Kate DiCamillo Power Point

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Kate DiCamillo An introduction to the life and work of a phenomenal storyteller. Presented to you by: Marija Markovic

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Biographical Information Kate was born on March 25, 1964, in Philadelphia, PA., to Adolph and Betty DiCamillo. She was a sickly child in her early life, and because of this, her parents decided to move to Clermont, FL., believing the warmer climate would help Kate. In 1987, Kate graduated from The University of Florida, with a degree in English.

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Biographical Information Continued….. After finishing college, Kate relocated to Minneapolis, MN., where she currently resides. Kate never married and does not have any children. Her busy schedule does not allow her to have a pet either. She has one brother, whose three children Kate treats like her own. She is also an aunt to her brother’s dog, Henry.

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How Kate’s life influenced her work…. Since Kate was often sick as a child, she relied on her imagination to overcome her loneliness. She found enjoyment in listening to her parents tell her stories, and by reading books. She spent a lot of time observing people and their behavior as a child, which made her understand emotions better.

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How Kate’s life influenced work continued…… Kate’s desire to become a writer came after college, but it took many years before she actually began to write. Her job as a children’s book distributor in Minneapolis inspired her to write children’s books. She persevered through hundreds of rejection letters before she had her first book, “Because of Winn Dixie” published in 2000.

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An In Depth Look….. The following slides are a brief description of the major works of Kate DiCamillo.

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“Because of Winn Dixie” (2000) DiCamillo, Kate.(2000). Because of Winn-Dixie. Massachusettes:Candlewick Press. This was Kate’s 1st published book. It tells a story of a young girl, India Opal Buloni, who was abandoned by her mother, and relocates with her father to Florida. She finds her dog in a supermarket, and names him Winn-Dixie, after the store. India and the dog both discover the true meaning of love, acceptance and loyalty in their days spent together. The inspiration for this story came to Kate during her first winter in Minnesota, after she was terribly homesick for life in Florida. This book was recognized as a Newbery Honor book.

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“Because of Winn Dixie”

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“Tale of Despereaux”(2003) DiCamillo, Kate.(2003). The Tale of Despereaux. Massachusettes:Candlewick Press. Kate won her first Newbery award for this captivating tale of a mouse who although small, had a big heart and even bigger determination to save his true love, the Princess Pea, from the emotionally broken rat “Roscuro,” and his unwilling, dream driven, partner, Miggory Sow. All of the characters in the book are in a personal conflict as a result of love, or lack there of.

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“Tale of Despereaux”

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“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” (2006) DiCamillo, Kate.(2006). The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Massachusettes:Candlewick Press. Edward Tulane is a rabbit made entirely of china. He is loved by a young girl, Abilene, but he does not understand what love is and therefore does not fully appreciate the young girl. Unexpectedly, Edward is separated from Abilene, and his journey takes him to many different places. He encounters several people along the way, and in this journey of self discovery, Edward discovers the meaning of love, and how powerful the emotion is. This book was inspired by an actual china rabbit Kate owns.

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“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”

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“Mercy Watson to the Rescue” DiCamillo, Kate.(2005). Mercy Watson to the Rescue. Massachusettes:Candlewick Press. Mercy is the beloved pig of the Watson family. They treat and love her as if she was their child. They feed her favorite, buttered toast, every morning, and she sleeps in their bed at night. When the bed in the house starts to sink, it is up to Mercy to get help. She has to overcome many tasty temptations on her way to the fire department. The question is whether she will stay focused long enough to get help for her family, before it’s too late. This is the first book in a series of Mercy Watson adventures, all written by Kate DiCamillo.

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“Mercy Watson” Books

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Other books by Kate DiCamillo DiCamillo, Kate.(2001). Tiger Rising. Massachusettes:Cambridge. This is the story of a young boy, Horton who after losing his mother, ends up relocating to a motel in Florida with his father. There he discovers a caged tiger, and meets a new friend. Through their adventures together, Horton learns to love and trust again. This book is a “National Book Finalist”. DiCamillo, Kate.(2008). Louise: The adventures of a chicken. New York: Joanna Cotler Books. Kate teams up with illustrator Harry Bliss to bring us a story of a brave chicken who sets off on a funny adventure away from her coop.

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Other books cont…..

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Common themes Most of Kate’s major novels all share a common theme of LOVE. All of her stories are written about animals. Her main genre is fantasy. Her books are written in a simplistic, easy to understand language. Most of her characters have overcome great obstacles. Kate’s novel’s are written for children between 3rd-7th grade, although they can be enjoyed by all ages. Her other books, such as the “Mercy Watson” series, caters to a younger audience (K-2nd).

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Interesting Facts….. Favorite book(s), “The Secret Garden,” by Francis H. Burnett, “The Twenty-One Balloons,” by William Pene du Bois, and “Ribsy,” by Beverly Cleary. Kate’s character’s come into her thoughts and tell their own story to her. Kate is a professor of writing at Hamline University, in Minnesota.

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Literary Awards 2001-Newbery Honor for “Because of Winn-Dixie”. 2001-National Book Award finalist for “Tiger Rising”. 2004-Newbery Medal for “Tale of Despereaux”. 2006- Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”. 2007-Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor Book Award for “Mercy Watson goes for a Ride”.

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Sources for Information Wheeler, Jill C.(2009). Children’s Authors: Kate DiCamillo. Minnesota, Abdo publishing. I used this source to experience what kind of information students might find if doing an author study. I found the book full of interesting facts that would appeal to young researchers. Kate DiCamillo, Author Program in –depth Interview. (2008). Retrieved November 1, 2009, from, http://www.teachingbooks.net Kate DiCamillo, (2009). Retrieved November 16, 2009,from,http://www.katedicamillo.com/index.html

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