Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jim Aylesworth  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Children; Children;

Born: 1943 in Jacksonville, Florida

-- Website --
-- Jim Aylesworth on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Aylesworth was 15 when his family moved to Hinsdale. He lived there until he moved to Chicago in 1996.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jim Aylesworth is an award-winning author and teacher. He attended Hinsdale Highschool and graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a B.A. in English. After college, he began a career as a stockbroker but, after a series of assignments as a substitute teacher, Aylesworth ended up in a primary classroom. He began teaching first grade students in Oak Park, Illinois in 1971 and entered Concordia College in River Forest, Illinois,and graduated with a degree in elementary education in 1978. Jim won several awards as a teacher. In 1975 the Illinois State Board of Education named him among ''Those Who Excel'' and in 1984 he was named a ''Governor's Master Teacher''. It was Aylesworth's experiences as a teacher that eventually led him to writing children's books. His students enjoyed his stories and encouraged him to pursue his dream of being a children's author. Aylesworth started writing his own books and was first published in 1980.Jim Aylesworth still teaches to this day but, not in just one classroom. He continues to entertain and teach through his writing and travels to speak to children in schools and at book events across the United States.

Published Works

  • Hush Up!, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1980
  • Tonight's The Night, Albert Whitman, 1981
  • Mary's Mirror, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1982
  • Siren In The Night, Albert Whitman, 1983
  • The Bad Dream, Albert Whitman, 1985
  • Shenandoah Noah, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1985
  • Two Terrible Frights, Atheneum, 1987
  • One Crow, HarperCollins, 1988
  • Hanna's Hog, Atheneum, 1988
  • Mother Halverson's New Cat, Atheneum, 1989
  • Mr. McGill Goes to Town, Henry Holt, 1989
  • The Completed Hickory Dickory Dock, Atheneum, 1990
  • Country Crossing, Atheneum, 1991
  • The Folks in the Valley, HarperCollins, 1991
  • Old Black Fly, Henry Holt, 1992
  • The Cat & The Fiddle & More, Atheneum, 1992
  • The Good-Night Kiss, Atheneum, 1993
  • My Son John, Henry Holt, 1994
  • McGraw's Emporium, Henry Holt, 1995
  • Wake Up, Little Children, Atheneum, 1996
  • My Sister's Rusty Bike, Atheneum, 1996
  • Teddy Bear Tears, Atheneum, 1997
  • The Gingerbread Man, Scholastic Press, 1998
  • Jim Aylesworth's Book of Bedtime Stories, Atheneum, 1998
  • Through The Night, Antheneum, 1998
  • Aunt Pitty Patty's Piggy, Scholastic Press, 1999
  • The Full Belly Bowl, Atheneum, 1999
  • The Tale of Tricky Fox, Scholastic Press, 2001
  • The Burger and the Hot Dog, Atheneum, 2002
  • The Naughty Little Monkeys, Dutton, 2003
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Scholastic, 2003
  • Jim Aylesworth and YOU, Libraries Unlimited, 2005
  • Little Bitty Mousie, Walker Books for Young Readers, 2007
  • Our Abe Lincoln, Scholastic, 2009
  • The Mitten, Scholastic, 2009
  • Cock-a-doodle-doo, Creak, Pop-pop, Moo, Holiday House, 2012
  • My Grandfather's Coat, Scholastic, 2014

Selected Titles At Your Library

The completed hickory dickory dock /
ISBN: 0689718624. OCLC Number:

Aladdin Paperbacks,. New York :. 1994, ©1990.

Recounts the antics of a young mouse each hour after the clock strikes one.

Country crossing /
ISBN: 0689315805. OCLC Number:

Atheneum ;. New York :. 1991.

Recreates the sights and sounds at a country crossing one summer night, as an old car patiently awaits the passing of a long and noisy freight train. Whooawoo!

Old black fly /
ISBN: 0805039244. OCLC Number:

. .

Rhyming text and illustrations follow a mischievous old black fly through the alphabet as he has a very busy bad day landing where he should not be. A big bad fly wreaks alphabetical havoc on a household in lilting rhyme that brings readers to a resounding "Swat!" on the very last page. A solid refrain invites partial participation, but the whole sordid story, accompanied by Gammell's energetic vision of this watercolor pest, is easy to remember and chant. Nothing drives a family crazy faster than an old black fly on a hot summer day, especially when the family's a little crazy already. And this fly is as bad as they come. He knows every low-down trick in the book--and won't rest until he's gone through them all. He ate on the crust of the Apple pie. He bothered the Baby and made her cry. Shoo fly! Shoo fly! Shooo.

The cat & the fiddle & more /
ISBN: 0689317158. OCLC Number:

. .

Presents new variations on the traditional rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle."

The good-night kiss /
ISBN: 0689315155. OCLC Number:

Atheneum ;. New York :. ©1993.

The nighttime world includes lots of quiet activity, from animals moving in the woods to cars on the city streets to a child hearing a bedtime story and receiving a goodnight kiss.

My son John /
ISBN: 0805055177. OCLC Number:

H. Holt,. New York :. 1997, ©1994.

A new version of the traditional Mother Goose rhyme with fourteen new verses describing the activities of a group of children on a large farm.

Wake up, little children :
ISBN: 068931857x. OCLC Number:

Atheneum Books for Young Readers,. New York, N.Y. :. ©1996.

Wake up, little children is a song celebrating the daytime that awaits a waking child. In all there is a world full of beauty just waiting to be explored and enjoyed in ways that only children know how.

Jim Aylesworth's book of bedtime stories /
ISBN: 0689820771. OCLC Number:

. .

Four stories. In the 1st, a little girl mouse & a little girl person meet in the kitchen at bedtime & scare each other--only to dream of each other later. In the 2nd, Four beloved teddy bears each fear something at bedtime. As their little master explains away each fear, he makes the nighttime worry-free for himself, too. The 3rd story recounts the antics of a young mouse each hour after the clock strikes one. The 4th tells about the quiet activity of the nighttime world, ending with a child hearing a bedtime story & receiving a goodnight kiss.

Through the night /
ISBN: 0689806426. OCLC Number:

Atheneum Books for Young Readers,. New York, N.Y. :. ©1998.

Daddy drives through the night, thinking of his wife and children, who greet him upon his arrival home.

The burger and the hot dog /
ISBN: 0689838972. OCLC Number:

Atheneum Books for Young Readers,. New York :. 2001.

Collects rhymes and pictures involving food-based characters and their interactions.

Naughty little monkeys /
ISBN: 0142405620. OCLC Number:

. .

Mom thinks all twenty-six of her monkeys are angelic, but from Andy's wayward airplane to Zelda's trip to the zoo, these little ones find a way to get into mischief for each letter of the alphabet.

Goldilocks and the three bears /
ISBN: 0439395453. OCLC Number:

. .

A little girl walking in the woods finds the house of the three bears and helps herself to their belongings. Back cover has recipe for Mama Bear's porridge cookies.

Jim Aylesworth and you /
ISBN: 1591582563. OCLC Number:

Libraries Unlimited,. Westport, Conn. :. 2005.

This book features Jim Aylesworth, a popular picture book author. It discusses his life and work as well as the researching, writing, and illustrating of selected books. Discussion of children's reading development, including strategies and the author's philosophy about using books with children is offered, while lesson plan ideas and activities for each title provide practical help. The book is a fascinating window into the life and work of this popular children's author, and gives insight into Old Black Fly, Tricky Fox, and each of his tales.

Little Bitty Mousie /
ISBN: 0802796389. OCLC Number:

. .

Little Bitty Mousie sneaks into a house one night and discovers many tantalizing new things, as well as one very scary thing.

Our Abe Lincoln :
ISBN: 0439925487. OCLC Number:

Scholastic Press,. New York :. 2009.

"Rhythmic verse tells the story of Abraham Lincoln's life, from his childhood in the wilderness of Illinois to his famous achievements as president"--Provided by publisher.

The mitten /
ISBN: 0439925444. OCLC Number:

Scholastic Press,. New York :. 2009.

A retelling of the traditional tale of how a boy's lost mitten becomes a refuge from the cold for an increasing number of animals.

Cock-a-doodle-doo, creak, pop-pop, moo /
ISBN: 0823427544. OCLC Number:

Holiday House,. New York :. ©2012.

Rhyming text divulges the many sounds heard on a farm, from a rooster's morning crow to an owl's goodnight call.

My grandfather's coat /
ISBN: 0439925452. OCLC Number:

. .

When my grandfather came to America he made himself a handsome coat! Then he wore it and he wore it and he wore it -- until it was all worn out! So what did he do? He snipped and he clipped, and he stitched and he sewed, and out of the still-good cloth of his coat, he made himself a smart jacket! How many things can Grandfather make over the years out of that old frayed coat?


Body of Work

  • Prairie State Award for Excellence in Writing for Children Award, Illinois Reading Council, 2009
  • Old Black Fly

  • List of 100 Great Picture Books, New York Public Library
  • Reading Magic Award, Parenting Magazine
  • Recommended Reading, New York Public Library
  • Notable Book for Children Award, American Library Association
  • The Gingerbread Man

  • Starred Review, School Library Journal
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • Blue Ribbon Book, BCCB
  • Starred Review, BCCB
  • Aunt Pitty Patty's Piggy

  • Starred Review, Booklist
  • The Full Belly Bowl

  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • Starred Review, Booklist
  • The Tale of Tricky Fox

  • Editor's Choice, School Library Journal
  • Starred Review, School Library Journal
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • Starred Review, Horn Book
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears

  • Starred Review, School Library Journal
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • Our Abe Lincoln

  • Starred Review, School Library Journal
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • The Mitten

  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • Starred Review, Horn Book, November-December 2009
  • Starred Review, BCCB, January 2010
  • Starred Review, School Library Journal
  • Starred Review, Booklist
  • Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, Creak, Pop-Pop, Moo

  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2014
  • My Grandfather's Coat

  • Publishers Weekly Best Books List, 2014
  • School Library Journal Best Books, 2014
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, 2014
  • Starred Review, Kirkus, 2014
  • Starred Review, School Library Journal, 2014
  • Honorable Mention, Best Picture Books of 2014, Best About Family Category, 2014
  • Sydney Taylor Award, Young Reader Category, 2015
  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2016

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    , Contact author by Email Aylesworth will work with any size group - large or small. He enjoys speaking at schools but will work with all ages and grade levels. He will also make presentations at conferences and book events.