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Famous children's book team visits WMU library

Oct. 20, 2005

KALAMAZOO--A husband and wife who have combined their talents to create award-winning children's books will visit the Western Michigan University campus in early November.

Sarah Stewart and David Small will talk about their collaboration in a presentation from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, in Waldo Library. Their talk is titled "Two Points of View: A Talk About Coming Together--But Not Really--on Their Books" and will take place in the Meader Rare Book Room on the library's third floor.

When working together, Stewart writes the text and Small does the illustrations. Their books include "The Friend," "The Gardener," "The Journey," "The Money Tree" and "The Library." "The Gardener" received the Caldecott Honor Award in 1998. Small's book "So You Want to Be President" was named a Caldecott Medal Book in 2001, while his book "Imogene's Antlers" has sold more than a million copies and been translated into Italian and French.

Small was born in Detroit, and his artistic gifts were apparent at an early age. He took art lessons at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where he was influenced by the murals of Diego Rivera. A serious childhood illness kept him bedridden and alone and sowed the seeds for future themes in his books.

Stewart grew up in Texas and developed an early love for quiet, orderly places. The former Latin and philosophy student loved libraries and her grandmother's garden as a child, two loves that have carried over into the children's books she's written with her husband. Over the years, she's worked as a teacher, speechwriter, children's book reviewer, copyeditor, poet and ombudsman.

Stewart and Small live in a historic home in Michigan on the St. Joseph River. Their presentation is sponsored by Friends of the Western Michigan University Libraries. A book signing and reception will follow.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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