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Jean Little (1932–2020)

Author of From Anna

66+ Works 5,046 Members 101 Reviews 5 Favorited

About the Author

Jean Little was born in Taiwan in 1932. She was born with a severe eye problem and is severely visually impaired. Little grew up in Ontario and graduated from the University of Toronto. A special "talking" computer assists her with her writing. She has a retired seeing-eye dog named Ritz and a new show more one named Pippa, with whom she travels. Little has written more than 50 children's books. Her childhood experiences inspired her to write books about children with physical disabilities or facing personal difficulties. She won a number of awards, including a Canadian Library Association (CLA) Book of the Year Medal and a Canada Council Children's Literature Award. Little has been writing children's books for over forty years. Listen for the Singing was the Canada Council Children's Literature Award winner in 1977. Mama's Going to Buy You a Mockingbird was the CLA Book of the Year in 1985. Little's first book, Mine for Keeps, won the Little Brown Children's Book Award in 1962 and was republished by Viking Penguin in 1995. Orphan at My Door: The Home Child Diary of Victoria Cope, won the 2001 CLA Book of the Year for Children Award. She awarded the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People in 1974 for her entire body of work. She received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. She was named a member of the Order of Canada in 1993. Jean Little died on April 6, 2020, at the age of 88. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Jean Little

From Anna (1972) 476 copies
Hey World, Here I Am! (1986) 408 copies
Mine for Keeps (1961) 274 copies
Emma's Yucky Brother (2001) 167 copies
Emma's Magic Winter (1998) 159 copies
Look Through My Window (1970) 158 copies
Emma's Strange Pet (2003) 145 copies
Different Dragons (1986) 140 copies
Dancing Through the Snow (2007) 131 copies
Pippin The Christmas Pig (1901) 127 copies
His Banner Over Me (1995) 124 copies
Kate (1971) 120 copies
Once Upon a Golden Apple (1991) 118 copies
Willow and Twig (2000) 111 copies
Listen for the Singing (1972) 101 copies
Stand in the Wind (1975) 96 copies
Spring Begins in March (1600) 95 copies
The Belonging Place (1763) 93 copies
Home from Far (1965) 80 copies
Lost and Found (1986) 73 copies
One to Grow On (1969) 64 copies
Jess Was the Brave One (1992) 63 copies
Stars Come Out Within (1600) 60 copies
Rescue Pup (2004) 48 copies
Somebody Else's Summer (2005) 47 copies
Forward, Shakespeare! (2005) 33 copies
Revenge of the Small Small (1992) 30 copies
The Birthday Girl (2004) 30 copies
Take Wing (1968) 27 copies
Birdie for Now (2002) 23 copies
The Sweetest One of All (2008) 22 copies
Wishes (2012) 19 copies
Gruntle Piggle Takes Off (1997) 16 copies
Dear Canada: A Time for Giving: Ten Tales of Christmas (2015) — Contributor — 14 copies
When the Pie Was Opened (1968) 13 copies
Bats about Baseball (1995) 12 copies
On a Snowy Night (2013) 11 copies
Somebody to Surprise (4-in-1) (1994) — Author — 9 copies
Jean Little Collection (2001) 8 copies
Harry's Hiccups (2018) 7 copies
I Know An Old Laddie (1999) 6 copies
A Long Way Home (2022) 4 copies
Brunis Weihnact (2004) 2 copies
O Presente de Anna (2014) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Canadian Children's Treasury (1994) — Contributor — 56 copies
The Unseen: Scary Stories (1994) — Contributor — 33 copies
Growing Up Stories (1995) — Contributor — 11 copies
A Story of Jean (1989) — Foreword — 7 copies
Top Teen Stories (2004) — Contributor — 6 copies


Common Knowledge




(Ages 8-11, grades 4-7)

Meh! I'm not sure a young child would find this book very interesting. Although, they probably would learn a lot how a blind person is matched and trained with a guide dog. I actually learned a little bit myself.
MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
(Ages 8-11, grades 4-7)
This is book 1 of 2, the second being "Forward, Shakespeare!" (2005). The author, Jean Little (1936-2020), was born blind at birth and had gone through three guide dogs by the printing of these two books (2004 & 2005), each one retired and replaced about every ten years. A couple of the characters and the dogs temperaments, especially Shakespeare's, seeming to being able to understand human language, were carried over from her own experiences with her three dogs.

Shakespeare was sent as a pup to a home who fostered teens, and also fostered guide dogs for the first year of their life, then returned to the breeder prepared for more professional training. Tessa, a troubled teen, had been in this home for a while. The foster parents couldn't seem to break down her walls and decided to try putting a foster guide pup under her care.

Shakespeare was special. He could understand more of what the humans were saying than most other dogs. He knew Tessa's feelings and knew when she was hurting. As their friendship grew over the year, Tessa was able to finally feel love again and start to fit in with her new family and make friends.

This is a very good story for young readers. Tessa did have to let Shakespeare go back, and yes it did hurt her heart to let him go, but that's the reality of life. Tessa's experience turned out for the better, as she was adopted into this loving family as their own child. And she knew that someone else's life could also be better by knowing Shakespeare. I, personally, could never foster dogs and give them up after a year. That would kill me to do so.

Now, to continue Shakespeare's story in Part 2..."Forward, Shakespeare!"
… (more)
MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I remember enjoying reading Jean Little's books as a child. One can imagine my excitement when I won an Early Reviewers copy of Mine for Keeps from Library Thing. The book includes a very touching and informative introduction from the author's niece, Maggie de Vries. The book was as good as I remembered. It has interesting characters and an exciting plot. The family and friend dynamics make this a very engaging story. There is suspense and humour. Highly recommend for a new generation of readers.… (more)
Soban | 13 other reviews | Aug 23, 2023 |
This is one of my favorite books of my childhood. I reread it nearly every time I'm at my parent's house.

I was always intimidated by this book, because I was intimidated to meet Jean Little. She was billed to us in second grade as an inspiration; a partially blind author as evidence that we could do whatever we set our hearts to. I was nervous to meet her less because she was an inspiration and more because it was the first time that I'd ever met an author. But then I was nervous to read her books because I was scared that they would be books about being an inspiration over and over.

However, her books stand completely on their own merit. Kate in particular is my favorite. It is the most honest narrative I've ever read about friendship and the perils of being friends as middle schoolers, who are constantly changing, but trying to be the best self that they can. It also deals with being the product of an inter-faith marriage and about finding an identity separate from that of your parents while still being a part of the family.

More than any other childhood book, Kate still speaks to me when I read it. It's rare to find a book about middle school that's this faithful, especially one like Kate, which deals with the parts of middle school that apply to everyoneover and over throughout life
… (more)
settingshadow | 1 other review | Aug 19, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Sarah Ellis Contributor
Karleen Bradford Contributor
Carol Matas Contributor
Julie Lawson Contributor
Maxine Trottier Contributor
Maggie De Vries Introduction
Gillian Chan Contributor
Janet Lunn Contributor
Kit Pearson Contributor
Perry Nodelman Contributor
Johnny Wales Illustrator
Janet Wilson Illustrator
Phoebe Gilman Illustrator
Norah McClintock Contributor
Janet McNaughton Contributor
Susan Aihoshi Contributor
Glenn Tait Illustrator
Rose Cowles Illustrator
Joan Sandin Illustrator
Sue Truesdell Illustrator
Lewis Parker Illustrator
Jerry Lazare Illustrator


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