Candace Fleming

In second grade, Fleming discovered a passion for language. She can still remember the day her teacher, Miss Johnson, held up a horn-shaped basket filled with papier-mache pumpkins and asked the class to repeat the word "cornucopia." She said it again and again, tasted the word on my lips, testing it on her ears. That afternoon, she skipped all the way home from school chanting, "Cornucopia! Cornucopia!" From then on, she really began listening to words — to the sounds they made, and the way they were used, and how they made her feel. She longed to put them together in ways that were beautiful, and yet told a story.

As she got older, Fleming continued to write stories, but she never really thought of becoming an author. Instead, she went to college where I discovered yet another passion — history. She didn't realize it then, but studying history is really just an extension of her love of stories. After all, some of the best stories are true ones — tales of heroism and villainy made more incredible by the fact they really happened.

After graduation, Fleming married and had children. She read to her children a lot, and that's when she discovered the joy and music of children's books. She simply couldn't get enough of them. With her two sons in tow, she made endless trips to the library, and she read stacks of books. When she found herself begging, "Just one more, pleeeeease!" while my boys begged for lights-out and sleep, it struck her. Why not write children's books? It seemed the perfect way to combine all the things she loved: stories, musical language, history, and reading.

Fleming is the critically acclaimed author of lively fiction for younger children, titles like Muncha!, Muncha!, Muncha! and The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary, as well as non-fiction titles like Our Eleanor and The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary.

Fleming lives with her family in suburban Chicago.

Books by This Author

Boxes for Katje

Age Level: 3-6
Like most other places, Katje's small Dutch town has little since the end of the war. But a box has been sent by a girl from Indiana as part of a larger relief effort for post-war Europe. Inspired by real events, this unusual story of friendship is handsomely illustrated.

Clever Jack Takes the Cake

Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Age Level: 6-9
Jack is invited to the princess' birthday party but is too poor to buy a worthy gift so instead bakes a cake. It never gets delivered, however, but the clever boy gives the most lasting gift of all: an engaging story. Lively language and humorous illustrations are used in the original story told in the tradition of a folktale.

Gator Gumbo

Illustrated by: Sally Anne Lambert
Age Level: 6-9
Poor Gator has gotten so old that he lives on vegetables only, teased mercilessly by local animals. Gator's gumbo intrigues possum, skunk, and otter — with very zesty results. This satisfying parody is spiced up with local Cajun color and language.

Imogene's Last Stand

Illustrated by: Nancy Carpenter
Age Level: 6-9
Imogene's town has abandoned the building which she makes into a museum. Can feisty Imogene save the museum from destruction in the name of progress? She finds a letter (George Washington slept there!), protests, and puts herself in a stockade until the building is saved. This book is fast, funny, and rich with an appreciation for history.

Lowji Discovers America

Nine-year old Lowji Sanjana and his family move from a high-rise apartment in India to a garden-style apartment in suburban Illinois. Though lonely before school begins, Lowji befriends the landlady and a menagerie of animals as he adjusts to his new home.

Oh, No!

Illustrated by: Eric Rohmann
Age Level: 3-6
"Ribbit-oops!" Frog falls into a deep hole, followed by other animals who try to help. Oh, no! Stalked by a hungry tiger, saved by a gentle elephant the drama of the story is enhanced by richly hued illustrations and lots of playful patterns of sounds and language sure to be repeated.