• minman




During the years as an educational publisher’s representative I had several favorite fiction and non-fiction titles from subject areas such as science and especially from social studies including history. At one time in my career I had the opportunity to represent the companies of CHILDREN’S PRESS, FRANKLIN WATTS AND ORCHARD BOOKS. These companies were independent for many years and were very popular with librarians and reading teachers throughout my area. It was easy to sell these titles, they were very well accepted and received! So much so, that my first year re-introducing the company, FRANKLIN WATTS, my sales exceeded quota by 200%!

One of these companies, ORCHARD BOOKS had a different look to them. They had a very artsy look and were usually illustrated by well known illustrators. In my last article I mentioned an author, GEORGE ELLA LYON and an illustrator, VERA ROSENBERRY.

In this article, I would like to introduce GEORGE ELLA LYON one of my favorite authors, and a very talented illustrator, PETER CATALANTO. They collaborated to do one of my favorite titles, WHO CAME DOWN THAT ROAD?


From our trusted sources of information, WIKIPEDIA and ENCYCLOPEDIA.COM. we learn the following information>

GEORGE ELLA LYON, born April 25, 1949, is an American author from Kentucky, who has published in many genres, including picture books, poetry, juvenile novels, and other articles.

She was the daughter of Robert Vernon Fowler, Jr., a dry cleaner and later a savings and loan vice president, and Gladys, a chamber of commerce executive director. GEORGE ELLA was born in Harlan, Kentucky, a coal mining town in southeastern Kentucky. Her books frequently take place in Appalachia. She married Stephen C. Lyon, June 3, 1972. He is a musician and composer, they have two sons, Benjamin Gerard, and Joseph Fowler. She earned a B.A. at Centre College in Kentucky in 1971, her M.A. at the University of Arkansas in 1972, and her Ph.D. at Indiana University – Bloomington in 1978.

Her first published work came in 1983, a poetry collection called MOUNTAIN. In addition to publishing, she has also taught writing at several colleges including University of Kentucky, Centre College, Transylvania University, and Radford University. She currently teaches writing through workshops, conferences, and author visits.


Over the course of her career she has written 22 picture books, 5 young adult novels, 3 books of poetry for adults and several more works of historical note.


Kentucky poet laureate, 2015 – 2017

Lamont Hall Award, Andrew Mountain Press, 1983, for MOUNTAIN

Golden Kite Award, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, 1989 for BORROWED CHILDREN

Kentucky Bluegrass Award, for BASKET

Book of the Year Award, Appalachian Writers Association, for CATALPA.

Best Books of the Year citation, Publishers Weekly for WHO CAME DOWN THAT ROAD.

Jesse Stuart Media Award, Kentucky School Media Association, for a body of work.

This information was retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=George_Ella_Lyon&oldid=946169009

See also George Ella Lyon’s Official Site(http://georgeellalyon.com

I also wanted to include a short book review from PUBLISHERS WEEKLY on my favorite book from GEORGE ELLA LYON, illustrated by PETER CATALANTO,


“The creators of this book offer a lean, lyrical text and shimmering luminous paintings to produce an extraordinary picture that both clarifies but doesn’t oversimplify the difficult concept of historical time and evolution. A boy and his mother walk down “an old, old, old road” leading through the woods. “Who came down that road, Mama? Asks the child, and each turn of the page brings a time further back – the mother’s great-grandma and great grandpa, /came down that road just married and looking to farm/ they came down that road.” And before that “soldiers in blue coats” settlers, Native Americans, animals, pre-historic creatures, fish and finally – accompanied by a particularly dramatic painting “questions crowded like a bed of stars” allude to the mysteries of creation. Each spread complements Lyon’s line or two of poetic text with stunning and evocative watercolors that are filled with light and beauty.”


Even though this book is recommended for ages 4 – 7, I was drawn to it due to my relatives on my father’s side are from Alabama. As I have travelled in the southern United States I can associate with the history of the book. In 2015, my daughter and I travelled the Natchez Trace in a driving rainstorm from Mississippi to Alabama to see some family and other historical sites. Going back to Mississippi we back tracked along the same route in much better weather. Looking down those old country roads, I thought of the story of WHO CAME DOWN THAT ROAD?

As I have said many times before, books are powerful to instruct, entertain or enlighten us in many different subjects.

Even though our featured author GEORGE ELLA LYON is not as famous as our other authors, she is recognized in the educational world and each school probably has many of her books.

She has been doing her part in ENCOURAGING LITERATURE. LEARNING AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. Especially in supplying excellent books for children to read.

We hope you have enjoyed this article! Thank you for reading! Please join us next time at www.infoproductsunlimited.com.

Michael Inman

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