A Marriage of Text and Illustration:
An Author Study of Gail Gibbons
LAE 4416 Children’s Literature
June 17, 2010
When I did research about Gail Gibbons, I was inspired by the fact that she writes
and illustrates books about an abundance of different topics. She has written over 140
non-fiction books for children. When I began reading a selection of her books, I thought
about how useful they could be as a resource in the classroom. They are child-friendly
books with colorful illustrations. Gibbons has a background in art and enjoys talking to
children so it makes sense that she is such an excellent writer of children’s books. Each
book also contains a wealth of information on the topic it is covering. Gibbons is able to
keep her books to just 32 pages in length with writing only three sentences page.
Although Gibbons makes a point not to use simple language that she refers to as “writing
down to children”, the information is explained in a way that is underatandable for
students in the elementary grades. Gibbons does an excellent job of choosing the most
appropriate vocabulary so that the text is meaningful and straight to the point. I also think
students would like learning about Gail Gibbons because she is such an inquisitive
person, as children often are as well. When doing this author study, the target audience is
elementary-aged students. The intended grade level is third grade. The total duration of
the author study will be six days, with lessons last about one hour each day.
Why did Gail Gibbons decide to write non-fiction books only?
What elements does Gail Gibbons use to make non-fiction exciting?
About The Author
Gail Gibbons was born in Oak Park, Illinois on August 1, 1944, and she is still
alive today. From a young age she created books that she bound with yarn. She also
always had a love for drawing and painting. She said she never questioned what she
wanted to do wit