AuthorsFrom the Wire

In Conversation: Aliki Brandenberg and Stephen Savage

Get ready to be inspired by the incredible life and career of pioneering author and illustrator, Aliki Brandenberg. Celebrating her 94th birthday this week, Aliki has spent six decades captivating children with over 100 books. Geisel Honoree Stephen Savage attributes his love for art and literature to Aliki’s book “My Visit to the Dinosaurs”. Throughout her career, Aliki has explored topics that fascinated her, from William Penn to dinosaurs. Her notable works include “The Story of William Tell” and “The Story of Johnny Appleseed”. Inspired by her daughter, Aliki’s books on feelings and manners were edited by Susan Hirschman at Greenwillow Books. Aliki’s dedication to her craft is evident in her enthusiasm for visiting kids and teachers, a discovery she made later in her career. Supported by her husband, Franz, who took care of household tasks, Aliki cherished the editing process as one of her favorites. Currently, she is working on a project centered around inspiration and determination. Aliki’s journey is nothing short of remarkable, and her impact on children’s literature is immeasurable.

In Conversation: Aliki Brandenberg and Stephen Savage

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Aliki’s Early Career

Aliki Brandenberg, affectionately known as Aliki, has had an illustrious career in children’s literature spanning over six decades. She embarked on her writing journey with a focus on subjects that fascinated her, such as William Penn and dinosaurs. These early interests steered her towards a path of captivating storytelling and vibrant illustrations that would leave a lasting impact on young readers.

One notable individual whose passion for art and books was ignited by Aliki’s work is Geisel Honoree Stephen Savage. He attributes his love for both these mediums to Aliki’s book “My Visit to the Dinosaurs.” This profound influence stands as a testament to the power that Aliki’s books hold in capturing the hearts and imaginations of countless children worldwide.

Aliki’s Notable Books

Aliki has an extensive repertoire of books that have garnered widespread recognition and acclaim. Among her notable works are “The Story of William Tell” and “The Story of Johnny Appleseed.” Through these stories, Aliki intertwines historical facts with engaging narratives, enabling young readers to explore and appreciate these remarkable figures from the past.

In Conversation: Aliki Brandenberg and Stephen Savage

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Aliki’s Books on Feelings and Manners

Aliki’s ability to connect with young readers on a deeply personal level was inspired by her own experiences as a mother. Motivated by her desire to help children navigate the complexities of emotions and social etiquette, Aliki authored a series of books focusing on feelings and manners. These books struck a chord with readers and provided valuable life lessons, thanks in part to the guidance and expertise of editor Susan Hirschman at Greenwillow Books.

Aliki’s Interaction with Kids and Teachers

Aliki’s genuine love for young readers and educators became evident through her active involvement in school visits. Initially unaware of the impact she could have on children and teachers through these visits, Aliki discovered a newfound joy in interacting with her audience firsthand. These encounters served as a source of inspiration for her future works, as she witnessed the profound effect her stories had on shaping young minds.

In Conversation: Aliki Brandenberg and Stephen Savage

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Support from Her Late Husband

Aliki’s late husband, Franz, played a crucial role in her career, offering unwavering support and allowing her to fully dedicate herself to her writing and illustrating. By managing household tasks and other responsibilities, Franz created the space and time that Aliki needed to bring her creative vision to life. His dedication to their shared dream laid the foundation for Aliki’s success and cemented their legacy as a team.

Favorite Part of the Writing Process

While Aliki’s career is marked by numerous achievements and milestones, one aspect of the writing process stands out as her personal favorite: editing. Aliki finds great satisfaction in refining her work and ensuring that every word, illustration, and storyline is carefully crafted to create the most impactful reading experience for children. She recognizes the importance of the editing process in shaping her stories into captivating and meaningful works of art.

Current Project About Inspiration and Determination

Even at the age of 94, Aliki continues to be an unstoppable force in the world of children’s literature. She is currently working on a project focused on inspiration and determination, themes that have been integral to her own life and career. Through her storytelling and illustrations, Aliki aims to instill a sense of resilience and passion in young readers, empowering them to pursue their dreams and overcome obstacles they may encounter along the way.

Aliki’s 94th Birthday Celebration

This week, Aliki celebrates her 94th birthday, a testament to her remarkable accomplishments and enduring impact on the world of children’s literature. Her contributions have touched the lives of countless children, educators, and families. As she reflects on her lifelong commitment to storytelling and illustration, Aliki’s legacy shines brightly, reminding us of the enduring magic and power found within the pages of her books.

In conclusion, Aliki’s boundless creativity, passion for education, and unwavering dedication to her craft have made her a beloved figure in the world of children’s literature. Her work continues to captivate and inspire generations of young readers, fostering a love for reading and sparking imaginative exploration. As she celebrates her 94th birthday, Aliki’s impact stands as a testament to the lasting legacy that a single individual can create through the power of words and illustrations.