Today is Bill Martin, Jr.'s birthday.  The late Mr. Martin is probably best known as the author of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  He wrote or co-wrote more than 300 books.

                                        

Did you know Bill Martin, Jr. was a native Kansan?  He was born in Hiawatha, Kansas on March 20, 1916.  He grew up in Hiawatha, attended college in Emporia, and taught high school in Newton and St. John.  As a child the author had difficulty reading.  Books first came alive for him when his 5th grade teacher read aloud to the class twice every day.  Enthusiastic about helping other children learn to read, he went on to earn a doctorate degree in early childhood education from Northwestern University.

The Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award was established in his honor in 1966 by the Kansas Reading Association.  This distinguished book award is awarded annually to an outstanding picture book.  The 2012 winning book is Snow Dog's Journey by Loretta Krupinski.  Click here to see winners from previous years. 

Why not celebrate this beloved Kansas author's birthday by reading a good book?  Stop by one of the Olathe libraries, and we'll help you find one!