Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stephanie Calmenson

Stephanie Calmenson, who grew up in Brooklyn, New York never expecting to become a writer, is now the highly acclaimed author of over 100 books for children, including the beloved Dinner at the Panda Palace, a PBS Storytime Book; Late for School! and Oopsy, Teacher! (Mr. Bungles books); and Ollie's School Day, a Children's Book-of-the-Month-Club selection. As a kid, her heart's desire was to have a dog, but it didn't happen. Dogs are now a big part of her life and her work with books such as May I Pet Your Dog?, starring her dachshund, Harry (Horn Book Fanfare; ALA Children's Video Award); Rosie: A Visiting Dog's Story, starring her Tibetan terrier, Rosie ("one of the outstanding nonfiction books of the year" -- Smithsonian Magazine) and No Dogs Allowed!, the first book in the new Ready, Set, Dogs! series written with Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole, starring two girls who -- woofa-wow! -- turn into dogs.

A couple of weeks ago I asked Calmenson about what she was reading.  Her reply:
While No Dogs Allowed! is clearly fiction (kids really cannot turn into dogs), co-author Joanna Cole and I made sure to infuse the book with solid information about dog behavior. I've learned so much from animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell and am now re-reading her invaluable The Other End of the Leash. Her introduction alone is worth the price of the book. Driving home at twilight from a herding dog trial, she sees two dogs trotting in and out of the highway. Thanks to a profound understanding of dogs, she and her colleagues are able to guide the two wanderers to safety with "No leash, no collars, no control but the effect of our bodies, communicating 'come' and 'stop'". When I need to immerse myself in dog behavior, this is the book I pick up.
Visit Stephanie Calmenson's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Stephanie Calmenson & Harry.

The Page 69 Test: No Dogs Allowed.

--Marshal Zeringue