Bobbi Katz

b. 1933
Bobbi Katz once told Contemporary Authors: "I write for children because I hope to join those writers and artists who delight, sensitize, and give hope to children." A former editor at Random House, Katz has had success publishing her own rhyming picture books for elementary school students. These range from the sublime, such as American History Poems and We, the People, to the outright ridiculous, such as A Rumpus of Rhymes: A Book of Noisy Poems. Whatever the tone, Katz uses rhyme to catch children's attention in order to teach and entertain them. American History Poems and We, the People introduce young students to important figures in American history as well as fictitious representative citizens from previous centuries. School Library Journal contributor Karey Wehner felt that in We, the People, "a multitude of Americans are speaking directly to readers." The critic added that Katz's book "is unique in offering such a strong sense of time and place."

A Rumpus of Rhymes "begs to be shared aloud," according to Margaret C. Howell in School Library Journal. The selection of poems, from short rhyming couplets to longer verses, describe different loud noises that people or inanimate objects can make. These vary from the pop of bubblegum to the grinding din of a washing machine. Booklist correspondent Lauren Peterson noted that the book "offers plenty of opportunities for kids to be loud and silly." In the New York Times Book Review, Marighy Dupuy wrote, "Bobbi Katz does everything right. Not only are her poems engaging and lively, but she puts the words themselves front and center." Dupuy styled A Rumpus of Rhymes "a celebration of onomatopoeia and delicious nonsense words."

Career

Began as a freelance writer and editor of Middle Eastern affairs, 1954; Department of Welfare, Newburgh, NY, social worker, 1956-58; Headstart, Newburgh, NY, social worker, 1966-69; Greater Newburgh Arts Council, Newburgh, NY, executive director of weekly radio program, "Art in Action," 1968-71; Greater Cornwall School District, Cornwall, NY, writing consultant, 1970-78; freelance writer and editor of environmental and educational materials, 1977-82; Random House, New York, NY, juvenile division in-house writer and editor, beginning 1982. Mount St. Mary's College, Newburgh, NY, taught courses in short story writing, 1977-78; has conducted poetry workshops for children, teachers, and librarians.

Bibliography

  • I'll Build My Friend a Mountain, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1972.
  • Nothing but a Dog, Feminist Press (Old Westbury, NY), 1972.
  • Upside Down and Inside Out: Poems for All Your Pockets, Watts (New York, NY), 1973.
  • The Manifesto and Me—Meg, Watts (New York, NY), 1974.
  • Rod-and-Reel Trouble, Albert Whitman (Niles, IL), 1974.
  • 1,001 Words, Watts (New York, NY), 1975.
  • Snow Bunny, Albert Whitman (Niles, IL), 1976.
  • Volleyball Jinx, Albert Whitman (Niles, IL), 1977.
  • Play with the Care Bears, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.
  • Little Wrinkle's Surprise, Sparkler, 1987.
  • (Under the pseudonym Barbara George) The Popples' Book of Jokes and Riddles, Random House (New York, NY), 1987.
  • The Creepy, Crawly Book, Random House (New York, NY), 1989.
  • Poems for Small Friends, Random House (New York, NY), 1989.
  • The Old Woman's Counting Book, Random House (New York, NY), 1989.
  • Peekaboo Animals, Random House (New York, NY), 1989.
  • The Care Bears and the Big Cleanup, Random House (New York, NY), 1991.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Don't do Drugs, Random House (New York, NY), 1991.
  • A Family Hanukkah, Random House (New York, NY), 1992.
  • A Family Book of Jewish Holidays, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.
  • Meet Nelson Mandela, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.
  • The Story of Hanukkah, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.
  • The Story of Passover, Random House (New York, NY), 1996.
  • Germs! Germs! Germs!, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1996.
  • Could We Be Friends?, Mondo, 1997.
  • Truck Talk: Rhymes on Wheels, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1997.
  • American History Poems, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Lots of Lice, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Make Way for Tooth Decay, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.
  • We, the People, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 2000.
  • A Rumpus of Rhymes: A Book of Noisy Poems, illustrated by Susan Estelle Kwas, Dutton (New York, NY), 2001.
UNDER PSEUDONYM ALI REICH
  • The Have-It-All Wuzzle, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.
  • Meet the Wuzzles, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.
  • The Wuzzles' Wishing Flower, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.
UNDER PSEUDONYM PEGGY KAHN
  • When Do You Snuzzle a Wuzzle?, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.
  • The Wuzzle Book of Seasons, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.
  • Baby Care Bear's Animal Friends, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.
  • The Care Bears' Night before Christmas, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.
  • The Care Bears: "Try, Try Again!," Random House (New York, NY), 1985.
  • The Wuzzles Alphabet Book, Random House (New York, NY), 1986.
  • Popple Opposites, Random House (New York, NY), 1986.
  • The Popples and King Most, Random House (New York, NY), 1986.
  • Rub a Wuzzle's Tummy!, Random House (New York, NY), 1986.
  • The Popples' Vacation, Random House (New York, NY), 1987.
OTHERS
  • (Under pseudonym Barbara George) The Wuzzles' Fair, Random House (New York, NY), 1986.
  • (Under pseudonym Don E. Plumme) The Wuzzles and the Creepasaurs, Random House (New York, NY), 1986.
  • (Under pseudonym Gail George) The Popples' Pajama Party, Random House (New York, NY), 1986.
  • (Under pseudonym Gail George) The Wuzzles and the Big Game, Random House (New York, NY), 1986.
  • (Under pseudonym Don E. Plumme) Merry Christmas, Teddy Beddy Bear, Random House (New York, NY), 1987.
EDITOR OF ANTHOLOGIES
  • Bedtime Bear's Book of Bedtime Poems, Random House (New York, NY), 1983.
  • Birthday Bear's Book of Birthday Poems, Random House (New York, NY), 1983.
  • A Popple in Your Pocket and Other Funny Poems, Random House (New York, NY), 1986.
  • Ghosts and Goosebumps: Poems to Make You Shiver, Random House (New York, NY), 1991.
  • Puddle Wonderful: Poems to Welcome Spring, Random House, 1992.
Also creator of numerous other books, mainly based on licensed characters, for Random House, under own name and various pseudonyms, including Barbara George, Emily George, Gail George, Peggy Kahn, Della Maison, Don E. Plumme, and Ali Reich. Author of educational materials. Contributor of poetry and articles to anthologies and magazines.

Further Reading

PERIODICALS
  • Booklist, February 15, 1995, Hazel Rochman, review of Meet Nelson Mandela, p. 1078; February 1, 1997, Carolyn Phelan, review of Germs! Germs! Germs!, p. 950; April 1, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review ofTruck Talk: Rhymes on Wheels, p. 1335; November 1, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of Lots of Lice, p. 507; November 15, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of We, the People, p. 637; March 15, 2001, Gillian Engberg, review of We, the People, p. 1393; September 1, 2001, Lauren Peterson, review of A Rumpus of Rhymes: A Book of Noisy Poems, p. 111.
  • New York Times Book Review, November 18, 2001, Marighy Dupuy, "Things That Go Bump, Growl, and Glubita," p. 37.
  • Publishers Weekly, October 30, 2000, "Rhyme and Reason," p. 78; December 3, 2001, "Well Versed," p. 63.
  • School Library Journal, December, 2000, Karey Wehner, review of We, the People, p. 162; November, 2001, Margaret C. Howell, review of A Rumpus of Rhymes, p. 146.

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Articles About BOBBI KATZ

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LIFE SPAN 1933–

Biography

Bobbi Katz once told Contemporary Authors: "I write for children because I hope to join those writers and artists who delight, sensitize, and give hope to children." A former editor at Random House, Katz has had success publishing her own rhyming picture books for elementary school students. These range from the sublime, such as American History Poems and We, the People, to the outright ridiculous, such as A Rumpus of Rhymes: A . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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