John Cech


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Angels and Wild Things: The Archetypal Poetics of Maurice Sendak. University Park: Penn State Press, 1995. Named Honor Book of the Year, Children's Literature Association; Finalist for the Gradiva Award (in the category of works related to childhood), given annually by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, April 1997.

Editor, American Writers for Children, l900-l960, Volume 22 of The Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale Research, l983. Series developer for the DLB's volumes on American children's literature.

Charles Olson and Edward Dahlberg: A Portrait of a Friendship. Vancouver, B.C.: The English Literary Studies Monograph Series, l982.

An Afternoon at Colonus: A Recollection of Edward Dahlberg. New York: The Pequod Press, l978. In limited and trade editions.

Charles Olson in Connecticut: Last Lectures. With Oliver Ford and Peter Rittner. Iowa City: The Windhover Press, l974. Limited edition. Rpt. as Charles Olson inMansfield: Last Lectures. Boston: Northeastern University Press, l977.

My Grandmother's Journey, with illustrations by Sharon McGinley-Nally. Bradbury Press/Macmillan: 1991. Named an Outstanding Book in the Field of Social Studies by the Children's Book Council and the National Council of Social Studies.

"Grand mother's bedtime tale begins as she takes off her sensible shoes and muses, 'Feet, where haven't you been? What haven't we been through together?' She tells her granddaughter the story of her life, a story that overflows with adventure, tragedy, courage, and joy... Turning these pages is like opening a series of gifts." -- Publisher's Weekly

First Snow, Magic Snow, with illustrations by Sharon McGinley-Nally. Four Winds Press / Macmillan: 1992. Named an Outstanding Book in the Field of Social Studies by the Children's Book Council and the National Council of Social Studies.

"A sprightly adaptation of the Russian story of the snow maiden, this picture book glows with love of winter and children. When a childless woodsman shapes a mound of the first snow into the form of a child, she comes to life, and he carries her home to his wife bundled in his coat...John Cech's text is a rare blend of sweetness and vigor." -- Hungry Mind Review

Jacques-Henri Lartigue: Boy With A Camera. Four Winds Press/ Simon and Schuster, 1994.

"Jacques-Henri Lartigue was given his first camera in 1902 for his seventh birthday, and he went on to take hundreds and hundreds of pictures during his childhood. Lartigue had the gift of knowing exactly when to click the shutter of his camera to capture people and things in motion -- a ball in the air, an uncle diving into the water, a glider clearing the edge of a dune and becoming... abird!

These remarkable photographs reveal Jacques-Henri Lartigue's playful exploration of the world around him and, as selected and presented by John Cech, offers young readers and introduction to this major twentieth-century artist."

Starred review in Booklist for Grades 3-5

Django, with illustrations by Sharon McGinley-Nally. Four Winds Press / Simon and Schuster, 1994.

From the moment he first cradles his grandfather's old violin in his hands, Django feels magic soaring through his fingers. And way back in the woods, for miles around, animals gather to listen to Django's music. Raccoons tap their tails, possums slap their paws, bears rustle in the brush, and birds flock together. When Django plays the fiddle, he always has company.

Accompanied by rich, breathtaking paintings, here is an original tale from the cypress swamps of northern Florida that will leave hands clapping, hearts singing, and spirits dancing.

The Southernmost Cat, with illustrations by Kathy Osborne. Simon and Schuster, 1996. Winner of the Parent's Choice Silver Storybook Award.

"A cat, you can imagine, certainly sees plenty of excitement in nine lives, and the Southernmost Cat is no exception. He's battled bulls, sharks, rhinoceroses, and hurricanes, and now, he is ready for some quiet fishing.

"So the Southernmost Cat sails out to sea, drifting in his boat, waiting for a nibble... until... CARUMBA!

"It's a stupendous bite -- a huge and hungry fish who is all to game for a mighty tug-of-war! After his first eight lives, the Southernmost Cat's best adventure still lies ahead."


The Secret River, an adaptation for the stage of the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings story, first produced in conjunction with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of M. K. Rawlings at the annual Rawlings Society conference, 1996.

From Inside a Swan's Egg, a play based on the life of Hans Christian Andersen. Toured throughout Florida and the Southeast by The Learning Stage and Caldwell Theatre in the Schools programs (1982-85); selected for performance at the World Festival of Theatre Young Audiences held at the World's Fair in New Orleans, 1984.

A Rush of Dreamers, being the Remarkable Story of Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. Marlowe, 1998.

In San Francisco, a city famous for its eccentrics, the most celebrated of all was Joshua Norton who, in 1859, declared himself Emperor of the United States. One of the original '49ers, Norton made and lost a fortune (and a good portion of his reason) during those rough and ready first years of the "instant" city that grew out of the sand dunes of Yerba Buena. Until his death in 1880, the Emperor presided over the public life of San Francisco. Dressed in his fabled uniform with its plumed hat, Norton made his daily rounds of the city; he attended its civic functions, inspceted its progress, and issued proclamations, including one that called for the construction of a bridge between Oakland and San Francisco. Norton I became one of San Francisco's most publicized attractions; and he reamins a presence that still lingers around the Bay, where hotel suites and inns, a sightseeing boat, and even brands of coffee and cigars have been named in his honor.

John Cech's novel recreates those dizzying days of the Gold Rush and its aftermath, when dreams of sudden riches could quickly become nightmares, and survival depended on the kindness of strangers and the persistence of the imagination. This book does, finally, what Mark Twain urged someone to do for his friend the Emperor over a century ago -- "write him up." Along the way, Cech tells the story not only of Emperor Norton but also of that Whitman-like catalogue of dreamers -- merchants and mechanics, bandits and blacksmiths, clerks and clairvoyants, artists and inventors -- who found themselves rushing for the promise of California.
(From the dustjacket)


Copyright © 2002 by John Cech