Today, March 25, in 1964, Kate DiCamillo was introduced to the world in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Now living in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the age of 51, Kate is the author of various children’s novels, picture books, and early chapter books. Quite a few of her works have earned literary awards, as well.
Because of Winn-Dixie
DiCamillo’s children’s novel Because of Winn-Dixie has blossomed since its publication in 2000. It received the 2001 Newberry Honor and was later made into a film for the big screen that was released in 2005.
The film stars AnnaSophia Robb (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Bridge to Terabithia) as ten-year-old Opal and actor Jeff Daniels as her father who is also a preacher. Although I have never read the book, I did see the film a few years back and can say with confidence that it is quite a heartwarming tale of a young girl adapting to new surroundings and trying to rebuild a dwindling relationship with her father.
The Tale of Despereaux
The Tale of Despereaux was published in 2003 and then received the Newberry Award in 2004. DiCamillo’s novel was transformed into a film adaptation in 2008.
The film adaptation features various famous voices. Matthew Broderick plays the voice of Despereaux, while Dustin Hoffman assumes the role of Roscuro. Other voices include Harry Potter cast members Emma Watson as Princess Pea and Robbie Coltrane as Gregory. The man who plays everybody’s favorite scientist in Back to the Future, Christopher Lloyd, voices the character Hovis in The Tale of Despereaux.
Early Chapter Books
Kate DiCamillo’s early chapter books include the Mercy Watson series, featuring the 2007 Giesel Honor book Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride, and the Bink and Gollie series. Currently, there are six Mercy Watson books and three Bink and Gollie books.
Her newest addition to the collection of early chapter books was published in August 2014 and is titled, Leroy Ninker Saddles Up.
Kate DiCamillo is currently the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, appointed by the Library of Congress.
Congratulations on your astounding achievements thus far, Kate. We look forward to your next great literary adventure!