Perl, Putnam (New York, NY), 1967.

Monsters of the Ancient Seas, illustrated by Joseph Sibal, Putnam (New York, NY), 1968.

Aaron Burr, Putnam (New York, NY), 1968.

Booker T. Washington, illustrated by Paul Frame, Putnam (New York, NY), 1968.

Nanette: The Hungry Pelican, illustrated by Winifred Lubell, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1969.

Giant Birds and Monsters of the Air, illustrated by Joseph Sibal, Putnam (New York, NY), 1969.

The Amazing Animals of Latin America, illustrated by Joseph Sibal, Putnam (New York, NY), 1969.

The Amazing Animals of Australia, illustrated by Joseph Sibal, Putnam (New York, NY), 1970.

The Lazy Young Duke of Dundee, illustrated by Barbara Cooney, Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1970.

Fresh as a Daisy, Neat as a Pin, illustrated by Dora Leder, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1970.

From Scrolls to Satellites: The Story of Communication, illustrated by Hans Zander, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1970.

Giant Snakes and Other Amazing Reptiles, illustrated by Joseph Sibal, Putnam (New York, NY), 1970.

Charles A. Lindbergh: Aviation Pioneer, illustrated by Paul Sagsoorian, Putnam (New York, NY), 1970.

Monsters of the Middle Ages, illustrated by Tomie de Paola, Putnam (New York, NY), 1971.

The Amazing Animals of North America, illustrated by Joseph Sibal, Putnam (New York, NY), 1971.

Fresh, Canned, and Frozen: Food from Past to Future, illustrated by Shelley Fink, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1971.

All on a Summer's Day, illustrated by Bill Binzen, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1971.

Off We Go! A Book of Transportation, illustrated by Sue L. Anderson, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1972.

Cities, Old and New, illustrated by Mila Lazarevich, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1973.

Leaders, Laws, and Citizens: The Story of Democracy and Government, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1973.

The Strange World of Sea Mammals, illustrated by Joseph Sibal, Putnam (New York, NY), 1973.

Monsters of the Deep, illustrated by Ben F. Stahl, Putnam (New York, NY), 1975.

American Freedom and the Bill of Rights, illustrated by Roland Rodegast, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1975.

Monsters of North America, illustrated by Ben F. Stahl, Putnam (New York, NY), 1978.

Animal Rescue: Saving Our Endangered Wildlife, illustrated by Heidi Palmer, Putnam (New York, NY), 1978.

Monsters from Outer Space?, illustrated by Richard Cuffari, Putnam (New York, NY), 1978.

Monster Myths of Ancient Greece, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, Putnam (New York, NY), 1981.

(Reteller) The Black Falcon: A Tale from the Decameron, illustrated by Gillian Barlow, Philomel (New York, NY), 1990.

Ten Sly Piranhas: A Counting Story in Reverse (a Tale of Wickedness—and Worse!), illustrated by Victoria Chess, Dial Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1993.

Perfect Pancakes, If You Please, illustrated by Richard Egielski, Dial Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1997.

Nell of Branford Hall, Dial (New York, NY), 1999.

Dinosaurs Forever, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger, Dial (New York, NY), 2000.

Christopher Mouse: The Tale of a Small Traveler, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2004.

Ten Sly Piranhas: A Counting Story in Reverse, Dial Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2004.

FOR ADULTS

Killer Smog: The World's Worst Air Pollution, (nonfiction), Rand McNally (Chicago, IL), 1968.

Secret Mission to the Philippines: The Story of the "Spyron" and the American-Filipino Guerrillas of World War II, Dutton (New York, NY), 1968.

Massacre at Mountain Meadows: An American Legend and a Monumental Crime, Crowell (New York, NY), 1976.

The Amazon Factor (mystery), Harlequin (New York, NY), 1981.

Also author of "Raven House" mysteries for Harlequin, 1980-82. Author of television scripts; contributor of fiction to Harper's, Yale Review, and other periodicals, and of reviews to New York Times and Saturday Review.

Sidelights

A prolific author of both fiction and nonfiction, William Wise has been writing books for children for nearly half a century. His work includes straight nonfiction books and whimsical titles on mythical monsters, as well as rhyming picture books for the very young. Among his many children's titles are the rambunctious Ten Sly Piranhas: A Counting Story in Reverse (a Tale of Wickedness—and Worse!), the historical novel Nell of Brandford Hall, and the humorous picture book Dinosaurs Forever. In a Horn Book review of Ten Sly Piranhas, Mary M. Burns termed Wise's tale "a triumph of the comic spirit" in its humorous treatment of the goings-on in a self-depleting gang of hungry piranhas.

The novel Nell of Branford Hall is based on a true story that took place in seventeenth-century England in a town called Eyam. Faced with an outbreak of the bubonic plague in their town, the citizens of Wise's fictional Branford decide to quarantine their entire village, allowing no one in or out and placing any citizens with symptoms of the black death under strict quarantine. Nell, part of a well-to-do family, lives beyond the village limits in a manor hall, and when Branford is barricaded, she faces isolation and anxiety as she worries about her friends inside the village proper and wonders whether the horrors of the plague will visit her unprotected home. Characters such as Isaac Newton and diarist Samuel Pepys also feature in the novel, and Nell's father, a scholar, educates his daughter in the medical science behind the dread disease. In Booklist Carolyn Phelan praised the "heroic" story, adding that Wise's tale "is enhanced by the contrasting backgrounds of city and village life."

Christopher Mouse: The Tale of a Small Traveler presents readers with a delightful tale about an adventure-some young mouse. Told in a first-person narrative, pet shop mouse Christopher recounts the adventures he has had throughout the course of his life and, while commonplace, meetings with hungry cats and troublemaking boys contain enough suspense to entertain a young audience. Ilene Cooper commented in Booklist that Wise's text is "very accessible, making the book not only a winner for reading aloud but also a delightful offering for children moving past beginning readers." Vicki Arkoff, reviewing Christopher Mouse for MBR Bookwatch, also enjoyed Wise's story, writing that, "with the delightful feel of a lost classic," Wise introduces readers to "a rather extraordinary mouse who, through the force of will and good luck, finds his own small place in a very large world."

In Dinosaurs Forever Wise presents a quirky tale of that finds several prehistoric beasts—appropriately attired in modern clothing—inhabiting Manhattan. "Lilting, rhythmic rhymes will have the names of those ancient beasts rolling off readers' tongues, and scientific facts have never been so much fun" enthused Carolyn Janssen in School Library Journal. Wise includes over twenty rhyming poems that serve to both educate and entertain young dino-fans, and his poems are paired with illustrator Lynn Munsinger's "airy and cheerfully rendered" artwork, according to a Publishers Weekly critic. Ellen Mandel, reviewing the book for Booklist, called Dinosaurs Forever a "keenly imaginative" book in which "zippy" rhymes "humanize the extinct yet undyingly popular creatures."

A tiny but adventurous mouse-poet survives a series of negligent owners as well as a hungry cat before finding a secure home with a caring family in William Wise's engaging book. (Cover illustration by Patrick Benson.)

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, December 1, 1996, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Perfect Pancakes, If You Please, p. 670; November 1, 1999, Carolyn Phelan, review of Nell of Branford Hall, p. 531; May 15, 2000, Elen Mandel, review of Dinosaurs Forever, p. 1746; April 1, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Christopher Mouse: The Tale of a Small Traveler, p. 1365.

Children's Bookwatch, August, 2004, review of Christopher Mouse, p. 2.

Horn Book, July-August, 1993, Mary M. Burns, review of Ten Sly Piranhas: A Counting Story in Reverse (a Tale of Wickedness—and Worse!), p. 452.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2004, review of Christopher Mouse, p. 403.

Library Journal,.

MBR Bookwatch, January, 2005, Vicki Arkoff, review of Christopher Mouse.

New York Times Book Review, October 9, 1994, Kyoko Mori, review of Ten Sly Piranhas, p. 26; May 14, 2000, J. D. Biersdorfer, review of Dinosaurs Forever, p. 18.

People, March 26, 1990, Susan Toepfer, review of The Black Falcon: A Tale from the Decameron, p. 32.

Publishers Weekly, May 31, 1993, review of Ten Sly Piranhas, p. 54; December 9, 1996, review of Perfect Pancakes, If You Please, p. 67; September 20, 1999, review of Nell of Branford Hall, p. 88; June 3, 2002, review of Dinosaurs Forever, p. 91.

School Library Journal, October, 1999, Patricia B. McGee, review of Nell of Branford Hall, p. 162; July, 2000, Carolyn Janssen, review of Dinosaurs Forever, p. 99.

ONLINE

Bloomsbury USA Web site, http://www.bloomsburyusa.com/ (July 6, 2005), "William Wise."*

Leonard Wise (1940–) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Writings, Sidelights [next] [back] Tim Winton Biography

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