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Vivian French Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

illustrated england london review

(Louis Catt)

Personal

Hobbies and other interests: Live music, traveling.

Addresses

Agent—Fraser Ross, 6 Wellington Place, Leith EH6 7EQ, England.

Career

Writer and storyteller. Visiting lecturer, University of the West of England. Previously worked in theater as an actor and writer, and National Book League; writer-in-residence at various schools; former reviewer for Guardian, London, England.

Honors Awards

Emil/Kurt Maschler Award shortlist, 1993, for Caterpillar, Caterpillar; Smarties Book Prize shortlist, 1995, for A Song for Little Toad; Sheffield Children's Book Award; numerous Parents' Honor awards.

Writings

Tottie Pig's Noisy Christmas, illustrated by Clive Scruton, Walker (London, England), 1990.

Tottie Pig's Special Birthday, illustrated by Clive Scruton, Walker (London, England), 1990.

Doctor Elsie, illustrated by Rowan Barnes-Murphy, Walker (London, England), 1991.

Baker Ben, illustrated by Rowan Barnes-Murphy, Walker (London, England), 1991.

One Ballerina Two, illustrated by Jan Ormerod, Walker (London, England), 1991.

It's a Go to the Park Day, illustrated by Clive Scruton, Walker (London, England), 1991, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1992.

Christmas Mouse, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Walker (London, England), 1992, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1995.

(Abridger) Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, illustrated by Patrick Benson, Walker (London, England), 1992, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1993.

Tillie McGillie's Fantastical Chair, illustrated by Sue Heap, Walker (London, England), 1992.

Caterpillar, Caterpillar, illustrated by Charlotte Voake, Walker (London, England), 1993, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1995.

Under the Moon, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Walker (London, England), 1993, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1994.

Kim and the Sooper Glooper Torch, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Young Lions (London, England), 1993.

Kevin and the Invisible Safety Pin, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Young Lions (London, England), 1993.

Mary Poggs and the Sunshine, illustrated by Colin West, Walker (London, England), 1993.

Mandy and the Purple Spotted Hanky, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Young Lions (London, England), 1993.

Hedgehogs Don't Eat Hamburgers, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Puffin (London, England), 1993.

Why the Sea Is Salt, illustrated by Patrice Aggs, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1993.

Ian and the Stripy Bath Plug, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Young Lions (London, England), 1993.

Jackson's Juniors, illustrated by Thelma Lambert, Walker (London, England), 1993.

Once upon a Time, illustrated by John Prater, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1993.

Little Tiger Goes Shopping, illustrated by Andy Cooke, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1994.

Little Ghost, illustrated by John Prater, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1994.

Spider Watching, illustrated by Alison Wisenfeld, Walker (London, England), 1994, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1995.

The Little Red Hen and the Sly Fox, illustrated by Sally Hobson, ABC (London, England), 1994, published as Red Hen and Sly Fox, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995.

Robbie and the Amazing Presents, illustrated by Selina Young, Orchard (London, England), 1994.

Princess Primrose, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Walker (London, England), 1994.

Mervyn and the Hopping Hat, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Young Lions (London, England), 1994.

The Hedgehogs and the Big Bag, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Puffin (London, England), 1994.

Fat Ginger and the Awful Aliens, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Young Lions (London, England), 1994.

Warren and the Flying Football, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Young Lions (London, England), 1994.

Buster and the Bike Burglar, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Young Lions (London, England), 1994.

Please, Princess Primrose, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Walker (London, England), 1994.

The Apple Trees, illustrated by Terry Milne, Walker (London, England), 1994.

(Reteller) Lazy Jack, illustrated by Russell Ayto, Walker (London, England), 1995.

Jolly Roger and the Underwater Treasure, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Hodder (London, England), 1995.

First Mate Mutt and the Wind Machine Mutiny, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Hodder (London, England), 1995.

Captain Jennifer Jellyfish Jones, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Hodder (London, England), 1995.

Morris in the Apple Tree, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees, Collins (London, England), 1995.

Morris the Mouse Hunter, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees, Collins (London, England), 1995.

Oliver's Vegetables, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, Orchard (New York, NY), 1995.

Sea Dog Williams and the Frozen North, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Hodder (London, England), 1995.

A Walker Treasury: Magical Stories, Walker (London, England), 1995, published as The Walker Book of Magical Stories, Walker (London, England), 2000.

The Thistle Princess and Other Stories (also see below), illustrated by Chris Fisher, Walker (London, England), 1995.

A Song for Little Toad, illustrated by Barbara Firth, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1995.

Painter Bear, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1995.

Molly in the Middle, illustrated by Venice Shone, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

Little Tiger Finds a Friend, illustrated by Andy Cooke, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

Bob the Dog, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, Hodder (London, England), 1996.

Squeaky Cleaners in a Tip!, illustrated by Anna Currey, Hodder (London, England), 1996.

Squeaky Cleaners in a Stew!, illustrated by Anna Currey, Hodder (London, England), 1996.

Squeaky Cleaners in a Muddle!, illustrated by Anna Currey, Hodder (London, England), 1996.

Once upon a Picnic, illustrated by John Prater, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

Squeaky Cleaners in a Hole!, illustrated by Anna Currey, Hodder (London, England), 1996.

Morris and the Cat Flap, illustrated by Olivia Villet, Collins (London, England), 1996.

The Christmas Kitten, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

(Reteller) Aesop's Funky Fables, illustrated by Korky Paul, Hamilton (London, England), 1997, Viking (New York, NY), 1998.

Guinea Pigs on the Go, illustrated by Clive Scruton, Collins (London, England), 1997.

Kelly and the Crime Club, illustrated by Lesley Harker, Hodder (London, England), 1997.

Zenobia and Mouse, illustrated by Duncan Smith, Walker (London, England), 1997.

Peter and the Ghost, illustrated by Lesley Harker, Hodder (London, England), 1997.

Oh No Anna!, illustrated by Alex Ayliffe, Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 1997.

A Christmas Star Called Hannah, illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1997.

The Thistle Princess, illustrated by Elizabeth Harbour, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1998.

Iggy Pig's Skippy Day, illustrated by David Melling, Hodder (London, England), 1998.

Kick Back, illustrated by Jake Abrams, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1998.

Oliver's Fruit Salad, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, Orchard (New York, NY), 1998.

The Boy Who Walked on Water, and Other Stories, Walker (London, England), 1998.

I Spy ABC, illustrated by Sally Holmes, Walker (London, England), 1998.

Iggy Pig's Party, illustrated by David Melling, Hodder (London, England), 1998.

(With Ross Collins) Write around the World: The Story of How and Why We Learnt to Write, Zero to Ten (New York, NY), 1998 published as Write around the World, Zero to Ten (Slough, England), 1999.

Whale Journey, illustrated by Lisa Flather, Zero to Ten (New York, NY), 1998.

Not Again, Anna!, illustrated by Alex Ayliffe, Levinson (London, England), 1998.

Lullaby Lion, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1998.

Iggy Pig's Big Bad Wolf Trouble, illustrated by David Melling, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1998.

The Story of Christmas, illustrated by Jane Chapman, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 1999.

Iggy Pig at the Seaside, illustrated by David Melling, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

Iggy Pig's Dark Night, illustrated by David Melling, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

Mrs Hippo's Pizza Parlour, illustrated by Clive Scruton, Kingfisher (London, England), 1999, published as Mrs. Hippo's Pizza Parlor,, Kingfisher (Boston, MA), 2004.

Iggy Pig's Shopping Day, illustrated by David Melling, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

Iggy Pig's Snow Day, illustrated by David Melling, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

The Snow Dragon, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Doubleday (London, England), 1999.

(With Rebecca Elgar) Tiger and the New Baby, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1999.

Rainbow House, illustrated by Biz Hull, Tamarind (Camberley, England), 1999.

Space Dog Finds Treasure, illustrated by Sue Heap, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

(With Jan Lewis) Big Fat Hen and the Hairy Goat, David & Charles (London, England), 1999.

(With Jan Lewis) Big Fat Hen and the Red Rooster, David & Charles (London, England), 1999.

Space Dog Meets Space Cat, illustrated by Sue Heap, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

Space Dog to the Rescue, illustrated by Sue Heap, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

Space Dog Visits Planet Earth, illustrated by Sue Heap, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

(With Rebecca Elgar) Tiger and the Temper Tantrum, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 1999.

(Adapter) Michael Rosen, We're Going on a Bear Hunt (play), Walker (London, England), 2000.

Growing Frogs, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 2000.

The Gingerbread Boy, illustrated by John Prater, Walker (London, England), 2000.

(Reteller) Funky Tales, illustrated by Korky Paul, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 2000.

(Reteller) The Three Billy Goats Gruff (play), illustrated by Arthur Robins, Walker (London, England), 2000.

(Adapter) Martin Waddell, Farmer Duck (play), Walker (London, England), 2000.

Falling Awake, illustrated by Roy Petrie, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2000.

(Adapter) Sarah Hayes, This Is the Bear (play), Walker (London, England), 2000.

Space Dog, illustrated by Sue Heap, Hodder (London, England), 2000.

(Reteller) Noah's Ark, and Other Bible Stories, illustrated by Jane Chapman, Early Learning Centre (Swindon, England), 2000.

(Reteller) Michael Rosen, Little Rabbit Foo Foo, illustrated by Arthur Robins, Walker (London, England), 2000.

Let's Go, Anna!, illustrated by Alex Ayliffe, David & Charles (London, England), 2000.

Space Dog Goes to Planet Purrgo, illustrated by Sue Heap, Hodder (London, England), 2000.

Swallow Journey, illustrated by Karin Littlewood, Zero to Ten (Slough, England), 2000.

Space Dog and the Space Egg, illustrated by Sue Heap, Hodder (London, England), 2000.

(Reteller) The Kingfisher Book of Fairy Tales, illustrated by Peter Malone, Kingfisher (New York, NY), 2000.

From Zero to Ten: The Story of Numbers, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Ladybird, Ladybird, illustrated by Selina Young, Orion (London, England), 2001.

Oliver's Milk Shake, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, Orchard (New York, NY), 2001.

(Reteller) The Tiger and the Jackal: A Traditional Indian Tale, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, Walker (London, England), 2001.

Big Bad Bug, illustrated by Emily Bolam, Walker (London, England), 2001.

Mean Green Machine, illustrated by Ana Martín Larraníaga, Walker (London, England), 2001.

Singing to the Sun and Other Magical Tales, illustrated by Chris Fisher, Walker (London, England), 2001.

Guinea Pigs Go to Sea, illustrated by Clive Scruton, Collins (London, England), 2001.

(Reteller) Jack and the Beanstalk (play), illustrated by Harry Horse, Walker (London, England), 2001.

(Reteller) The Three Little Pigs (play), illustrated by Liz Million, Walker (London, England), 2001.

Five Little Ducks, illustrated by Paul Dowling, Walker (London, England), 2001.

One Fat Cat (play), illustrated by Liz Million, Walker (London, England), 2001.

To Mum, with Love, illustrated by Dana Kubick, Walker (London, England), 2002.

(Editor) Survivor, and Other Stories, Walker (London, England), 2002.

(Editor) Paying for It, and Other Stories, Walker (London, England), 2002.

Baby Baby, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2002.

A Present for Mom, illustrated by Dana Kubick, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 2002.

Wicked Chickens, illustrated by John Bradley, Macmillan (London, England), 2003.

(Reteller) The Kingfisher Book of Nursery Tales, illustrated by Stephen Lambert, Kingfisher (Boston, MA), 2003.

Morris the Mouse Hunter, illustrated by Olivia Villet, Collins (London, England), 2003.

T. Rex, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 2004.

I Love You, Grandpa, illustrated by Dana Kubick, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 2004.

Bert and the Burglar, illustrated by Ed Boxall, Walker (London, England), 2004.

Bill Bird's New Boots, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, Egmont Books (London, England), 2004.

Detective Dan, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, A. & C. Black (London, England), 2004.

I Wish I Was an Alien, illustrated by Lisa Williams, Evans (London, England), 2005, published as I Wish I Were an Alien, Gingham Dog (Columbus, OH), 2005.

Brian the Giant, illustrated by Sue Heap, Walker (London, England), 2005.

Buck and His Truck, illustrated by Julie Lacome, Walker (London, England), 2005.

The Cat in the Coat, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, Evans (London, England) 2005.

Pig in Love, illustrated by Tim Archbold, Gingham Dog (Columbus, OH), 2005.

Meet the Mammoth!, illustrated by Lisa Williams, Gingham Dog (Columbus, OH), 2005.

A Cat in a Coat, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, Gingham Dog (Columbus, OH), 2005.

Sharp Sheep, illustrated by John Bradley, Macmillan (London, England), 2005.

The Magic Bedtime Storybook, illustrated by Emily Bolam, Orion (London, England), 2005.

Princess Charlotte and the Birthday Ball, illustrated by Sarah Gibb, Orchard (London, England), 2005, HarperColllins (New York, NY), 2007.

Princess Katie and the Silver Pony, illustrated by Sarah Gibb, Orchard (London, England) 2005, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.

Princess Daisy and the Dazzling Dragon, illustrated by Sarah Gibb, Orchard (London, England), 2005, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.

Princess Alice and the Magical Mirror, illustrated by Sarah Gibb, Orchard (London, England), 2005, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.

Princess Sophia and the Sparkling Surprise, illustrated by Sarah Gibb, Orchard (London, England) 2005, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.

Princess Emily and theBeautiful Fairy, illustrated by Sarah Gibb, Orchard (London, England), 2005, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.

Henny Penny, illustrated by Sophie Windham, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2006.

Ellie and Elvis, illustrated by Michael Terry, Bloomsbury (London, England), 2006.

Princess Charlotte and the Enchanted Rose, illustrated by Sarah Gibb, Orchard (London England), 2006.

French's books have been translated into more than thirty languages.

"SLEEPOVER CLUB" SERIES; UNDER NAME LOUIS CATT

Sleepover on Friday the Thirteenth (also see below), Collins (London, England), 1998.

Sleepover Girls Go Detective, Collins (London, England), 1999.

(With Fiona Cummings) Sleepover on Friday the Thirteenth; Sleepover Girls Go Camping; Sleepover Girls at Camp ("Mega Sleepover Club" series), Collins (London, England), 2002.

Work in Progress

The books Princess Katie and the Dancing Broomstick, Princess Daisy and the Magical Merry go Round, Princess Alice and the Crystal Slipper, Princess Sophia and the Prince's Party, and Princess Emily and the Wishing Star, all for Harper Collins.

Sidelights

Vivian French is a professional storyteller and the prolific author of picture books, plays, and novels for children and young adults. French has created such memorable characters as Iggy Pig, Space Dog, the Staple Street Gang, the Squeaky Cleaners, and Tottie Pig. Her retellings of folk and fairy tales have been published in her native England in story collections and as plays for young performers. As Louis Catt—a pen name inspired by the author's cat, Louis—French also contributed novels to Rose Impey's "Sleepover Club" series, based on a popular British television series.

French has been interested in stories since childhood, when she read all the fairy tales she could find. "I especially remember a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales belonging to my grandfather," she told a Jubilee Books online interviewer. "It had really crude woodcut pictures, and it gave me nightmares—but I kept going back and reading it again and again."

Publishing her first three children's books in 1990, French has gone on to produce more than one hundred titles, most of them picture books for young readers. Some of these, including Little Tiger Goes Shopping, focus on teamwork. Little Tiger and Big Tiger want to bake a cake, but they have no eggs. They head out to the store only to discover that many other animals are also headed that way to pick up various ingredients. When the animals arrive at the store, however, it is closed, and they decide to pool their resources to make a cake everyone can enjoy. "Kids (and cooks) will identify with this all-too-frequent culinary predicament," wrote Deborah Abbott in her review for Booklist. Little Tiger appears again as the hero of Little Tiger Finds a Friend, while a different young tiger stars in Tiger and the New Baby and Tiger and the Temper Tantrum, the last which Booklist reviewer Ilene Cooper deemed "on target for the audience."

French's "Oliver" stories all feature a young protagonist who likes foods such as french fries but absolutely detests vegetables. In Oliver's Vegetables, the boy's grandfather convinces Oliver that certain vegetables might be worth trying. Julie Corsaro wrote in Booklist that "this breezy story" is suitable "as the centerpiece in a preschool story time … or just for plain old fun." While noting that some adults may question whether a child would find beet salad to be "very, very, very good," in the opinion of a Publishers Weekly reviewer "agreeable readers will accept her try-it-you'll-like-it approach." Oliver's second adventure with food takes place in Oliver's Fruit Salad. When the boy is hesitant to eat canned fruit, his mother thinks the remedy is a trip to the grocery store. Fortunately, memories of his grandfather's garden help Oliver enjoy the fresh fruit his mother soon sets before him. Stephanie Zvirin considered the title "great for lap sharing or use with small groups." Food is central to another incident from Oliver's life, as the boy and his cousin take a trip to the dairy farm in Oliver's Milk Shake. As DeAnn Tabuchi noted in a review of the series for School Library Journal, "Oliver is a charmer."

Stanley, the youngest of his siblings, cannot figure out what he should get his mother for Mother's Day in A Present for Mom. When he tries to copy older family members the gift does not seem right; finally, his older sister helps Stanley figure out just the right present. French's "simple tale rings true for little ones," according to a Kirkus Reviews critic. "Children will identify with Stanley, his quest, and his ultimate triumph," assured Heather E. Miller in her School Library Journal review. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that "French's use of detail gives her story its individuality," and Booklist contributor Hazel Rochman suspected that readers "will enjoy [Stanley's] … bumbling, messy failures as much as the final triumphant encircling embrace."

Stanley returns in I Love You, Grandpa, as both Stanley and Grandpa realize they cannot keep up with the activities of Stanley's older siblings. However, after a nap and a song, the boy and older man discover an activity they both enjoy: swinging at the playground. Ilene Cooper, in a Booklist review of I Love You, Grandpa, noted that "the special bond between young and old plays out sweetly in this happy picture book," while a Kirkus Reviews contributor recommended the book as a "wonderful selection for the littlest one in any family and for the grandpa that is special in his or her life." Andrea Tarr, writing in School Library Journal, considered the title "a delightful choice for reading aloud or for family sharing."

Some of French's picture books focus on nature-related topics. For example, in Spider Watching three cousins study the spiders living in a garden shed. While two of the children are enthusiastic, the third is initially afraid of the spiders, but she eventually gets over her fear as she watches the fascinating creatures. Whale Journey follows a pod of whales on their migration from Baja California to the Arctic. "French's text keeps the story moving, offering information and action to capture children's attention," Carolyn Phelan wrote of the title in her Booklist review. Growing Frogs describes the lifecycle of a frog from tadpole to adult, showing readers that many types of frogs are endangered. Jody McCoy, writing in School Library Journal, considered the book, illustrated by Alison Bartlett, "a hopping good collaboration," while a Horn Book reviewer pointed out that "French provides enough step-by-step guidance so that readers can gather and observe their own frog spawn."

Like Whale Journey, both Caribou Journey and Swallow Journey focus on animal migration. For both, "French writes in the present tense with a quiet immediacy," according to Booklist reviewer Hazel Rochman. While Whale Journey and Caribou Journey both focus on a mother animal and her new baby, Swallow Journey shows the journey of a whole flock on their voyage from England, through Spain and France, as they cross the Sahara, until they finally end their trip in southern Africa.

Dinosaurs, particularly the tyrannosaurus rex, are the focus of T. Rex. Focusing on dino-facts and discussing how paleontologists piece together information about the prehistoric creatures, the story is told from the perspective of a grandfather and a young boy who are touring a science museum together. "This brief tale simply and succinctly sums up how much is still unknowable in the scientific world, while also acknowledging how much can be proven through study," commented a Publishers Weekly critic. Karin Snelson, writing for Booklist, considered T. Rex to be "a sprightly picture book that's as much about the mysteries of science as it is about dinosaurs." Noting that French suggests that young readers may be the ones to grow up and discover more about dinosaurs, a Kirkus Reviews contributor commented that such suggestions serve as "an energizing idea for young dinosaur fans." Marge Loch-Wouters commented in School Library Journal that "young dinosaur lovers will enjoy the story and return to the book often."

French's retellings of folk tales are perhaps her most popular titles. In Red Hen and Sly Fox the traditional story of the gullible hen eventually outsmarting a wily fox "is given new life by French's fresh text," according to Booklist critic Lauren Peterson. "This energetic book is as fresh as it is classic," a Publishers Weekly contributor commented, while Mary M. Burns, in her review for Horn Book, praised French's use of language, noting: "The dialogue is pithy and concrete—attuned to the sensibilities of young audiences."

Lazy Jack is a retelling of the traditional story about a lackadasical boy who keeps losing the pay he receives from his various jobs. French "nicely tweaks the traditional ending to show redemption on Jack's part without losing the comedic tone," a Publishers Weekly contributor noted. Hazel Rochman, writing in Booklist, commented that "any child who's messed up with the best intentions will love the disaster tale and will relish Jack's sweet revenge."

Not all of French's folk tales are traditional; the story in The Thistle Princess is a fairy tale of French's own creation. A king and queen want a daughter, and a thistle tells the royal couple how they can have a child. Soon, a little thistle girl appears, and the parents are at first over protective, but when they allow the princess to play outside, she truly thrives. "Readers with a strong taste for … nostalgic and happily-ever-after endings will take to this one from the start," predicted a reviewer for Publishers Weekly.

Along with picture books, French is also the author of several collections of short fiction, some retellings of traditional tales and some original stories. In Under the Moon, she presents three stories: one a folktale from Eastern Europe and the others original stories. "All the stories exhibit a folkloric style, with a timelessness that should make for broad appeal," wrote Kay Weisman in Booklist. French takes a new approach to an old favorite in Aesop's Funky Fables, using plenty of sound-words to encourage acting-out storytelling. The author's "impressive range of voice reveals a keen ear for dialogue and description," noted a critic for Publishers Weekly.

French assembles seven of her favorite fairy tales in The Kingfisher Book of Fairy Tales. Retelling and shortening such stories as "Cinderella," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and "Rumplestiltskin" for a younger audience, she does not shy away from the darker aspects of some of these tales, and works to retain the traditional "fairy" elements, as she notes in her introduction to the collection. School Library Journal reviewer Barbara Buckley considered the work to be "a well-executed anthology."

In working on The Kingfisher Book of Fairy Tales, "it was exciting to revisit all my old favourites," French explained on the Jubilee Books Web site. Continuing to re-explore the stories of childhood, she has also produced The Kingfisher Book of Nursery Tales, a related anthology of retellings that "playfully retells eight … best-known fairy tales," according to a Publishers Weekly critic. Carolyn Janssen dubbed French's work on this second anthology "well done," in her review for School Library Journal.

In her Jubilee Books interview, French recommended the following advice to young writers: "Talk a lot, read a lot, listen, watch people and be around people…. Don't EVER let the fact that you can't spell or write neatly put you off writing stories—use a tape recorder, tell the story to a friend, draw it out in pictures—it's the story that matters, not the packaging."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 1994, Deborah Abbott, review of Little Tiger Goes Shopping, p. 1009; March 15, 1994, Kay Weisman, review of Under the Moon, p. 1365; March 1, 1995, Carolyn Phelan, review of Spider Watching, p. 1247; May 1, 1995, Lauren Peterson, review of Red Hen and Sly Fox, p. 1579; September 1, 1995, Hazel Rochman, review of Lazy Jack, p. 73; September 15, 1995, Julie Corsaro, review of Oliver's Vegetables, p. 175; November 1, 1997, Ilene Cooper, review of A Christmas Star Called Hannah, p. 480; October 15, 1998, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Oliver's Fruit Salad, p. 426; January 1, 1999, Carolyn Phelan, review of Whale Journey, p. 887; January 1, 1999, Kathleen Squires, review of Not Again, Anna!, p. 887; May 1, 1999, Ilene Cooper, review of Tiger and the New Baby and Tiger and the Temper Tantrum, p. 1598; May 1, 2000, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Growing Frogs, p. 1672; August, 2001, Shelley Townsend-Hudson, review of Oliver's Milk Shake, p. 2129; January 1, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of Swallow Journey, p. 861; May 1, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of A Present for Mom, p. 1532; November 1, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of I Love You, Grandpa, p. 488; December 1, 2004, Karin Snelson, review of T. Rex, p. 672; December 15, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of Mrs. Hippo's Pizza Parlor, p. 746.

Five Owls, March, 1995, review of Spider Watching, p. 87.

Horn Book, July-August, 1995, Mary M. Burns, review of Red Hen and Sly Fox, p. 469; May, 2000, review of Growing Frogs, p. 332; November-December, 2004, Danielle J. Ford, review of T. Rex, p. 726.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2002, review of A Present for Mom, p. 334; September 1, 2004, review of I Love You, Grandpa, p. 864; October 15, 2004, review of T. Rex, p. 1005.

Publishers Weekly, May 8, 1995, review of Red Hen and Sly Fox, p. 295; July 10, 1995, review of Lazy Jack, p. 57; July 31, 1995, review of A Song for Little Toad, p. 80; October 9, 1995, review of Oliver's Vegetables, p. 84; October 6, 1997, review of A Christmas Star Called Hannah, p. 55; February 9, 1998, review of Aesop's Funky Fables, p. 95; October 19, 1998, review of The Thistle Princess, p. 80; May 22, 2000, "Many Happy Returns," p. 95; March 11, 2002, review of A Present for Mom, p. 71; November 24, 2003, "Enduring Favorites," p. 66; November 29, 2004, review of T. Rex, p. 39.

School Library Journal, June, 1994, Susan Helper, review of Under the Moon, p. 98; May, 2000, Jody McCoy, review of Growing Frogs, p. 161; December, 2000, review of Growing Frogs, p. 53; January, 2001, Barbara Buckley, review of The Kingfisher Book of Fairy Tales, p. 116; March, 2001, Martha Link, review of Let's Go, Anna!, p. 208; June, 2001, DeAnn Tabuchi, review of Oliver's Milk Shake, p. 114; December, 2001, Sally Bates Goodroe, review of Caribou Journey, p. 158; May, 2002, Heather E. Miller, review of A Present for Mom, p. 114; January, 2004, Carolyn Janssen, review of The Kingfisher Book of Nursery Tales, p. 114; October, 2004, Andrea Tarr, review of I Love You, Grandpa, p. 113; December, 2004, Marge Loch-Wouters, review of T. Rex, p. 108.

ONLINE

Jubilee Books Web site, http://www.jubileebooks.co.uk/ (October 31, 2005), interview with French.

Walker Books Web site, http://www.walkerbooks.co.uk/ (October 31, 2005), "Vivian French."

Marilyn French Biography [next]

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over 6 years ago

I love Vivian French. I met her a couple of days ago and sh was amazing i would have liked to get her autograph and talk to her but obviously i couldnt. hank Vivian you are great.

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over 6 years ago

Dear Sir / Madam,



This is Mr. NVSN Murthy (Nori Murthy), an independent researcher.



My undying commitment and passion for Economy, Economics, Humanity, Writing, Global Oneness, Peace & Progress, Women & Child Welfare and Poverty Alleviation has produced “Norinomics” by yielding the following observations.



In my opinion, every quotation is an ageless and priceless invention unlike technological inventions which may get outdated through new inventions.



In case you feel this original work deserves an award, please help me. Otherwise, please ignore this writing which has been occupying most of my life since decades.



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NORINOMICS,

A New Economic Philosophy with a Human Face

(My Contribution to My People of My Planet)





(1). Economy :

Happiness of the people is the real economy of a nation and all other things are traps.



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The mechanism that makes the people happy is called economics.



(3). Misapprehensions :

GDP, Forex, Sensex and Inflation are not elements of economy; therefore they cannot measure the economy of a nation.



(4). Inflation :

Inflation is the market-exaggerated-disproportion in the production, distribution and consumption of goods, services and wealth. Therefore, this planning-sensitive element is not a worthy parameter for effective-assessment of the economy of a nation since the imbalances disappear either by planting preventive measures or timely corrective actions or permanently installed system-controls for timely actuation of precisely installed regulators.



(5). Economist:

Agriculture is the epicentre of economy, thus, no nation can survive if its farmer is suffering since agriculture and the mechanics of economics are the two reactants rigidly controlling and producing the final product generally being referred to as “Economy”, which too, is directly proportional to the speed at which a nation moves its men, material and money and, is accurately measurable for specifying its index by an economist who has sensibly blended fundamentals with commonsense and constantly qualifying himself as a precise tool for the intended job.



(6). Numbers & Digits:

Economists not isolating economy and economics from numbers and digits are destroying their nations.



(7). Economic policies:

Evaluate first, then adopt and finally adapt since economics is a subjective subject with objectives subjective and role-sensitive.



(8). Wealth:

Wealth can neither be created nor destroyed, but it transforms into several forms and possesses enormous potential to alter the dynamics of economics, its misplacement or displacement causes proportionate degree of imbalances in the economy of the nation.



(9). Money:

Money accumulation does not mean wealth acquisition since money seldom measures the strength of a nation or individual, more so, yellow metal.



(10). Real asset value of a nation:

Money in circulation is the real asset value of a nation since it is the only asset working for the nation, hence, the higher the better.



(11). Cooperation:

Cooperation is the orthocentre of economy and is directly proportional to the need and inversely proportional to the greed of the nations. Nations necessarily viewing cooperation as basic necessity become all-time rich.



(12). Bedrocks of economic growth:

Fair play, benefit-balancing and cooperation are the keystones that accelerate economic growth - destroying them is destroying nations.



(13). Governance:

Business is not the business of the government. Therefore, nations must not involve in any commercial activity since their only business is governance, policy making, administration, safety and security of the people, food and health security, draught and flood control, conservation of wildlife and forests, pollution and inflation control, infrastructure development, environmental protection, public service, standardization, rationalization and simplification of rules, regulations and procedures.



(14). Farmer’s Role:

Politicians in power seldom comeback to power by ignoring farmer, politicians aspiring power seldom come to power by ignoring farmer, political parties ignoring farmer do not survive.



(15). Present status of economics:

Economics became Agonymics since politicians removed economics from social science and merged it with power politics to suit their convenience. Therefore, economics no more deals with production, distribution and consumption of goods, services and wealth.



(16). Politics:

Accurate diagnosis and wrong prescription are the ethics of politics.



(17). Invasion:

Politicians invaded the theory & principles of economy and economics, therefore, these vital topics are no more understandable.

(18). Poverty Allotment:

Politicians reserved poverty for the poor and prosperity for themselves.



(19). Poverty Alleviation:

Poverty alleviation elevated politicians and eliminated the poor.



(20). Cost of Nothing:

Nothing is free in this world since everything comes from nothing.

Nothing is free in this world though everything comes from nothing.



(21). Cost of Price:

Since everything comes from nothing, the initial cost of everything is zero, as the value adds up, so does the price.



(22). Nation’s Health:

Wealth is not a measure of nation’s health.



(23). Speed Means Growth:

The economic growth of a nation is directly proportional to the speed at which the nation moves its men, material and money. However, safety and cost-effectiveness are vital considerations.



(24). Commonsense:

Commonsense is the essence of all kinds of knowledge available to human beings on earth. Therefore, commonsense has become the most uncommon commodity on earth ever since the birth of earth.



Unfortunately this priceless commodity is becoming more and more uncommon day-by-day, therefore due to its unavailability, we seldom apply this priceless commodity to solve problems.



(25). Remuneration:

The more you give, the more you get – both remuneration and satisfaction.



(26). Nature (The Greatest Teacher on Earth):

Nations adopting nature’s laws become healthy.



(27). Global Peace Pill:

Do not do for others what you do not want others to do for you.



Adopt “LoveAll-HateNone“philosophy originated from Humanity, therefore Humanity is the essence of all religions, faiths and philosophies of our acquisitive world.



Most importantly, for all those who believe in God, Humanity is the visible form of God.



There is God in everyone; we need eyes to see Him.



We acquire everything only to carry nothing.



A true religious mind knows no religion since GOD knows no religion.



No one is bad since everyone belongs to God.



We ask what we want, God gives what we need.



Laws not built on humanity do not last longer.



There is God within, we need humanity to see Him.



(28). Need of the hour:

Sow humanity and reap peace. Sow peace and reap progress. Sow progress and reap prosperity. Sow prosperity and reap endless happiness.



Therefore - Humanity is my caste, Humanity is my community, Humanity is my religion, Humanity is my creed, Humanity is my race, Humanity is my tribe, Humanity is my region, Humanity is my nationality, Humanity is my language, Humanity is my mother-tongue, Humanity is my consideration, Humanity is my philosophy, Humanity is my approach and Humanity is my way of life. Finally, Humanity is my whole world.



(29). Inseparables:

Pain and gain, body and soul, day and night, light and heat, and, noise and vibration are inseparables. Therefore do not waste time for this.



(30). Inevitables:

Failure and success are like day and night, ignore them and strive for stability.



(31). Source of failure:

At times we fail, many times we are failed.



(32). Statics and Dynamics:

Be dynamic since nothing on earth is static, including earth.



(33). Cause & Cure of Death:

Death means unwillingness to change.



(34). Acquisitions:

Balance your acquisitions since no one can carry anything.



(35). Hiring tasks:

Qualification seldom qualifies anyone for employment, percentage of marks does not mean merit, age does not mean maturity, experience does not mean knowledge, talent does not mean wisdom, sincerity does not mean creativity, drive does not mean determination, motivation does not mean innovation and honesty does not mean productivity and outspokenness does not mean output.



Therefore, employers must develop exacting tools to measure performance and creativity essential to assess usefulness and wage-worthiness. Individuals, Institutions and nations ignoring these facts end up in recruiting non-contributors and non-performers.



(36). Change:

Only a change can change a change and change alone can challenge a change along with the inevitable uncertainties associated with every change. These are the real challenges of life for the present and future generations.



(37). Uncertainties:

Uncertainty is more certain and more inevitable than the most inevitable change and challenges.



Thus, entrepreneurs must be more vigilant than never before since emerging technologies demanding abrupt changes need abnormal potential to absorb changes and challenges associated.



(38). Measure-worthy elements of a person:

Money, power, position, popularity, personality, qualification, experience and age of a person are not measure-worthy since performance and contribution alone matters.



(39). Science:

So far, science has miserably failed to understand the nature, its secrets and several things happening around. For reasons best known to all concerned, man-made tools like science, engineering and technology continue to fail forever, in spite of this hard reality, we must continue respect science since it carries the entire essential potential essential to add sweetness and flavour essential to make life worth living and enjoyable.



This fact is nothing but truth. Therefore, let us go along with the nature as thoughtfully did by the wisest and the most knowledgeable ancient people of our planet.



(40). Cost of selfishness:

Sun sets only on selfish.



(41). Source of smiles:

Good people give smiles, other give tears.



(42). Copying risks:

Neither individuals nor institutions nor nations become leaders by following or copying the other, therefore, make laws, rules and regulations relevant to the nation since the needs, problems, priorities and culture of different nations are different.



(43). Success:

Success seldom comes by following or copying or imitating, this analogy is true for individuals, institutions and nations.



(44). Heroism:

Genuine leaders follow heroism and seldom choose beaten tracks since following is a fault, copying is a crime and imitating is an offence.



(45). Life:

Life is uncertain because death is certain.



(46). Friendship:

The most valuable and least respected commodity on earth is friendship, whereas, the least valuable and most respected commodity on earth is money.



(47). Longevity:

Those who live more, suffer more.



(48). Earning:

We earn more only to live less.



(49). Eating:

We eat more only to live less.



(50). Strength & Stamina:

God gave strength to men and stamina to women.



(51). Truth:

We seldom seek truth since we are comfortable with facts.



(52). Facts:

Facts are partial truths.



(53). Lies:

We talk lies to live less.



(54). Disagreement:

People of earth are fighting for an invisible GOD common for all.



(55). God:

God is universal, so, He is not different for different people.



If God is different for different people, HE is no more a God.



(56). Ideas:

Ideas are more valuable than ideologists since every idea is a spontaneous overflow of powerful thinking and carries the potential to change the world.



(57). Greetings:

God seldom greets us because we are greedy.



(58). Rules:

If rules are not simpler, bitter will be the result.



(59). Food:

Agriculture gives food, arms give blood.



(60). Birth:

We take birth only to pursue death.



The way we live, the way we die.



Birth causes pain, death relieves pain.



Birth and death are accidental since life is incidental.



(61). Decisions:

Woman knows where the shoe pinches most; therefore their involvement is vital in decision-making process.



(62). Impossibilities:

Nothing is impossible since impossibilities are time-sensitive and person-sensitive; therefore, let us continue to chase for solutions.



(63). Time effect:

Buying power of money is increasing day-by-day, therefore - today money is able to buy what it failed to buy yesterday.



(64). Failures:

Willing to fail puts life on positive mode since unwilling to fail causes distress, disease and death.



(65). Weapons:

Weapons cause weeping – quit them. Guns do not give smiles, missiles do not mount peace, bombs do not bag boarders, arms do not bring arms together, money do not melt hearts, wealth cannot wipe-off tears, therefore let us apply something which is more powerful i.e. humanity to solve and resolve our problems and disputes.



(66). Tomorrow:

Tomorrow is not there for animals and other forms of life that are wiser than human beings. For reasons best known to us, we did not buy this philosophy and therefore, we became unwise. Thus, we started acquiring things for tomorrow ignoring the fact that tomorrow’s existence and its availability to us is entirely in the hands of tomorrow.



Finally, we must realize a fact that tomorrow is only in the hands of tomorrow; whereas, today is in our hands, therefore, let us contribute something today instead of waiting for tomorrow.



(67). Savings:

If I am saving something for tomorrow, I am depriving someone who needs it today (.) Saving something for tomorrow is depriving someone who needs that something today.



(68). Postponement:

Tomorrow is too late and too far for any good job, hence do it today.



(69). Spending:

We need to save something for a rainy-day which is bound to come to all of us, one day or the other.



(70). Words:

Words have no meaning of their own since they are subjective and thus, user-sensitive. Hence this world is a battle field for definitions.



(71). Our World:

Mad people think others are mad, others think the other way round. No one knows who is really mad since everyone is mad in his own way - this is the real beauty of our wonder-world wonderful enough to keep life going in a wonderfully wonderful manner.



(72). Love:

Love loves the love lovely; the love loved by love loves the love lovely and lovingly.



(73). Progress:

Working against nature is unnatural and abusive, therefore work along with nature since nature is the greatest teacher with principles as rigid as rigid can be.



(74). Use:

Misuse and abuse are inevitable for things that are in use.



(75). Failure of money:

Money can buy pleasures, comforts and luxuries, not happiness.



(76). Composition of life:

God fills life with little satisfaction and large dissatisfaction.



(77). Hidden World:

This is a hidden world since everyone is hiding something.



(78). Today’s trend:

Become important by reducing other man’s importance.



(79). Talent:

Talent makes you competent, cleverness makes you successful.

(80). Perfection:

Never aim at perfection, it is not there.



No one is perfect since everyone is perfecting imperfection.



Nothing is perfect in the world since imperfection is being perfected.



(81). Excellency:

Consistency is better than Excellency.



(82). Misunderstanding:

We often misunderstand because it is easy to do so.



(83). Underperformance:

We underperform since we undermine learning.



(84). Needs:

Wise men work for needs, others for greeds.



(85). Greeds:

Lust for luxuries lessens life on earth.

(86). End result:

We cannot become best by doing the best; we become best only by doing what is required since success knows no shortcut.



(87). Poverty Eradication:

If politicians eradicate poverty, they become poor, Will They Do It?



(88). Bends in life:

Every bend on the road need not be a bend in the life.



(89). Purpose of life:

The purpose of birth is death, not yours.



(90). Purpose of life:

Birds and animals eat for us, we eat for ourselves.



(91). Enmity:

Today’s enemies are tomorrow’s friends, the converse too is true.



(92). Zeroism:

All heroes become zeroes at the end of the tunnel.



(93). Rejection:

We reject others and their views only to suffer the same in the days to come.



(94). Insecurity:

The feeling of insecurity makes us reject people and their valuable ideas, thus we reduce the progress of our world.



(95). Nationality:

Humanity is a better tag than nationality.



(96). Oneness

Oneness is better than own-ness



(97). Denying

We deny only to get denied.



(98). Godliness:

Humanity is the manifestation of godliness.



(99). Wisdom:

Commonsense is the essence of all kinds of wisdom











NVSN Murthy, Independent Researcher, Age: 57.

• A temporary visitor on earth melting hearts and merging people across the globe through humanity and friendship for causing peace, progress, prosperity and endless happiness to people and nations since life on earth is a one-time gift of GOD and hence, certainly worth living without causing and inviting tears,

• a scientist by profession,

• a researcher by addiction,

• an economist by accident,

• a writer by hobby,

• a reformist by social obligation,

• an analyst by interest,

• a poor man by fate,

• a social worker by choice,

• a servant to human life, animal life and plant life by zeal,

• an engineer by selection,

• a traveller towards death by birth,

• a philosopher by time,

• a practicing poet by nature

• and a messenger of peace by passion.



Past address: Unknown

Present address: Earth

Future address: Unknown