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Little Ohby Laura Krauss Melmed
Synopses & Reviews
Illustrated with exquisite paintings, this original fairy tale about an origami girl who comes to life is a tender and exciting adventure. From her wild river ride aboard a teacup boat to her escape from an angry dog to her flight home on the neck of a crane to her transformation into a real little girl, Little Oh is sure to capture your heart.
2000-2001 Georgia's Picture Storybook Award & Georgia's Children's Book Award Masterlist
About the Author
Laura Krauss Melmed grew up in New York City, where the library was one of her favorite places. I was always staggering home with giant armloads of books, she says, and I must have read every fairytale book there was. The red one, the blue one, the green one all of them.
Laura s first book, The Rainbabies, with illustrations by Jim LaMarche, was published to critical acclaim in 1992. Her second book, The First Song Ever Sung, with illustrations by Ed Young, was published in 1993. I Love You As Much , with illustrations by Henri Sorensen, is her third book. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and their three children.
In Her Own Words...
"When I was growing up, my parents and I lived at the Thomas Edison Apartments in New York City along with ninety-nine other families. It was a hodgepodge of backgrounds and religions. Everyone knew everyone, and folks often left their front doors unlocked. Plenty of kids on all six floors kept an only child like me from feeling lonely.
"Our building had secret spaces and play places from top to bottom. The basement was a dusky den of mystery, where washing machines shimmied like belly dancers, and a monster boiler crouched behind a soot-covered window at the end of a cobwebby ramp. On summer days the roof became our beach or a theater where we performed plays I wrote and directed (starring me and my best friend, of course). Our tree-shaded neighborhood had a big playground and a store that sold magic tricks. To this day I thrive on the energy of cities.
"But then, I longed to visit far-off worlds of excitement. Since we didn't own a car, I figured out how to do this while tucked into bed or curled up in an armchair. Books, I found, could take me anywhere. It started with the beautiful picture books my mother borrowed for me from the public library. (I soon knew Madeline and A Child's Garden of Verses by heart.) Then, though my parents were of modest means, they let me collect dozens of Little Golden Books by such writers and artists as Margaret Wise Brown, Garth Williams, and Ruth Krauss.
"After learning to read I discovered fairy tales, especially Hans Christian Andersen's, and the Rainbow Fairy Books of Andrew Lang. I lost myself in tangled forests filled with elves and trolls, loyal sisters, and fools who were wiser than kings, though not as clever as talking cats. Folktales, fairy tales, and myths still fascinate me.
"My tastes broadened, and I lugged home stacks of library books, trading sore arms for the magic between shiny covers. I wrote, too--plays, poems, and stories with pictures. I told my friends horror tales after Edgar Allan Poe that made our hair stand up. Yet I had no clue I could become an author. Obviously, real people wrote the books I devoured. But I was concerned with the stories, not with the people who wrote them. When I did think about authors, it was with complete awe. Then, too, how could writing be a job like the one my tired father returned from each evening?
"Two degrees (including a master's in early childhood education) and two careers later, things changed. A poem I wrote to answer my son's question became my picture book The First Song Ever Sung. I wrote The Rainbabies and others. Like my father's job writing is hard work. But it is also great fun. I want each of my stories to seem as timeless as the folk and fairy tales I love, yet as fresh as a just-bathed baby.
"I will always love to read. I also like running, hiking in the country, and cooking for family and friends. I live in Washington, D.C., with my husband, Allan, a physician, and our children, Stephanie, Jonathan, and Michael. A pale orange cat adopted us several years ago, and we own a matching goldfish."
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