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Nancy Patz (Blaustein) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

review hat woman wore

Born in Baltimore, MD. Education: Attended Goucher College; Stanford University, graduated.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Dutton Publicity, 345 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.

Career

Children's book author, illustrator, and educator. Lecturer on children's literature; instructor in writing and illustrating children's books at Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies, Park School, Goucher College Center for Educational Resources, Frostburg State Literature Conference, and Children's Book Guild of Washington, DC; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, resident scholar. Exhibitions: Baltimore Museum of Art.

Nancy Patz

Honors Awards

Parents' Choice awards, for Moses Supposes His Toeses Are Roses and Seven Other Silly Old Rhymes, Sarah Bear and Sweet Sidney, and To Annabella Pelican from Thomas Hippopotamus; notable book citation, National Council for the Social Studies/Children's Book Council, 1989, for Sarah Bear and Sweet Sidney; Gold Star Award, Fund for Educational Excellence, 1991; Sydney Taylor Award in older readers category, 2003, for Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat?

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Pumpernickel Tickle and Mean Green Cheese, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1978, reprinted, SunSource, 2000.

Nobody Knows I Have Delicate Toes, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1980.

Moses Supposes His Toeses Are Roses and Seven Other Silly Old Rhymes, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1983.

Gina Farina and the Prince of Mintz, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1986.

Sarah Bear and Sweet Sidney, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1989.

No Thumpin', No Bumpin', No Rumpus Tonight!, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1990.

To Annabella Pelican from Thomas Hippopotamus, Four Winds Press (New York, NY), 1991.

Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat?, Dutton (New York, NY), 2003.

OTHER

(Illustrator) Malka Drucker, The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1994.

Sidelights

Nancy Patz began her career as a writer of self-illustrated children's books in 1978 with the quirkily titled Pumpernickel Tickle and Mean Green Cheese. Most of her books have been similarly light-hearted fare. Nobody Knows I Have Delicate Toes is about an elephant with sensitive extremities, a big yellow hat, and a goofy smile. Moses Supposes His Toeses Are Roses and Seven Other Silly Old Rhymes finds Patz combining classic bits of doggerel with old-fashioned illustrations featuring characters wearing colonial-era costumes and framed by borders done in the style of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art. Patz's Gina Farina and the Prince of Mintz is a fairy tale about a strong-willed young woman who is known for baking mouthwatering pies and the prince who wants to possess her.

Patz's No Thumpin', No Bumpin', No Rumpus Tonight! focuses on a boy, the boy's friend Elephant, and an early morning rumpus. It is Benjamin's mother's birthday, and young Benjamin wants to make her breakfast in bed. Elephant contributes by making a concoction of cheese, mustard, peas, rice, and pickle juice. Then he spills some oranges, which, as he and Benjamin toss them about, soon become orange juice. Of course, all of this clattering wakes up Benjamin's mother, and the two noisy cooks must hurriedly clean up the kitchen before she sees the mess. "A capricious rhyme enhances Patz's lively story," Diane Roback wrote of No Thumpin', No Bumpin', No Rumpus Tonight! in Publishers Weekly.

Perhaps Patz's most notable work is the award-winning Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat? More serious in theme than much of the author's writing, this book-length poem was inspired by Patz's visit to the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands. When she came upon a woman's hat sitting, unlabeled, inside a glass display case, Patz began wondering about the person who once wore the hat. "Except for the winds of chance," she wrote in her author's note, "I might have been that woman." Patz explores the possibilities surrounding the hat owner's identity in a text that Karin Snelson described in Booklist as "an accessible prose poem."

Patz begins her work by posing questions about the unknown hat-wearer's personality: "Did she put cream in her coffee?" "When the woman put on her hat, did she tip the brim just slightly?" As the poem progresses, the questions turn more to history, wondering if the woman wore the hat the day the Jews of Amsterdam were rounded up and taken away to concentration camps. To illustrate the book, Patz began by sketching the hat, then created more sketches with pencils and watercolors and combined them with historical photographs to create "poignant images," as a reviewer described them in Childhood Education. Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat? serves as "a fine picture book to spark discussion among older readers," noted a Kirkus Reviews critic, because it both humanizes one Jewish victim of the Nazis and emphasizes "the randomness of being singled out for death in a catastrophe such as the Holocaust."

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Patz, Nancy, Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat?, Dutton (New York, NY), 2003.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2003, Karin Snelson, review of Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat?, p. 1070.

Childhood Education, winter, 2003, review of Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat?, p. 93.

Horn Book, March-April, 1995, Amy Kellman, review of The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays, p. 204.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2003, review of Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat?, p. 314.

New York Times Book Review, November 20, 1994, review of The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays, p. 30.

Publishers Weekly, April 18, 1980, review of Nobody Knows I Have Delicate Toes, p. 90; May 20, 1983, review of Moses Supposes His Toeses Are Roses, p. 236; January 12, 1990, Diane Roback, review of No Thumpin', No Bumpin', No Rumpus Tonight!, p. 60; October 10, 1994, review of The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays, p. 69; July 26, 1999, review of The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays, p. 84.

School Library Journal, August, 1980, Deborah Daniels, review of Nobody Knows I Have Delicate Toes, p. 55; September, 1986, Karen K. Radtke, review of Gina Farina and the Prince of Mintz, p. 126; September, 1989, Joanna G. Jones, review of Sarah Bear and Sweet Sidney, p. 231; April, 1990, Reva Pitch Margolis, review of No Thumpin', No Bumpin', No Rumpus Tonight!, p. 94; February, 1992, Lauralyn Persson, review of To Annabella Pelican from Thomas Hippopotamus, p. 76; November, 1994, Sharon Grover, review of The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays, p. 96; August, 1997, Mary-Ellen Raup, review of Gina Farina and the Prince of Mintz, p. 63; March, 2003, Leslie Barban, review of Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat?, p. 206.

Skipping Stones, November, 1999, review of The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays, p. 32.

ONLINE

Children's Book Guild of Washington D.C. Web site, http://www.childrensbookguild.org/ (June 1, 2004), "Nancy Patz."*

Ann Whitford Paul (1941–) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights [next] [back] Edith Pattou Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

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