Certainly the most popular of all American writers and illustrators of picture books, Geisel made his pseudonym Dr. Seuss famous to several generations of children and their parents. Geisel developed a rhythmic form of poetry that relied on quick rhymes and wordplay reminiscent of Mother Goose rhymes. He combined this with exaggerated cartoonlike illustrations of fantasy characters to entice children into stories that contained important messages, often presented with a great deal of irony and satire. Geisel always embraced the imagination of children and condemned adults' inability to join into it, using the child's view to reveal the flaws in society. His first picture book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937), describes a child's adding more and more imaginative elements to the story that he plans to tell about what he saw on the way home, only to end with the child actually telling the truth: he saw only a very uninteresting horse and cart. The Cat in the Hat (1957), written as a beginning reader, portrays two children having a magical afternoon with a strange cat while their mother is away, complete with a frantic cleanup before their mother can find out what they have done. This is probably his most famous work. Geisel's later books took on social questions more directly. The Butter-Battle Book (1984) condemned the cold war, and it is often removed from children's sections of libraries for political reasons. Likewise, The Lorax (1971), which condemned the destruction of the ecology, has also been banned. Altogether, Geisel wrote and illustrated 47 books, which have sold more than 100 million copies in 18 languages. In 1984 he received a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to children's literature. More than a dozen of his books are still in print.
Lane Smith is a writer and an illustrator. Lane's titles with Jon Scieszka have included the Caldecott Honor winner The Stinky Cheese Man; The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs; Math Curse; and Science Verse. He wrote and illustrated Madam President and John, Paul, George & Ben which were both New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. Lane's other high profile titles include Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! by Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky; The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders; Big Plans by Bob Shea; and James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. He also served as Conceptual Designer on the Disney film version of James and the Giant Peach. Lane also wrote and illustrated The Happy Hocky Family and The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country.
Jack Prelutsky, born in 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, is primarily known as a poet for children but he is also a gifted musician, actor, photographer, sculptor and potter. He proposed to his future wife, Carolynn, on the day they met; she accepted the next day. Prelutsky studied voice and first planned to be an opera singer. However, he decided he did not have the drive to sing opera, and he became a folk singer. Later he tried his hand at drawing. For fun, he wrote some short poems and made some drawings, which became his first publication. He has since published numerous books of illustrated poetry and also provided illustrations for books by other writers, including many in translation. Prelutsky never condescends to his young readers. He deals in verse with many imaginative creatures, but he also writes about people and problems such bullies, school, and fear of the dark. He is aware of the sound of his words and likes to perform his poetry to the accompaniment of the guitar. He visits schools and libraries to perform his work. Jack Prelutsky is the recipient of numerous awards. In 1977 The Children's Book Council honored him for Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep. His other award-winners are The Mean Old Mean Hyena, The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight, and The New Kid on the Block.