Frank Asch

b. 1946
Frank Asch is the author of many picture books aimed at young readers. In 1989 he and Russian author Vladimir Vagin became the first Russian/American collaborators to write a children's book published simultaneously in both the United States and the Soviet Union. Here Comes the Cat tells of a village of mice fearful of the approach of a cat, until they realize the cat comes in friendship. The story, of course, was meant as a fable about cold war-era tensions between East and West; these tensions were soon to come to an end with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Other Asch titles include The Sun Is My Favorite Star, in which a young boy becomes aware of how the sun wakes him in the morning, plays hide-and-seek with him throughout the day, and says good night to him as he goes to bed. "Radiating the calm coziness of a child who feels safe and secure enough in the world to explore and explain it," a critic for Publishers Weekly wrote, "this volume warms the heart." Carolyn Phelan in Booklist called the title a "bright and simple picture book."

In Class Pets: The Ghosts of P.S. 42 two mice—brother and sister—find a new home at the local school, where they make friends with the ghost of a gerbil and encounter a mean gray cat who wants them out of the building. They also, noted Beth Tegart in School Library Journal, "find out about life in a school, caring children, loyalty, ghosts, and survival." A critic for Kirkus Reviews called the book "tongue-in-cheek" and the story's central conflict "a hilariously different game of cat-and-mouse." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly described Class Pets as "an agreeable romp of a tale."

Asch once told Contemporary Authors: "I do kid's books because I like to draw and make up stories which express my feelings and kids' feelings, and because it enables me to put my artistic ability and training to some tangible use."

Career

Writer and illustrator of children's books. Founder, with wife, of children's theatre The Belly Buttons, 1976.

Bibliography

  • George's Store, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1969.
  • Linda, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1969.
  • Elvira Everything, Harper (New York, NY), 1970.
  • The Blue Balloon, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1971.
  • Yellow, Yellow, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1971.
  • Rebecka, Harper (New York, NY), 1971.
  • I Met a Penguin, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1972.
  • In the Eye of the Teddy, Harper (New York, NY), 1973.
  • Gia and the Hundred Dollars' Worth of Bubble Gum, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1974.
  • Good Lemonade, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1975.
  • Monkey Face, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1977.
  • MacGoose's Grocery, Dial (New York, NY), 1978.
  • City Sandwich (poems), Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1978.
  • Turtle Tale, Dial (New York, NY), 1978.
  • Moon Bear, Scribner (New York, NY), 1978.
  • Sand Cake: A Frank Asch Bear Story, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1978.
  • Country Pie (poems), Greenwillow (New York, NY), 1978.
  • (With wife, Jan Asch) Running with Rachel, photos by Jan Asch and Robert Michael Buslow, Dial (New York, NY), 1979.
  • Popcorn: A Frank Asch Bear Story, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1979.
  • Little Devil's ABC, Scribner (New York, NY), 1979.
  • Little Devil's 1, 2, 3, Scribner (New York, NY), 1979.
  • Starbaby, Scribner (New York, NY), 1980.
  • The Last Puppy, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1980.
  • Milk and Cookies, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1982.
  • Happy Birthday, Moon, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1982.
  • Mooncake, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1983.
  • Just Like Daddy, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1981.
  • Bread and Honey, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1981.
  • Goodnight Horsey, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1981.
  • Moongame, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1984.
  • Skyfire, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1984.
  • (And illustrator) Pearl's Promise, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 1984.
  • Bear Shadow, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1985.
  • Bear's Bargain, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1985.
  • I Can Blink, Crown (New York, NY), 1986.
  • I Can Roar, Crown (New York, NY), 1986.
  • Goodbye House, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1986.
  • (And illustrator) Pearl's Pirates, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 1987.
  • Oats and Wild Apples, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1988.
  • Journey to Terezor, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1989.
  • (With Vladimir Vagin) Here Comes the Cat!: Siuda idet kot!, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1989.
  • Baby in the Box, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1989.
  • The Alphabet Zoo, illustrated by Lee Lee Brazeal and Scott Foresman, (Glenview, IL), 1989.
  • Little Fish, Big Fish, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1992.
  • Short Train, Long Train, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1992.
  • (With Vladimir Vagin) Dear Brother, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1992.
  • (With Vladimir Vagin) The Flower Faerie, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1993.
  • Moondance, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1993.
  • Moonbear's Friend, Little Simon (New York, NY), 1993.
  • Moonbear's Canoe, Little Simon (New York, NY), 1993.
  • Moonbear's Books, Little Simon (New York, NY), 1993.
  • Hands around Lincoln School, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1994.
  • (With Vladimir Vagin) Insects from Outer Space, illustrated by Vagin, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1994.
  • The Earth and I, Gulliver Books (San Diego, CA), 1994.
  • Up River, photography by Ted Levin and Steve Lehmer, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995.
  • Water, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1995.
  • Sawgrass Poems: A View of the Everglades, photographs by Ted Levin, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1996.
  • One Man Show, photographs by Jan Asch, R. C. Owen (Katonah, NY), 1997.
  • Moonbear's Pet, Simon & Schuster New York, NY), 1997.
  • Good Night, Baby Bear, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1998.
  • Cactus Poems, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1998.
  • Barnyard Lullaby, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.
  • Ziggy Piggy and the Three Little Pigs, Kids Can Press, 1998.
  • Moonbear's Dream, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1999.
  • Baby Bird's First Nest, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1999.
  • Song of the North, photographs by Ted Levin, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1999.
  • The Sun Is My Favorite Star, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2000.
  • Baby Duck'S New Friend, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2001.
  • Like a Windy Day, illustrated by son, Devin Asch, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2002.
  • Class Pets: The Ghosts of P.S. 42, illustrated by John Kanzler, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.
  • Battle in a Bottle, illustrated by John Kanzler, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.
Also author of play Solarfest.

Further Reading

PERIODICALS
  • Booklist, April 15, 1995, Mary Harris Veeder, review of Water, p. 1501; September 15, 1995, Lauren Peterson, review of Up River, p. 154; May 1, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of Sawgrass Poems, p. 1500; June 1, 1997, Kay Weisman, review of Moonbear's Pet, p. 1715; January 1, 1998, Helen Rosenberg, review of Barnyard Lullaby, p. 798; March 15, 1998, John Peters, review of Cactus Poems, p. 1238; July, 1998, Julie Corsaro, review of Good Night, Baby Bear, p. 1884; November 15, 1998, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Ziggy Piggy and the Three Little Pigs, p. 592; April 1, 1999, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Song of the North, p. 1402; November 1, 2000, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Sun Is My Favorite Star, p. 542; March 15, 2001, Marta Segal, review of Baby Duck's New Friend, p. 1402; October 1, 2002, Marta Segal Block, review of Like a Windy Day, p. 330; December 15, 2002, Gillian Engberg, review of Class Pets: The Ghost of P.S. 42, p. 759.
  • Horn Book, November, 1998, Lauren Adams, review of Ziggy Piggy and the Three Little Pigs, p. 710.
  • Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2002, review of Class Pets: The Ghost of P.S. 42, p. 1121; September 15, 2002, review of Like a Windy Day, p. 1382.
  • Life, December 17, 1971.
  • Nature, November 30, 2000, Monica Grady, review of The Sun Is My Favorite Star, p. 520.
  • New York Times Book Review, March 2, 1969; February 1, 1970.
  • Publishers Weekly, December 22, 1997, review of Barnyard Lullaby, p. 58; August 31, 1998, reviews of Good Night, Baby Bear and Ziggy Piggy and the Three Little Pigs, p. 75; May 24, 1999, review of Baby Bird's First Nest, p. 77; October 23, 2000, review of The Sun Is My Favorite Star, p. 74; March 12, 2001, review of Baby Duck's New Friend, p. 88; September 2, 2002, review of Class Pets: The Ghost of P.S. 42, p. 76; October 14, 2002, review of Like a Windy Day, p. 82.
  • School Library Journal, May, 1995, Heide Piehler, review of Water, p. 98; July, 1995, Kathleen Odean, review of Up River, p. 54; June, 1996, Lauralyn Persson, review of Sawgrass Poems, p. 113; February, 1998, Patricia Pearl Dole, review of Barnyard Lullaby, p. 78; June, 1998, Karey Wehner, review of Cactus Poems p. 125; September, 1998, Judith Constantinides, review of Good Night, Baby Bear, p. 164; June, 1999, Jody McCoy, review of Baby Bird's First Nest, p. 85; October, 2000, Sheilah Kosco, review of The Sun Is My Favorite Star, p. 144; August, 2001, Marlene Gawron, review of Baby Duck's New Friend, p. 142; October, 2002, Beth Tegart, review of Class Pets: The Ghost of P.S. 42, p. 98, and Marlene Gawron, review of Like a Windy Day, p. 98.
  • Washington Post Children's Book World, November 5, 1972.
ONLINE
  • Frank Asch Web site, http://www.frankasch.com/ (April 13, 2004).

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LIFE SPAN 1946–

Biography

Frank Asch is the author of many picture books aimed at young readers. In 1989 he and Russian author Vladimir Vagin became the first Russian/American collaborators to write a children's book published simultaneously in both the United States and the Soviet Union. Here Comes the Cat tells of a village of mice fearful of the approach of a cat, until they realize the cat comes in friendship. The story, of course, was meant as a . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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