Children’s author Jean Little died at 88


Iconic Canadian children’s writer Jean Little died on April 6, 2020.

She was 88 years old.

Little had published more than 50 books, including Dance through the snow, mom will buy you a mocker, from Anna and Orphan at my door.

Little was born to medical missionary doctors in Taiwan on January 2, 1932. She was one of four children. Her family returned to Canada at the age of seven in 1939.

Little was born with scar corneas that severely limited her vision. Her vision deteriorated as she got older and eventually she wrote with a voice-activated computer.

She graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in English literature.

His first book was Mine for Keeps, which was published in 1962. It tells the story of a nine-year-old girl with cerebral palsy.

Mine for Keeps won the Little Brown Canadian Children’s Book Award and launched a long and prolific career.

Author Jean Little talks to Morningside listeners about losing his sight and how it influences his writing style 19:59

His most popular book is the title from 1972 From Anna, about a young visually impaired girl who settled in Canada just before the Second World War.

Little’s books often featured children with physical disabilities or facing difficult personal circumstances.

“I try to be realistic and not dodge things that I think are really important for children,” Little told CBC in 1990.

“I clearly remember being a child. I remember whole incidents and I remember how I felt and what I said to myself lying in bed and daydreaming, “she said. “What it was for me to be a child is still very much what it was for children today. “

She was a key author in the creation and writing of the popular series Dear Canada, which told fictional stories about young girls at various times in Canadian history.

She wrote one of the first two titles in the series, Orphan at my door: Victoria Cope’s children’s diary, who won the 2001 CLA Book of the Year for Children award. She then wrote four other Dear Canada books.

In 1995, she wrote a book inspired by her mother’s childhood and her parents’ missionary work entitled His banner on me.

Little also published two memoirs: 1987 Step by step and and from the 1990s The stars come out inside.

Scholastic Canada has another planned release, a picture book written by Jean Little called Maya and the monarch, which will be illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard.

Maya and the monarch will be published in 2021.

In 1974 Little received the Vicky Metcalf Prize for Literature for Young People, which recognizes an author for all of his work.

There is also a school, Jean Little Public School, named in his honor in Guelph, Ontario.

She lived in Guelph with her sister, Pat deVries. She taught at the University of Guelph for several years.

She received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and has been repeatedly nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, one of the most important and prestigious awards for children’s literature in the world.

She was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 1993.


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