Monday, January 30, 2012

In Memoriam - Bill Wallace

The Dog who thought he was SantaOne of my favorite Christmastime novels for young readers is The dog who thought he was Santa by Bill Wallace. It is a funny and touching story, and I love the way the dog is the only individual in the tale who really understands the big issues. My daughter has read another of Bill Wallace's books, A dog called Kitty, at least half a dozen times. I was therefore very saddened to hear that Bill Wallace has left the stage. He and his wonderful books will be greatly missed.
Bill Wallace:
Award-winning author Bill Wallace started writing after a tough year of teaching fourth graders. As he said, “Trying to read to a class of 25 kids who aren't listening is downright MISERABLE. Finally, students asked me to tell stories about when I was growing up. I soon ran out of these, so they decided I should make up new stories. I became a writer so I could survive my first year as a teacher. The class loved the stories I wrote for them and persuaded me to get somebody to make us a real book.” Shadow on the SnowTrapped in Death Cave, and A Dog Called Kitty all started out as books for his students. However, it took ten long years for his first book (A Dog Called Kitty) to be accepted for publication. After this, the former elementary-school teacher went on to write over 25 books. Other favorites include: Red DogBuffalo GalDanger in Quicksand Swamp,BeautyAloha SummerWatchdog and the Coyotes, and Coyote AutumnBill Wallace won nineteen children's state awards and was awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Children's Literature from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.
Wallace was born on August 1, 1947 in Chickasha, Oklahoma. He was married to Carol Ann Priddle (who also taught elementary school) and had three children, Laurie Beth, Amanda Nicole, and Justin Keith. He attended university and graduate school in Oklahoma.

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