Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Alice Provensen  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Children;

Born: 1918 in Chicago, Illinois


-- Alice Provensen on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=alice++provensen


Illinois Connection

Provensen was born in Chicago and attended the Art Institute of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Alice Provensen was an American author-illustrator who teamed with her husband, Martin, to create children's books. There was a remarkable similarity to the couple's early histories. Both were born in Chicago, Illinois, and both moved to California when they were twelve. Both received scholarships to the Art Institute of Chicago, and both attended the University of California, though at separate campuses. After college, Alice went to work with Walter Lantz Studio, the creators of Woody Woodpecker, and Martin took work with the rival Walt Disney Studio, where he collaborated on Dumbo, Fantasia, and Pinocchio.The pair met in 1943 when Martin, working as a creator of training films for the American military, was assigned to the Walter Lantz Studio. They were married in 1944 and began illustrating children's books together. They shared work on all of the pictures, passing them back and forth until they were completely satisfied with the results. After they were married, they resettled in Washington, D.C., where they worked on war-related projects. Following the end of the war, they moved to New York City, where a friend assisted them in finding their first job, illustrating The Fireside Book of Folk Songs. In 1952, Tony the Tiger, designed by Martin, debuted as a Kellogg's mascot. Following that, they illustrated several Little Golden Books and wrote many books based on Maple Hill Farm, their home in New York State. Alice and Martin Provensen received the Caldecott Honor Medal for their illustration of ''A Visit to William Blake's Inn'', by Nancy Willard. They were further recognized just two years later, when they received the Caldecott Medal for ''A Glorious Flight''. The Provensens have been on the New York Times list of the Ten Best Illustrated Books eight times. In all, the couple wrote and illustrated more than 50 books.When Martin died in 1987, Alice thought about selling Maple Hill Farm, not certain if she would ever want to write or draw again. But her fondness for history drew her to back to writing ''The Buck Stops Here: The Presidents of the United States''. Its success and that of ''My Fellow Americans: A Family Album'' and ''Punch in New York'' revived her interest in writing, and she decided to stay at Maple Hill Farm. Alice enjoys traveling, and her love for exotic places came into play in her 2001 book, ''The Master Swordsman & The Magic Doorway: Two Legends from Ancient China.''


Published Works

  • Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm, Random House, 1974
  • The Year at Maple Hill Farm, Atheneum, 1978
  • A Visit to William Blake's Inn, Voyager Books, 1982 - written by Nancy Willard
  • The Glorious Flight, Viking Press, 1983
  • The Buck Stops Here : The Presidents of the United States, Harper & Row, 1990
  • Punch in New York, Puffin, 1991
  • My Fellow Americans : A Family Album, Browndeer Press, 1995
  • The Master Swordsman & The Magic Doorway : Two Legends from Ancient China, Simon & Schuster, 2001


Selected Titles At Your Library

Our animal friends at Maple Hill Farm /
ISBN: 0689844999. OCLC Number:

. .

Describes animals on the authors' own farm in New York: dogs, horses, pigs, geese, chickens, cows, goats, sheep, cats, and more! Who lives at Maple Hill Farm? Two dogs, five horses, a pig, some geese, lots of chickens, a few cows, a few goats, several sheep, and four special cats -- these are the animals at Maple Hill Farm. With simple text that is both affectionate and wry, and irresistible illustrations that burst with personality, Alice and Martin Provensen bring their barnyard friends to life for the delight of animal lovers both young and old. Annotation. Who lives at Maple Hill Farm? Two dogs, five horses, a pig, some geese, lots of chickens, a few cows, a few goats, several sheep, and four special cats -- these are the animals at Maple Hill Farm. With simple text that is both affectionate and wry, and irresistible illustrations that burst with personality, Alice and Martin Provensen bring their barnyard friends to life for the delight of animal lovers both young and old.

The year at Maple Hill Farm /
ISBN: 0689845006. OCLC Number:

Aladdin Paperbacks,. New York :. 2001.

Describes the seasonal changes on a farm and surrounding countryside throughout the year. This is a book about farm animals, and what happens during one year on a farm. In January, the cows stay in the barnyard, and the chickens don't lay many eggs. By March, you can tell spring is coming: the barn is filled with baby animals. Month by month, the animals at Maple Hill Farm sense the changing seasons and respond to the changes. Through gently humorous text and charming illustrations, Alice and Martin Provensen capture one year at their beloved Maple Hill Farm in a way sure to delight city slickers and country folk alike.

A visit to William Blake's inn :
ISBN: 0152938230. OCLC Number:

. .

A collection of poems describing the curious menagerie of guests who arrive at William Blake's inn. Inspired by William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, this delightful collection of poetry for children brings to life Blake's imaginary inn and its unusual guests.

The glorious flight :
ISBN: 0140507299. OCLC Number:

Puffin Books,. New York, N.Y. :. 1987, ©1983.

A biography of the man whose fascination with flying machines produced the Bleriot XI, which in 1909 became the first heavier-than-air machine to fly the English Channel.

The buck stops here :
ISBN: 0152016287. OCLC Number:

Browndeer Press, Harcourt Brace & Co.,. San Diego :. ©1997.

Detailed pictures present both personal and political facts about the presidents of the United States and some historical events occurring during their terms.

Punch in New York /
ISBN: 0140540679. OCLC Number:

. .

Tells Punch's adventures in New York City when he found to be in a suitcase that was stolen as his owner come through customs at Kennedy Airport.

My fellow Americans :
ISBN: 0152766421. OCLC Number:

Browndeer Press,. San Diego :. ©1995.

Tableaus and portraits of many of the individuals who have influenced American history, culture, and character.

The master swordsman & the magic doorway :
ISBN: 068983232X. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,. New York :. ©2001.

In two stories set in ancient China, Little Chiu masters the sword and Mu Chi escapes death through his marvelous painting.


Awards

A Visit to William Blake's Inn

  • Caldecott Honor Medal
  • A Glorious Flight

  • Caldecott Medal

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (No)