Jennifer A. Ericsson (1957–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights
Born 1957; chilren: Annie Beth. Education: University of Rhode Island, B.S. (human development, conseling, and family relations), 1979. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, taking long walks, watching movies, building gingerbread houses, creating stained glass pieces, traveling.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Adams Media Corporation, 57 Littlefield St., Avon, MA 02322.
Freelance children's writer. Baker Free Library, Bow, NH, children's librarian.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (New England chapter), New Hampshire Writers' Project.
Children's Choice Award, International Reading Association/Children's Book Council, 1993, for No Milk!; American Booksellers Association Pick of the List, 1996, for The Most Beautiful Kid in the World; Elizabeth Yates Award.
No Milk!, illustrated by Ora Eitan, Tambourine Books (New York, NY), 1993.
The Most Beautiful Kid in the World, illustrated by Susan Meddaugh, Tambourine Books (New York, NY), 1996.
Gingerbread Houses for Kids, illustrated by Beth L. Blair, White Birch (Concord, NH), 1998.
(With Beth L. Blair) The Everything Kids' Puzzle Book: Mazes, Word Games, Puzzles & More! Hours of Fun!, Adams (Avon, MA), 2000.
She Did It!, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2002.
(With Beth L. Blair) The Everything Kids' Halloween Puzzle & Activity Book: Hours of Spine-Tingling Fun!, Adams (Avon, MA), 2003.
(With Beth L. Blair) The Everything Kids' Christmas Puzzle & Activity Book: Hours of Holiday Fun! Adams (Avon, MA), 2003.
Out and about at the Bakery, illustrated by Anne McMullan, Picture Window Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.
Home to Me, Home to You, illustrated by Ashley Wolff, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2005.
(With Beth L. Blair) The Everything Kids' Gross Puzzle & Activity Book: Hours of Disgusting Fun!, Adams (Avon, MA), 2005.
(With Beth L. Blair) The Everything Kids' Crazy Puzzle Book: Wild and Wacky Puzzles to Mix up the Fun!, Adams (Avon, MA), 2005.
(With Beth L. Blair) The Everything Kids' Pirates Puzzle & Activity Book: Set Sail into a Treasure Trove of Fun!, Adams (Avon, MA), 2006.
Entrepreneur Magazine's Pocket Guides: How to Sell Collectibles on eBay, Entrepreneur Press (Irvine, CA), 2006.
I Take a Piece of Chalk, illustrated by Michelle Shapiro, Roaring Brook (New Milford, CT), 2007.
Children's librarian Jennifer A. Ericsson is the author of several picture books as well as coauthor of a number of puzzle and activity books for young readers with collaborator Beth L. Blair. Covering such topics as a city boy learning how to milk a cow, sibling rivalry, and a child missing her mother while the woman is away on business, Ericsson's picture books often use humor to explore realistic situations. When not writing children's books, Ericsson often visits schools and offers workshops on picture book writing. She makes her home in Concord, New Hampshire.
In her debut, No Milk!, Ericsson tells the story of a young boy who tries everything he can think of to get a cow to produce milk, from saying "please" to throwing a temper tantrum. "Ericsson comically delivers a refreshingly different message …: it's finding how that does the trick," wrote a Publishers Weekly critic. Michele Landsberg, writing in Entertainment Weekly, called the book "amusing," and other critics and readers agreed; No Milk! was chosen for the Children's Choice Award by the International Reading Association and the Children's Book Council.
In The Most Beautiful Kid in the World young Annie wants to choose a better outfit to celebrate her grandmother's birthday than the one her mother chooses for her. As Mom prepares for the party, Annie pulls out a more festive assortment of clothing, topping off her new look with an improvised make-up made of peanut butter. When she makes her entrance at the party her new look is a hit; as it turns out, Grandmother has a similar fashion sense. "Ericsson has a canny appreciation of the girl's wish to look genuinely stunning (and to stay out of her mother's line of vision)," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor. According to Ilene Cooper in Booklist, "children will appreciate both Annie's determination to do things her way and her exuberance while doing them."
Four sisters each blame the others for everything that goes wrong in their house in She Did It! When their mother reaches the end of her tolerance and sends them to their room, the siblings team up and cooperate to clean up the house. Calling the book "fast-paced and witty," a Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that Ericsson's rhyming text keeps the tale "bustling along right up to its satisfying conclusion." Hazel Rochman, writing in Booklist, added that "the rhyme, with noisy words that sound like their meaning, is great for reading out loud." According to School Library Journal critic Gay Lynn Van Vleck, "Even children without siblings will grow fond of this mischievous but loving family."
Ericsson covers the topic of parents who must travel on business in her picture book Home to Me, Home to You. Here each two-page spread features a mother and child going through their day as the mother travels home from a business trip. Parallels, such as the mother napping on an airplane while her child naps at home, help to show how both characters are thinking about each other, despite the distance. A Kirkus Reviews contributor considered Home to Me, Home to You a "compassionate story." According to Martha Topol in School Library Journal, "this title will provide comfort to readers who are faced with separation from a parent," while Booklist critic Julie Cummins dubbed the story "a realistic snapshot of a now-common family situation."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, March 1, 1993, Julie Corsaro, review of No Milk!, p. 1234; September 15, 1996, Ilene Cooper, review of The Most Beautiful Kid in the World, p. 246; February 15, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of She Did It!, p. 1019; September 1, 2005, Julie Cummings, review of Home to Me, Home to You, p. 144.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1996, review of The Most Beautiful Kid in the World, p. 57.
Children's Bookwatch, October, 2005, reveiw of Home to Me, Home to You.
Entertainment Weekly, June 18, 1993, Michele Landsberg, review of No Milk!, p. 70.
Horn Book, September-October, 1993, Lolly Robinson, review of No Milk!, p. 583.
Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2002, review of She Did It!, p. 104; July 1, 2005, review of Home to Me, Home to You, p. 734.
Reading Teacher, October, 1994, review of No Milk!, p. 153.
Publishers Weekly, February 8, 1993, review of No Milk!, p. 85; June 24, 1996, review of The Most Beautiful Kid in the World, p. 59; June 1, 1998, review of No Milk!, p. 65; May 22, 2000, review of The Everything Kids' Puzzle Book: Mazes, Word Games, Puzzles & More! Hours of Fun!, p. 95; January 14, 2002, review of She Did It!, p. 59
School Library Journal, June, 1993, Elizabeth Hanson, review of No Milk!, p. 74; October, 1996, Virginia Opocensky, review of The Most Beautiful Kid in the World, p. 92; March, 2002, Gay Lynn Van Vleck, review of She Did It!, p. 176; August, 2005, Martha Topol, review of Home to Me, Home to You, p. 94.
Teacher Librarian, February, 2003, review of She Did It!, p. 42.