Thursday, January 1, 2009

Author Review: Clyde Robert Bulla

Clyde Robert Bulla (BULL uh)(1914 - ) is an outstanding children's book author, with more than sixty books and many awards to his credit. He was born and raised on a farm in Missouri, attended a one-room schoolhouse, and was only allowed to read and write after he finished his chores! Mr. Bulla wanted to write even when he was very young. In first grade the teacher asked each pupil what they would do with a thousand dollars and his response was "buy a table" so he could write! His first piece of writing was called "How Planets Were Born." He wrote many other stories, poems, and plays while in school.

After school, his first novel was published and very soon afterward the publisher went bankrupt. For several years he worked as a columnist and typesetter for a newspaper. His columns were noticed by a well-known children's book writer who encouraged him to try again. Within several weeks his first book, The Donkey Cart, was accepted by the publisher.

His writing has been described as "filled with great warmth and sensitivity." Most of these books are great for early elementary readers. I have several of his books (Chalk Box Kid and White Bird are two) that have recently been reprinted in the "A Stepping Stone Book" series for young readers. Chalk Box Kid is suggested for 3rd grade and White Bird has a more specific RL: 1.9 listed.

"Clyde Bulla has never written a poor story nor written a good story poorly...His books refuse to be classified, so varied is his offering. But whether he is writing about historical America or a modern boy and his horse, authentic Indian lore or perfidy and courage in the days of King Arthur, each story is told with beautiful clarity and a special flavor of its own time or place."
--May Hill Arbuthonot, Elementary English
As to how to pronounce his name, Mr. Bulla says, "Over the years I've learned to answer to Beulah, Buller, and even Bullie, without much carring."

List of titles by Clyde Robert Bulla:

Almost a Hero
Beast of Lor, The -- TruthQuest Ancient Rome
Cardboard Crown, The
Chalk Box Kid, The -- Sonlight 2 (old TMs)
Charlie's House - TruthQuest 2
Conquista! - TruthQuest Ren & Ref
Dandelion Hill
Daniel's Duck - I Can Read, Sonlight 2, FIAR, TruthQuest 3
Dog Named Penny, A
Donkey Cart, The
Down the Mississippi
Eagle Feather
Flowerpot Gardens
Ghost of Windy Hill, The
Ghost Town Treasure
Grain of Wheat, A
Indian Hill
John Billington, Friend of Squanto - TruthQuest 1
Johnny Hong of Chinatown
Jonah and the Great Fish
Joseph the Dreamer
Keep Running, Allen!
Last Look
Lincoln's Birthday - TruthQuest 3
Lion to Guard Us, A - Sonlight 3, TruthQuest 2
Marco Moonlight
Mika's Apple Tree: A Story of Finland
Moon Singer, The
More Stories of Favorite Operas
My Friend, The Monster
New Boy in Dublin: A Story of Ireland
Old Charlie
Open the Door and See all the People
Pirate's Promise - TruthQuest 1
Pocahontas and the Strangers - Sonlight 3
Poor Boy, Rich Boy
Poppy Seeds, The
Ranch for Danny, A
Riding the Pony Express - Sonlight 2, TruthQuest 3
Ring and the Fire, The
Secret Valley, The - Sonlight 2 (old TMs), TruthQuest 3
Shoeshine Girl, The - Sonlight 2 (old TMs)
Singing Sam
Song of St. Francis
Squanto, Friend of Pilgrims - Sonlight 3, TruthQuest 1, Beautiful Feet
St. Valentine's Day
Star of Wild Horse Canyon
Stories from Wagner's Viebelung Operas
Stories of Favorite Operas
Stories of Gilbert and Sullivan Operas
Stubborn Old Woman, The
Sugar Pear Tree, The
Surprise for a Cowboy
Sword in the Tree, The - Sonlight 2, TruthQuest Dark Ages
Three Dollar Mule - Sonlight 2 (old TMs)
Tree is a Plant, A
Valentine Cat, The
Viking Adventure - Sonlight 2, TruthQuest Dark Ages
Washington's Birthday - TruthQuest 2
What Makes a Shadow?
White Bird
White Sails to China - TruthQuest 3
Wish at the Top, The
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