December Author of the Month

December Author of the Month

By using simplicity in words and pictures with a strong story and people from real life who live with hope and courage, Jeanette Winter weaves tales that people love to read. She is recognized for her ability to describe the real world, giving children heroes, artists, and hope. She is the illustrator as well as the author of her books.

Many of her stories and settings are in serious backgrounds: September Roses is a true story of hope that grows from September 11; Nanuk the Ice Bear tells a realistic, fictional adventure with the background of global warming; and Follow The Drinking Gourd tells of a brave, fictional family through the realities of the underground railroad and slavery.

In her many titles, she focuses on the hope and on the story of each tale, introducing young children to real characters. Luis, for example, travels with his Biblioburro, donkey library, through dangers in Columbia to bring the love of reading by giving books to children. The contexts of her stories invite older readers to search out more details if they want to, while the simple words and pictures of her books connect with younger readers.

In my family, we had a very wise and popular history teacher who once shared with me that he wished elementary teachers and parents would teach history to children through stories. Jeanette Winter has mastered the art of historical storytelling. She combines respect for art and artists, human courage, and the power of stories. Her books help children relate to some difficult topics of the real world with hope and sympathy.

She offers her books to give children real heroes and inspiration to try and to persevere. Her books are riveting “page-turners.” We hope you enjoy them, and that they also inspire the children you love to connect with them and the real world in positive ways.

by Patty Cassella, Learning Experience Specialist


About Henri's Scissors: In a small weaving town in France, a young boy named Henri-Emile Matisse drew pictures everywhere, and when he grew up, he moved to Paris and became a famous artist who created paintings that were adored around the world. But late in life a serious illness confined him to a wheelchair, and amazingly, it was from there that he created among his most beloved works—enormous and breathtaking paper cutouts.

Based on the life of Henri Matisse, this moving and inspirational picture book biography includes a note from the author, dynamic quotes from Matisse himself, and an illuminating look at a little-known part of a great artist’s creative process.


Jeanette Winter was born in 1939, in Chicago, IL; Education: Attended the Art Institute of Chicago; University of Iowa, B.F.A.

Discover other titles by Jeanette Winter:

(Reteller) The Girl and the Moon Man: A Siberian Tale, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1984.

Come Out to Play, Knopf (New York, NY), 1986.

(Reteller) The Magic Ring (based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm), Knopf (New York, NY), 1987.

Klara's New World, Knopf (New York, NY), 1992.

The Christmas Tree Ship, Philomel Books (New York, NY), 1994.

Cowboy Charlie: The Story of Charles M. Russell, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1995.

Josefina, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1996.

Sebastian: A Book about Bach, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1999.

The House that Jack Built, Dial (New York, NY), 2000.

My Baby, Frances Foster Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Emily Dickinson's Letters to the World, Frances Foster Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Niño's Mask, Dial (New York, NY), 2003.

Beatrix: Various Episodes from the Life of Beatrix Potter, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (New York, NY), 2003.

Elsina's Clouds, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (New York, NY), 2004.

September Roses, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (New York, NY), 2004.

Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2004.

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