By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
DANVILLE — As a child, Suzanne Bloom loved colors and drawing.
She has combined illustrating and writing in children’s books.
Her work, “The Bus for Us,” was chosen as the 2013 selection for the Eighth Annual Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child early literacy initiative.
Bloom visited the Thomas Beaver Free Library on Wednesday and read an oversized version of her book to a community room full of youngsters.
The book tells of Tess and Gus with Tess seeing many different vehicles going by and asking if that is their bus.
After being introduced by library director Bonnie White, Bloom showed the children drawings she had done when she was as young as age 5. Saying her favorite color is blue, she drew Native Americans and cowboys. She said her grandfather was a cowboy. When she was in seventh grade, she made a picture book.
A native of Portland, Ore., Bloom and her family moved to New York when she was 5. While growing up in Queens, she was allowed to paint in first grade as soon as she finished her classwork. A poem she wrote in third grade was published in “Teacher” magazine. Her posters won prizes and her paintings advanced to citywide exhibits.
Wednesday’s program included activities showing forms of public transportation and who uses them. Her visit was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Commonwealth Libraries.
Six years ago, Bloom traveled across the state as part of the early literacy program, introducing children to Goose and Bear from her book “A Splendid Friend, Indeed.”
The early literacy initiative is a year-long program, including 14 days of author visits to 16 counties in Pennsylvania, reaching more than a half-million children ages 3 to 6.
According to Bloom, her latest book was inspired by Alice — a girl who always asked questions. The work also came about from suggestions by first grade teachers when asked what kind of book would be a good addition to their libraries.
Her “A Splendid Friend, Indeed” was awarded the Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor and appeared on the 2012 short list for best picture books published in the United Kingdom.
Her other works include “Feeding Friendsies,” “A Mighty Fine Time Machine,” “We Keep a Pig in the Parlor,” “No Place for a Pig,” “Piggy Monday” and “A Family for Jamie.” Besides Splendid Friend, her stories about Bear and Goose include “Fox Forgets,” “Oh! What a Surprise,” “What About Bear,” and “Treasure.” She has also illustrated three other books.
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