Russell and Elisa are growing up. Now that Elisa is bigger, she and Russell have more fun together. The only problem is Elisa's doll, Airmail. Elisa takes Airmail everywhere, and Russell thinks that's silly. But one day Elisa leaves Airmail in the library by mistake. And it's Russell who thinks of just the right thing to make his little sister feel better.
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Johanna Hurwitz is the author of over five dozen books for young readers. She is the recipient of many state awards, including the Texas Bluebonnet Award, the Kentucky Bluegrass Award, and the Garden State Children's Choice Award. She lives in Great Neck, NY.
Johanna Hurwitz always knew she wanted to be a writer. She started by telling stories to her brother, who is six years her junior, and she's been making up stories ever since. Born and raised in New York City, she earned her B.A. degree from Queens College and went on to receive a master's in library science from Columbia University. She embarked on a career as a children's librarian, but she never forgot that one day she wanted to write books, too.
She worked at the New York Public Library and in a variety of other public and school library positions. She also taught graduate courses in children's literature and storytelling at Queens College. When she and her husband, Uri -- a college teacher and writer-and their children, Nomi and Beni, moved to Long Island, she continued her library work.
Although she had told original stories to her children, it was not until they were well along in school that Mrs. Hurwitz actually began to write down her stories. That's why, when children ask her how long it takes to write a book, she replies that her first, Busybody Nora, took her whole life.
But since then she has been writing with regularity, portraying with humor and sympathy the everyday incidents that are so important to children. She is particularly fond of seven- to nine-year-olds, because they are " so very open and get excited about small things," and she enjoys writing realistic fiction for and about them.
That these youngsters are equally fond of Mrs. Hurwitz's books is obvious. She has received many child-chosen state awards, including the Texas Bluebonnet Award, the Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Award, the Kentucky Bluegrass Award, the Garden State Children's Choice Award, the West Virginia Children's Book Award, and others.
In recent years, Johanna Hurwitz has crisscrossed the United States from Juneau, Alaska, to Jackson, Mississippi, and from San Diego, California, to St. Albans, Vermont. She has even spoken abroad, from Morocco to Mozambique and from Portugal to Nicaragua. On these trips she has met and spoken to schoolchildren, teachers, librarians, and parents. She has made many new friends and has often brought home new ideas for her next book.From School Library Journal:
Kindergarten-Grade 2-- Russell is back, this time sharing the spotlight with his sister Elisa, who is now four years old--old enough to have some interesting things to say for herself. Threads of plot connect the six stories, but they can stand well alone for those who like to skip around. Elisa writes her grandmother a letter and receives in return a homemade rag doll aptly named Airmail. Airmail quickly becomes the focus of Russell's complaints about the embarrassment Elisa causes him. Russell is still a handful himself, as when he decides to play barber with friend Annie's hair. The predictable happens, of course. Later Airmail is featured as a lost object after a visit to the library. This vignette of the lost doll is hilarious in its sly portrayal of Russell's deviousness, and the price he must pay for it. Hurwitz never over-explains or interprets for readers. Her characters act and react, and she keeps her comments on their behavior light and subtle. She is at the height of her consistently top form with this winner. --Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, McKinney, TX
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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