Author by Helen Lester
A True Story

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Synopsis

So begins the story of Helen Lester, author of Tacky the Penguin and many other popular books for children. By sharing her struggles as a child and later as a successful author, she demonstrates that hurdles are part of the process. She even gives writing tips, such as keeping a "fizzle box." Helen Lester uses her unique ability to laugh at her mistakes to create both a guide for young writers and an amusing personal story of the disappointments and triumphs of a writer's life.
 

About Helen Lester

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Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger have been together through thick and thin since first publishing The Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken in 1983. They have collaborated on the hilarious Tacky the Penguin series and many other wildly funny and popular titles, including the award-winning Hooway for Wodney Wat. Helen Lester is a full-time writer who makes her home in Pawling, New York, and Lynn Munsinger is a full-time illustrator living in Massachusetts.
 
Published August 26, 2002 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 37 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Author

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After they dig a deep hole in their sandbox and fall through to the North Pole, Wild and Woolly begin their adventure-filled journey home.

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Though his subject matter may be sensational, Lester (Pharaoh's Daughter) penetrates the minds of two children left motherless by their father's murder of her, to spin a taut psychological mystery.

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Most of all, Dusty loves the Snow Pony, which she and her father found wild near their mountain property and brought back to their ranch, and which Dusty herself has trained (horse-story enthusiasts will thrill to the classic encounter in which the wild pony, having bucked the experienced adults,...

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It's Penelope's birthday, and decked out in a dress that has ""ruffles on its ruffles on its ruffles,"" the ultra-spoiled princess is naturally getting everything she wants, including mouthfuls of cake, a 16-wheeler bike and jewel-studded roller blades.

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Twitchly just may teach kids who tend to twitch a lesson about facing fears.

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""A is for salad,"" for instance, shows an alligator eating a bowl of greens, and Lester tosses in a throwaway line after every few letters (""H is for pizza...

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John Henry) transplants the action from Venice and Cyprus to Elizabethan England and turns Iago and Emily into Africans like Othello, so that the three of them share a distinctly non-European point of view.

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The team behind Hooway for Wodney Wat introduce another memorable character's struggles in Hurty Feelings by Helen Lester, illus.

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Tacky steals the show but not in the way he had hoped in Tackylocks and the Three Bears, the fifth title in the Tacky series by Helen Lester, illus.

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Readers follow Alice and her stuffed horse Aldo from the time they ""awake"" to ""breakfast in bed,"" until they ""visit the vegetables"" and--as bedtime approaches--""yawn in their yogurt"" and ""sleep all night long"" (the Zzzzzz emanates from a slumbering Alice).

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Indeed, Daly seems happier with the mantle of his Uncle Finnerty, who called himself the Wrong Racklin and sought ""an eighth deadly sin."" But when not drinking at one of his many haunts (where his cronies wax nostalgic for the time when ""Bing Crosby sang only for us on the haunted sidewalks of...

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Though the author treats readers to some lyrical passages, she never fully develops the relationships between Biddy and her horse, or Joycie and Joe, so that the dramatic scene when Biddy abandons Bella to the quicksand doesn't have much impact.

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This atmospheric picture book memorably evokes the long summer evenings of a bygone era, then broadens in scope to convey a boy's sudden courage and the warmth of friendship.

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Kenny Francis, a self-described ""screwup,"" has been packed off for one last chance to get his act together at the Texas prep school attended by his father, who distinguished himself on the school's football field before dying a hero's death in Vietnam, never to meet his son.

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Lester's (Tacky the Penguin) lighthearted look at how she came to write children's books will give aspiring authors of any age a lift--and encouragement to persevere, even in the face of learning disabilities (as a child) and multiple rejection slips (as a novice writer).

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PW said, " Lester's lighthearted look at how she came to write children's books will give aspiring authors of any age a lift and encouragement to persevere."

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