2 minute read

June Sobel (1950-) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

Born 1950, in Queens, NY; Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Skidmore College, B.S., 1972; Stanford University, M.F.A., 1976. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish.

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Harcourt, 525 B St., Ste. 1900, San Diego, CA 92101.

Stanford University, Stanford, CA, teaching assistant in painting and drawing, 1975-76; California State University, Northridge, CA, instructor in basic design, 1979; freelance illustrator, 1979-94; children's author, 1998—.

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Children's Literature Council of Southern California.

Graduate fellowship, Stanford University, 1975-76; National Endowment for the Arts grant, 1977; New York Society of Illustrators Award, 1980.

B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC, illustrated by Melissa Iwai, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2003.

Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate's ABC, for Harcourt (San Diego, CA).

June Sobel's first picture book, B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC, tells the story of the building of a new amusement park one letter at a time, in rhyming couplets, from the point of view of two children who peer through the fence around the construction site. The children, and the other town residents who sometimes join them, watch expectantly as the seasons pass and the multi-ethnic, male and female construction crew progresses in their work, from bringing in the "Asphalt" to pave the park's roads through taking down the "Scaffolding" as the park nears completion. "Sobel has missed none of the details a young aficionado would revel in, from huge loaders to nails to pipes," noted a Kirkus Reviews contributor. Finally, the watchers get to experience the "Z-O-O-M" of riding the new roller coaster for the first time. "This is a well-thought-out story that allows children to follow the progression of events," Marlene Gawron commented in School Library Journal.

Sobel told SATA: "Although I didn't know it at the time, my writing career began when my eighteen-month-old son, Adam, mysteriously said 'big trucks' from the back seat of the car. In his sleep, he would yell out, 'A bulldozer has no wheels.' I spent countless mornings parked on the side of construction sites as my two year old excitedly identified tractor scrapers, excavators, and backhoes. I read him every picture book published on the topic of construction. There was one book I couldn't find: an ABC book about building that also told a story. I decided to write that book—BIsfor Bulldozer."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Sobel, June, B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC, illustrated by Melissa Iwai, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2003.


Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2003, review of B Is for Bulldozer, p. 757.

Publishers Weekly, April 21, 2003, review of BIsforBulldozer, p. 60.

School Library Journal, July, 2003, Marlene Gawron, review of B Is for Bulldozer, p. 106.

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Nate Smith Biography - Fought His Way into the Union to Theodosius II Biography