Six days a week Minnie and Tessa sit, shoulder to shoulder, bent over sewing machines in a big room overflowing with piles of fabric, patterns, and lace. There is no fresh air, the light is dim, and there are too many people in the room. The work is hard and the days are long. Minnie and Tessa work at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York City. The two fourteen-year-olds are best friends. It isn't easy for a Jewish girl and a Catholic girl to be friends in 1911--some people think they're just too different. But Minnie and Tessa must depend on that friendship when the Triangle factory goes up in flames and they are trapped on the ninth floor. This moving story of courage and friendship is based on true accounts of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire of March 25, 1911.
Holly Littlefield is the author of several books for young readers. She lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
I truly believe I have the most wonderful job in the world.
I began drawing at a very early age and I always experienced great joy in being creative. Much of my childhood I spent stretched out on the floor daydreaming and drawing whatever came to my mind.
A desire to improve my drawing and painting has always been important to me. I was determined to be able to render human faces and my brothers and sisters often called my drawings "Monkey People" It is interesting that now I illustrate new Curious George books!
When I was very young I loved the pictures in my books and I began to make books from my own stories and drew pictures to illustrate them. I still have a few of those little books!
I received a BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York City. I learned so much there - about drawing, painting and illustrating children's books. I also learned how to present my work professionally so that I would get assignments as an illustrator. That was more than 25 years ago and now I go to Art Schools and share my experience with the students.
I have published more than 40 children's books as well as illustrations for book jackets, magazines, greeting cards and advertizing. In 2001 I began collaborating with Pat Schories on the Biscuit Series and have illustrated 16 of them. In 2004 I began illustrating new Curious George books. I truly enjoy drawing George in the style of H.A.Rey. I like the challenge of showing him having lots of fun and as usual, getting into some type of trouble. I am presently working on my 8th and 9th Curious George.
My studio is in my home in White Plains, NY. I was very fortunate to work and also to be available while my 3 children were growing up. It is wonderful to be able to take a short break every few hours and walk around my yard and enjoy the emerging flowers, our vegetable garden, the autumn leaves or the snow. I also enjoy hiking, skiing, running, kayaking and bicycling.
I often visit schools and libraries to talk to children about my work. They get so excited when they try to guess what I am drawing for them. To all the children and adults who enjoy picture books - thank you!