Dear Mem Fox, I Have Read All Your Books Even the Pathetic Ones: And Other Incidents in the Life of a Children's Book Author

Mem Fox, Author, M. Fox, Author
Mem Fox, Author, M. Fox, Author Mariner Books $12 (228p) ISBN 978-0-15-658676-4
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Charming and candid, Australian children's book author Fox reminisces, in her mid-40s, about her eventful life. Despite the title, the book is more about Fox than her books, though fans should find it interesting. A child of Australian missionaries, the author grew up in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where she met an English teacher whose ``passion bulldozed any resistance we might have had'' to literature, and she developed her ear for language from the Bible. After studying drama in England, she and her ``brutally English'' husband moved to Australia in 1970. There Fox got to know her aged but vital grandfather; she concludes that her books, which often feature bonds between the young and old, give her the grandparents she lacked as a child. Fox wrote Possum Magic (which has since sold more than a half million copies worldwide) as a class assignment and details the myriad decisions such a short text required. She doesn't avoid using long words in her books, suggesting that children can understand more than adults think. A passionate educator, Fox has become an advocate of the ``whole language'' approach of teaching reading through meaningful contexts rather than as a rote act. Author tour. (Mar.)
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