Laurie Keller

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Laurie Keller
Keller reading at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, 2014
Keller reading at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, 2014
OccupationIllustrator, writer
Alma materKendall College of Art and Design
GenreChildren's non-fiction, picture books
Website
lauriekeller.com

Laurie Keller is an American children's writer and illustrator. She has written and illustrated books for Henry Holt & Co. Books for Young Readers, and produced illustrations for others.

Life[edit]

Keller grew up in Muskegon, Michigan. After graduating high school, she took education classes at a local community college and studied dance until a friend brought her to see a show at the Kendall College of Art and Design, which re-sparked her interest, causing her to enroll and receive a degree from the college in illustration.

Following graduation, Keller worked for seven years for Hallmark Cards as a greeting card artist. While there, she was allowed to design entire cards, which caused her to consider writing and illustrating books. Starting in 1997, she made illustrations for Nickelodeon, and later in 1998, she directed 6 network ID's for the channel with Pitch Productions, using pipe-cleaners and cel animation.

Keller has written and illustrated six books for Henry Holt Books for Young Readers: The Scrambled States of America, an American geography book; Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, a dental book about tooth care; Arnie the Doughnut, about an anthropomorphic doughnut; Grandpa Gazillion's Number Yard, a number book, Do Unto Otters, a book about manners; and The Scrambled States of America Talent Show, the follow-up to her 1998 debut.

Books[edit]

As writer and illustrator[edit]

The Scrambled States of America[edit]

The Scrambled States of America
AuthorLaurie Keller
CountryUnited States
SubjectGeography
GenreFiction
Publication date
1998
Media typeHardback
Pages32
ISBN0-8050-5802-8
OCLC38150163
[E] 21
LC ClassPZ7.K281346 Sc 1998

Keller's first book was released by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in 1998, and tells the story about the 50 states of America becoming bored and organizing a party, where the states meet each other, hit it off, and decide to trade places.

Publishers Weekly gave the book a positive review, noting that "[i]t's hard to imagine a more engaging (or comical) way to learn the 50 states and their locations."[1]

  • A tie-in card game of the same name was published in 2002 by Gamewright.[2] It is a two to four-player game geared toward players 8 years old and up.
  • In 2008, Keller followed up with a companion book, The Scrambled States of America Talent Show. New York comes up with the idea of having all the states participate in a talent show. The states eagerly agree and prepare for their acts. However, Georgia has stage fright and is worried how her performance will go. Kirkus Reviews believed "this exuberant geographical jamboree will definitely leave readers in a state."[3] The book was a Junior Library Guild selection.[4]

Open Wide: Tooth School Inside[edit]

Open Wide: Tooth School Inside
AuthorLaurie Keller
CountryUnited States
SubjectBiology
GenreFiction
PublisherHenry Holt Books for Young Readers
Publication date
2000
Media typeHardback
Pages40
ISBN0-8050-6192-4
OCLC41256282
617.6 21
LC ClassRK63 .K44 2000

Open Wide: Tooth School Inside was Keller's second book and was released by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in 2000. It tells the story of a day in a tooth school, with all 32 tooth students present. The book reviews the biology of teeth, tooth care, and teeth in history.

Arnie the Doughnut[edit]

Arnie the Doughnut
AuthorLaurie Keller
CountryUnited States
GenreFiction
PublisherHenry Holt Books for Young Readers
Publication date
2003
Media typeHardback
Pages40
ISBN0-8050-6283-1
OCLC49525694
[E] 21
LC ClassPZ7.K281346 Ar 2003

Arnie the Doughnut was Keller's third book. Released in 2003 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, it is the story of a doughnut named Arnie, who changes his fate after being purchased by Mr. Bing.

The story was also released on DVD, narrated by Michael McKean.[5]

Other Arnie the Doughnut books include:

  • Bowling Alley Bandit (2013). This book has received numerous positive reviews including – "yummy chapter-book series opener."[6] "Keller shrewdly targets hesitant readers with an abundance of goofy comedy"[7] " I would recommend this book to kids or adults that prefer silly books. It's very funny and made me laugh every page."[8] "This book, with comic type illustrations, will entertain children who enjoy humor, puns, and silliness."[9] It is also a 2016 Nutmeg Book Award Elementary Nominee[10] and appears on many school and library reading lists.[11][12][13]
  • Invasion of the Ufonuts (2014)
  • The Spinny Icky Showdown (2015)
  • Hello, Arnie! (2020)

Grandpa Gazillion's Number Yard[edit]

Grandpa Gazillion's Number Yard
AuthorLaurie Keller
CountryUnited States
SubjectMathematics, Numbers
GenreFiction
PublisherHenry Holt Books for Young Readers
Publication date
2005
Media typeHardback
Pages32
ISBN0-8050-6282-3
OCLC56755961
[E] 22
LC ClassPZ8.3.K294 Gr 2005

Grandpa Gazillion's Number Yard is the fourth children's book by Keller. Released in 2005 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, it tells, in rhyme, about the numbers 1 through 20 using the character of Grandpa Gazillion, who runs a junkyard full of numbers.

Do Unto Otters: A Book about Manners[edit]

Do Unto Otters
AuthorLaurie Keller
CountryUnited States
SubjectManners
PublisherHenry Holt Books for Young Readers
Publication date
2007
Media typeHardback
Pages40
ISBN0-8050-7996-3
OCLC76133475
[E] 22
LC ClassPZ7.K281346 Do 2007

Do Unto Otters: A Book about Manners was released in 2007 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. Keller brings the "Golden Rule" to life in the form of Mr. Rabbit and his new neighbors, the Otters, who show kids that a simple "please" or "thank you" goes a long way in making friends, while animating every page with their well-behaved hijinks.

This book was a Junior Library Guild selection.[14]

Weston Woods distributes a fully animated version of this book on DVD under the same name.[15]

Kirkus Reviews stated "While kids may well have encountered the Golden Rule elsewhere, this explanation and elaboration nicely unifies what might otherwise seem like a dreary list of manners. This lively book is anything but."[16]

Birdy's Smile Book (2010)[edit]

Kirkus Reviews found that "The collaged illustrations are bold and textured and occupy white space in Keller's characteristically exuberant style." but "The narrative voice and illustrative feel ... are at odds with much of the content, which requires the sense of humor and irony of an older child. Whether they will embrace the presentation and Birdy's exhaustive salute remains open to question."[17]

Potato Pants! (2018)[edit]

Potato Pants! was Keller's seventh book and was released by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in 2018. It tells the story of A potato and his eggplant nemesis struggle to find the perfect pants in this hilarious, heartwarming tale of forgiveness.

As illustrator only[edit]

  • Marty Frye, Private Eye (Janet Tashjian) – Scholastic Press – 2000
  • Toys!: Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions (Don Wullfson) – 2000
  • Stinky Thinking: The Big Book of Gross Games and Brain Teasers (Alan Katz) – Simon & Schuster, Inc. – 2005
  • Fooled You!: Fakes and Hoaxes Through the Years (Elaine Pascoe) – Henry Holt and Co. – 2005
  • Me and My Animal Friends
  • Pluto Gets The Call (Adam Rex) – 2019
  • I Am The Shark (Joan Holub) – 2021

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Scrambled States of America". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  2. ^ "The Scrambled States of America™ Game". gamewright.com. Gamewright. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  3. ^ "The Scrambled States of America". kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. May 20, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  4. ^ "The scrambled states of America talent show". willistonndlibrary.org. Williston Community Library. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  5. ^ "Arnie the Doughnut (2005)". IMDb. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  6. ^ "Bowling Alley Bandit". kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. March 17, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  7. ^ "Bowling Alley Bandit". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz LLC. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  8. ^ "Review of Bowling Alley Bandit". darienlibrary.org. Darien Library. June 25, 2013. Archived from the original on June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  9. ^ "Read May 2014". ci.broomfield.co.us. Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  10. ^ "2016 Nutmeg Book Award Elementary Nominees" (PDF). nutmegaward.org. Nutmeg Book Awards. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  11. ^ "GRADES K-3 Summer 2015 Reading List" (PDF). bellschoollibrary.weebly.com. Marblehead School Elementary. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  12. ^ "2014 Summer Reading List Rising Sixth Grade" (PDF). ccs.k12.va.us. Charlottesville City Schools. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "Reading is Fun!! 4th grade Summer Reading Suggestions Berkeley School Libraries, 2014" (PDF). berkeleyschools.net. BUSD Library Services. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  14. ^ "New Books – December, 2009 New books for the week of December 7, 2009 Juvenile Collection". sils.unc.edu. University of North Carolina. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  15. ^ "Do Unto Otters (2008)". IMDb. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  16. ^ "Do Unto Otters A Book of Manners". kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. May 20, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  17. ^ "Birdy's Smile Book". kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. July 15, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2015.

External links[edit]