On October 13, the Moonbeam Awards for Children’s Books announced that “Fur and Feathers”, written by Janet Halfmann and illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein, won a Gold Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for best preschool picture book.
“This year’s Moonbeam award winners confirm that books can change children’s lives,” said Moonbeam Awards founder Jerrold Jenkins. This is the fourth annual Moonbeam Awards, which are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading.
Expert panels of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages judge each entry. This year’s awards attracted over 800 entries from throughout North America and the English-speaking world. Medals will go to a diverse group of authors, illustrators and publishers from 34 U.S. states, 5 Canadian provinces, and 2 countries overseas.
“Fur and Feathers” is a story of creativity, friendship, and animal coverings. Klein’s vibrant illustrations help author, Janet Halfmann, tell the story of a young girl, Sophia, who dreams that howling winds whisk the fur and feathers right off her animal friends. She offers to share her clothes with them, but her outfits don’t work well for the animals. So she comes up with creative ways to help them, thanks to her grandma’s huge sewing box.
Janet Halfmann is the award-winning author of more than thirty children’s books, including “Little Skink’s Tail,” (also from Sylvan Dell Publishing), “Good Night, Little Sea Otter,” and “Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story.” Janet is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Before becoming a children’s author, Janet was a daily newspaper reporter, children’s magazine editor, and a creator of coloring and activity books for Golden Books. She is the mother of four and the grandmother of four. When Janet isn’t writing, she enjoys gardening, exploring nature, visiting living-history museums, and spending time with her family. She grew up on a farm in Michigan and now lives in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Klein has been a freelance artist for nearly 20 years. Over the last several years, she has worked as the on-staff artist for a marine park, where she does everything from painting life-size sea animal murals, to illustrating children’s activity books. In addition to this fall 2010 release, Klein also illustrated “Where Should Turtle Be?”, the award-winning “Little Skink’s Tail”, and “If a Dolphin Were a Fish” for Sylvan Dell. Her next work “Meet the Planets”, another Sylvan Dell title, comes out spring 2011. Laurie lives in St. Augustine, Florida. See more of her artwork at http://www.lauriekleinart.com/.