Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Shennen Bersani (1961-) Biography - Personal to Mark Burgess Biography - Personal

Larry Dane Brimner (1949–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

children york press illustrated

Born 1949, in St. Petersburg, FL; Education: San Diego State University, B.A. (literature), 1971, M.A. (writing), 1981. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, snow skiing, animals, pine furniture, travel, American folk art.

Addresses

Office—P.O. Box 87257, Tucson, AZ 85754. Agent—c/o Author Mail, 21 Hillside Cir., Bayfield, CO 81122.

Career

Central Union High School, El Centro, CA, writing teacher, 1974–84; San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, lecturer, 1984–91; freelance writer, 1985–.

Member

International Reading Association, Authors' Guild, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, National Council of Teachers of English, California Association of Teachers of English, Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People, Sierra Club, AmFar.

Honors Awards

Children's Choice Award, International Reading Association, 1988, for BMX Freestyle and Snowboarding, 2000, for The Official M & M's Brand Book of the Millennium; Pick of the List designation, American Booksellers Association, 1988, for Country Bear's Good Neighbor; Best Children's Science Book listee, Science Books and Films, 1991, for Animals That Hibernate; Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies designation, National Council of Social Studies/Children's Book Council, 1992, for A Migrant Family; Junior Library selection, 2004, for Subway: The Story of Tunnels; Oppenheim Gold Medal for Best Book, 2002, San Diego Books Award, 2002, Great Lakes' Great Books Honor Book, 2004, and Arkansas Diamond Award, 2005, all for The Littlest Wolf.

Writings

Country Bear's Good Neighbor, Orchard Books (London, England), 1988.

Cory Coleman, Grade 2, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1990.

Country Bear's Surprise, Orchard Books (London, England), 1991.

A Migrant Family, Lerner Publishing (Minneapolis, MN), 1992.

Max and Felix, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1993.

Elliot Fry's Goodbye, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1994.

Voices from the Camps: Internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1994.

Merry Christmas, Old Armadillo, illustrated by Dominic Catalano, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1995.

Being Different: Lambda Youths Speak Out, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1995.

If Dogs Had Wings, illustrated by Chris L. Demarest, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1996.

Skiing, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Mountain Biking, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

How Many Ants?, illustrated by Joan Cottle, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

The Harvest Fair, illustrated by Steve Henry, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Figure Skating, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

The Cool Hot Day, illustrated by Steve Henry, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Letters to Our Children: Lesbian and Gay Adults Speak to the New Generation, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Snowboarding, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Praying Mantises, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

The Official M & M's Brand Book of the Millennium, illustrated by Karen Pellaton, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 1999.

Flies, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

The World Wide Web, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997, revised edition, 2000.

E-mail, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997, revised edition, 2000.

Cat on Wheels, illustrated by Mary Peterson, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 2000.

Caving: Exploring Limestone Caves, F. Watts (New York, NY), 2001.

The Littlest Wolf, illustrated by José Aruego and Ariane Dewey, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Everybody's Best Friend, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Trash Trouble, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

The New Kid, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Subway: The Story of Tunnels, Tubes, and Tracks, illustrated by Neil Waldman, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 2004.

"FIRST BOOKS" SERIES

BMX Freestyle, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1987.

Karate, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1988.

Footbagging, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1988.

Snowboarding, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1989.

Animals That Hibernate, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1991.

Unusual Friendships …, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1993.

Rolling … In-line!, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1994.

Rock Climbing, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Surfing, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Mountains, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

"TRUE BOOKS" SERIES

Polar Mammals, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Bobsledding and the Luge, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Speed Skating, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

The Winter Olympics, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Earth, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Mars, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Mercury, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Venus, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Bees, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Butterflies and Moths, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Cockroaches, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Jupiter, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Neptune, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Pluto, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Saturn, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Uranus, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Caves, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Geysers, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Glaciers, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Valleys and Canyons, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

"ROOKIE READERS" SERIES

Firehouse Sal, illustrated by Ethel Gold, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Aggie and Will, illustrated by Rebecca McKillip Thornburgh, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Dinosaurs Dance, illustrated by Patrick Girouard, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Lightning Liz, illustrated by Brian Floca, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Nana's Hog, illustrated by Susan Miller, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

What Good Is a Tree?, illustrated by Leo Landry, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Cowboy Up!, illustrated by Susan Miller, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Raindrops, illustrated by David J. Brooks, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Cats!, illustrated by Tom Payne, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Gatitos!, illustrated by Tom Payne, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

The Long Way Home, illustrated by Terry Sirrell, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Here Comes Trouble, illustrated by Pable Torrecilla, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Nana's Fiddle, illustrated by Susan Miller, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

"CORNERSTONES OF FREEDOM" SERIES

The Names Project, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Angel Island, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

"TALL TALES" SERIES

(Reteller) Calamity Jane, illustrated by Judy DuFour Love, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

(Reteller) Casey Jones, illustrated by Drew Rose, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

(Reteller) Davy Crockett, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

(Reteller) Molly Pitcher, illustrated by Patrick Girouard, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

(Reteller) Captain Stormalong, illustrated by Chi Chung, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

"ROOKIE CHOICES" SERIES

The Big Beautiful Brown Box, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

The Big Tree Ball Game, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

The Messy Lot, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Money Trouble, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

The Noodle Game, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

The Sparkle Thing, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

The Pet Show, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Unsinkable!, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

A Flag for All, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Birthday Flowers, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Promise, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

School Rules, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Sidewalk Patrol, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Cool Cats, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Summer Fun, illustrated by Christine Tripp, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

"MAGIC DOOR TO READING" SERIES

Spring Sail, illustrated by R.W. Alley, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2005.

Max's Math Machine, illustrated by Robert Squier, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2006.

Bigger and Smaller, illustrated by Patrick Girouard, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2006.

Elwood's Bath, illustrated by Teri Weidner, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2006.

In the Fall, illustrated by R.W. Alley, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2006.

Loud Larry, illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2006.

One Summery Day, illustrated by R.W. Alley, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2006.

Rumble Bus, illustrated by Ronnie Rooney, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2006.

Sammy's Something Sweet, illustrated by Kathleen Petelinsek, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2006.

A Shake and a Shiver, illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2006.

Twelve Plump Cookies, illustrated by Sharon Holm, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2006.

Winter Blanket, illustrated by R.W. Alley, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2006.

Sidelights

Larry Dane Brimner was raised in Kodiak Island, Alaska where his parents began reading him to at a very young age. Introduced to some of the greatest literary giants, including Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Brimner was able to read simple sentences by age four and blossomed into an avid bookworm, he read all the children's books in his family's library and eventually began creating his own stories. Brimner attended elementary and high school in Alaska, then moved to California to pursue his baccalaureate degree at San Diego State University. During his undergraduate studies he focused on writing poetry and obtained some success in that genre. Graduating with a degree in literature, Brimner considering becoming a writer but was discouraged by his father. Instead, he began a career in teaching that lasted for twenty years. It was during his time as a teacher that Brimner developed an interest in writing children's books. He left teaching when his first children's book, 1987's BMX Freestyle, was published, jump-starting a prolific writing career.

Brimner once explained to SATA that his childhood in Alaska inspired his interests in sports, nature, and fiction. "Ever since I was a small child growing up on Kodiak Island, with no television and only sporadic radio reception, I have enjoyed reading and listening to stories," he explained. "My early experience in Alaska must also explain why I'm happiest in a snowy environment, surrounded by nature, and why winter is my favorite season of the year. Unlike most people who seek the sun during the 'gloomy' winter, I love to visit places with stormy weather or snow." "Animals That Hibernate and Unusual Friendships are both about nature," the author added, "and Cory Coleman, Grade 2 features a 'winter' sport—ice skating, something I've been doing almost since I started to walk."

Several of Brimner's books introduce young people to sports and provide guides for learning more about them. In BMX Freestyle he discusses motocross biking, including chapters on the history of the sport, safety tips, trick techniques, selecting equipment, and directions for building a ramp. Connie Tyrrell Burns, a reviewer for School Library Journal, described the book as "well done." Karate provides descriptions of various martial-arts styles and moves and discusses their development. A reviewer for Booklist decided that readers interested in the martial arts "will be well served by Brimner's introduction." In Footbagging, yet another sports book, Part of the "Rookie Reader" series, Cats features engaging illustrations by Tom Payne that depict all manner of kitty hijinks. (Text copyright © 2000 by Larry Dane Brimner. Illustrations copyright © by Tom Payne. Reproduced by permission of Children's Press.)Brimner explains the background, benefits, and how-tos of footbagging, or hacky-sack, a sport involving the kicking of a small ball or "bag." According to Young Adults/Children's Reviews, Brimner's instructions are "clear and encouraging." Another sports-related title, Snowboarding, follows the format of Brimner's other sports books: beginners are provided with information ranging from equipment to basic moves. Ann G. Brouse, writing for School Library Journal, concluded that "the clarity and thoroughness of this introduction is sure to satisfy the merely curious and serious snowboarding beginners." All of Brimner's sport books are enhanced by bibliographies and/or addresses of sport organizations and associations.

Country Bear's Good Neighbor, Brimner's first work of fiction for children, was described by a Publishers Weekly contributor as "a sweet debut." In this story, Country Bear borrows ingredient after ingredient from his neighbor in order to bake a cake. Just when his neighbor, a little girl, decides that Bear has borrowed enough, he brings the baked cake to her house to share. Brimner includes the recipe for "Country Bear's Good Neighbor Cake." According to Anna Biagioni Hart, writing for School Library Journal, the "unpretentious and kind" book will be enjoyed by preschoolers and kindergartners. In another "Country Bear" book, Country Bear's Surprise, Country Bear fears that the little girl and her friends have forgotten his birthday and are interested only in the private club they have created. Just as Country Bear decides to run away, the little girl surprises him with a birthday party. A recipe for surprise cookies is included with this story, which Kay Weisman, writing for Booklist, called a "charmer." Max and Felix is also targeted at a young audience. In this work, two frogs capture their comic experiences—ranging from fishing to telling spooky stores—with a camera. According to Marge Loch-Wouters in School Library Journal, children will "enjoy spending time" with these frogs.

Brimner is also the author of books for older children. In Cory Coleman, Grade 2 he tells the story of a boy who invites his class to the ice-skating rink for his birthday party. Although he does not want to invite a boy named Delphinius, who he calls "Dumbphinius," his mother insists that the entire class attend the party. Delphinius does come to the party and attempts to spoil it by knocking children down. Although Cory manages to humiliate Delphinius, the two ultimately become friends. Laura Culberg, reviewing the book for School Library Journal, wrote that the novel's resolution is "predictable" yet "believable."

Animals That Hibernate reflects Brimner's enthusiasm for natural subjects. The author illuminates the behavior of animals that sleep (lightly or deeply) through the winter as they store food, prepare a den, and, finally, go to sleep. Although the majority of the book is devoted to mammals, animals included in this examination range from woodchucks to birds and cold-blooded critters. Diane Nunn, a reviewer for School Library Journal, explained that "an uncluttered format with frequent subheadings make the information accessible" and that a bibliography, glossary, and index are helpful auxiliaries to the text.

Children are given a humorous story about a young boy's attempt to run away from home in Brimner's Elliot Fry's Good-Bye, which Booklist contributor Annie Ayres called "a story that most young children will identify with and find reassuring." Throughout the day Elliott is scolded for the things he does: his mother reprimands him for tracking mud into the house, his father tells him he is being too loud, and his sister tattles to his parents when he jumps on the bed. Elliot's tolerance is truly tested when he is informed he will be sharing his room with visiting Uncle Abe. When Elliot replies, "I'm leaving!," he is surprised when his parents begin offering tools to assist in his departure, including snacks and a suitcase. Elliot leaves and makes a short trip around the block, but later decides to return home to his clever parents.

Brimner brings a comforting voice to young readers dealing with sibling rivalry in The Littlest Wolf. Little Wolf does not measure up to his older brothers and sisters: he does not run as fast as his siblings, he does not roll in a straight line as they do, and he is no match when it comes to his pouncing abilities. Finally, Little Wolf is set at ease by his father, who reminds the young pup of his uniqueness. Deborah Stevens, writing in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, noted that Brimner's "text is reassuring and enjoyably humorous," while a Publishers Weekly critic commended the book for its ability to "give fledgling young ones a boost of confidence."

Moving to nonfiction for older readers, in Letters to Our Children: Lesbian and Gay Adults Speak to the New Generation Brimner compiles a collection of essays and letters that offer advice and support for gay and lesbian youth. The essays were written by a range of writers; one was penned by an openly gay politician, while another was written by the archbishop of the Ecumenical Catholic Church. Additional contributions came from attorneys, college professors, school teachers, and professional writers. Brimner's common theme is to support teens struggling with their identity as homosexuals, and the book is meant to encourage young adults to love themselves regardless of their sexual orientation. Debbie Carton reviewed the title for Booklist and noted that the work is a "warm and supportive collection" that offers a compassionate voice from gay and lesbian adults.

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Brimner, Larry Dane, Elliot Fry's Good-Bye, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1994.

Brimner, Larry Dane, A Migrant Family, Lerner Publishing (Minneapolis, MN), 1992.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 15, 1988, review of Karate, pp. 1605-1606; February 15, 1991, Kay Weisman, review of Country Bear's Surprise, pp. 1199-1201; March 1, 1994, Annie Ayres, review of Elliot Fry's Good-Bye, p. 1267; September 15, 1997, Debbie Carton, review of Letters to Our Children: Lesbian and Gay Adults Speak to a New Generation, p. 218.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July-August, 2002, Deborah Stevenson, review of The Littlest Wolf, p. 395.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 1988, review of Footbagging, pp. 120-121.

New York Times Book Review, January 17, 1993, Henry Mayer, review of A Migrant Family.

Publishers Weekly, May 13, 1988, review of Country Bear's Good Neighbor, p. 272; December 6, 1993, review of Elliot Fry's Good-Bye, p. 73; March 11, 2002, review of The Littlest Wolf, p. 71.

School Library Journal, September, 1987, Connie Tyrell, review of BMX Freestyle, p. 186; December, 1989, Anne G. Brouse, review of Snowboarding, p. 106; November, 1990, Laura Culberg, review of Cory Coleman, Grade 2; October, 1988, Anna Biagioni Hart, review of Country Bear's Good Neighbor, p. 115; March, 1993, Marge Lock-Wouters, review of Max and Felix, p. 171; July, 1991, Diane Nunne, review of Animals That Hibernate, p. 77.

ONLINE

Boyds Mills Press Web site, http://www.boydsmillspress.com/ (April 10, 2006), "Larry Dane Brimner."

Children's Author Fest Web site, http://www.authorfest.org/ (April 10, 2006), "Larry Dane Brimner."

Larry Dane Brimner Home Page, http://www.brimner.com (April 10, 2006).

[back] Andrew F. Brimmer Biography - Excelled in School, Respected for His Economic Expertise, Selected writings

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or