Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John O. Cech  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1944 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Cech was born in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

John Cech is an award-winning writer, teacher, scholar and critic. He is a Professor of English and Children's Literature at the University of Florida in Gainsville, where he currently serves as the Director of the University’s Center for Children’s Literature and Culture. He is also the director of the Center for Children’s Literature and Culture.


'My Grandmother's Journey ' Outstanding Book in the Field of Social Studies, Children's Book Council and the National Council of Social Studies 'First Snow, Magic Snow ' Outstanding Book in the Field of Social Studies, Children's Book Council and the National Council of Social Studies 'Jacques-Henri Lartigue

Speaking Engagements

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Selected Titles At Your Library

A rush of dreamers :
ISBN: 1569247757. OCLC Number: 37397962

Marlowe,. .

Fictionalized account of the life of the Emperor Norton of California in Gold Rush days.

Aesop's fables /
ISBN: 1402752989. OCLC Number: 244063850

Sterling,. .

Beautiful illustration throughout enhances this wonderful collection of timeless tales, including "The Sun and the Wind," "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse," "The Fox and the Grapes," and many others.

Angels and wild things :
ISBN: 0271009497. OCLC Number: 26933466

Pennsylvania State University Press,. .

Angels and Wild Things examines the unique contribution of Maurice Sendak to the literature of childhood. It is the first comprehensive reading of Sendak's key works that considers the symbolic child who has appeared and developed in Sendak's books and remains at the center of his vision. By fusing biographical, historical, cultural, and literary materials with the insights of depth psychology and archetypal theory, this study traces the evolution of Sendak's work - from its first, bold steps in the 1950s, to its liberating breakthroughs of the 1960s and early 1970s, to the rich complexity of his most recent books. Although touching on many of the works that Sendak has been involved with, John Cech concentrates on those books that Sendak has both written and illustrated - in essence, those works over which he has had complete artistic control. It is in these books that we can see most clearly the poesis of Sendak's art, the alchemy of his creative process that has woven together the remembrances of his own things past, the spirit of his times, the history of children's literature, and Sendak's animating concern with the archetypal figure of the child - a symbol of creative potential, emotional vitality, and spiritual renewal. Angels and Wild Things documents the major role that Sendak has played in helping to develop a literature of fantasy for young children, one that could explore the "inside," the emotional, imaginative terrain of a child's experience.

Django /
ISBN: 0027657051. OCLC Number: 29756949

Four Winds Press ;. .

In this retelling of a Floridian legend, a boy learns to fiddle and later uses his music to save the forest animals from the floods caused by a hurricane.

First snow, magic snow /
ISBN: 0027179710. OCLC Number: 25165281

Four Winds Press,. .

A little girl made from the magical first snow lives with a lonely man and his wife through the winter, and when she disappears in the spring, the couple set out in search of her.

Imagination and innovation :
ISBN: 0545089220. OCLC Number: 310398653

Scholastic Press,. .

Explores the work of director Morton Schindel at Weston Woods Studios, and his commitment to producing quality children's films.

Jack and the beanstalk /
ISBN: 1402730640. OCLC Number: 85813607

Sterling Pub. Co.,. .

A boy climbs to the top of a giant beanstalk where he uses his quick wits to outsmart an ogre and make his and his mother's fortune. Includes historical notes on versions of this tale, other heroic stories, and alternate "ascension" tales.

Jacques-Henri Lartigue :
ISBN: 0663592747. OCLC Number: 34141101

Silver Burdett Ginn,. .

Photographs taken by a French boy after he received his first camera in 1902.

My grandmother's journey /
ISBN: 0689818904. OCLC Number: 38833079

Aladdin Paperbacks,. .

A grandmother tells the story of her eventful life in early twentieth-century Europe and her arrival in the United States after World War II.

Puss in boots /
ISBN: 1402744366. OCLC Number: 289067823

Sterling,. .

A clever cat helps his poor master win fame, fortune, and the hand of a beautiful princess. Includes historical notes on versions of this tale and other fairy tales.

Rapunzel /
ISBN: 1454916796. OCLC Number: 927462474

. .

A poor couple is forced to surrender their newborn daughter to a powerful witch, all for having stolen some lettuce to satisfy the wife's unbearable hunger. And so the witch takes Rapunzel to a secluded tower, where the girl spends her days singing and braiding her long hair. Then, one day, a prince hears her sweet voice and everything changes. Includes notes about the origins of the story.

Rumpelstiltskin /
ISBN: 1454919086. OCLC Number: 85765951

. .

A strange little man helps the miller's daughter spin straw into gold for the king on the condition that she will give him her first-born child. Includes historical notes on the story's origins, versions from other countries, and the significance of names.

The elves and the shoemaker /
ISBN: 1454916761. OCLC Number: 927462216

. .

Adapted from the perennially popular Brothers Grimm story, John Cech's engaging retelling of "The Elves and the Shoemaker" features uniquely compelling and otherworldly illustrations by Kirill Chelushkin. Their acclaimed version now in paper brings this magical tale of kindness and generosity to a new generation of readers. Includes notes about the origins of the story.

The nutcracker /
ISBN: 1454921161. OCLC Number: 936411086

. .

In this retelling of the original 1816 German story, Godfather Drosselmeier gives young Marie a nutcracker for Christmas, and she finds herself in a magical realm where she saves a boy from an evil curse.

The princess and the pea /
ISBN: 1454916788. OCLC Number: 65819577

Sterling,. .

An abridgement of the tale in which a girl proves that she is a real princess by feeling a pea through twenty mattresses and twenty featherbeds. Includes historical notes about Hans Christian Anderson and the original fairy tale.

The Southernmost Cat /
ISBN: 0689805101. OCLC Number: 29550071

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,. .

While being dragged around the Atlantic Ocean by a huge fish, an adventuresome cat, whose life bears an amazing resemblence to that of Ernest Hemingway, recalls the events of his previous eight existences.

The twelve dancing princesses /
ISBN: 1454919094. OCLC Number: 244063814

Sterling,. .

A retelling of the traditional tale of how the king's twelve daughters wear out their shoes every night while supposedly sleeping in their locked bedroom.