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About Layne Johnson
An award-winning artist, Layne Johnson has created art for more than 20 books for children. Discussing the appeal of creating books for young readers, in an interview with Cynsations’ Cynthia Leitich Smith, Johnson said “It's challenging to show not just what the words say but what they don't.”
His picture books include:
>> “Farmer George Plants a Nation” – recognized as a School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, and NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children.
>> “Off Like the Wind!: The First Ride of the Pony Express” – winner of the Western Heritage Award from the Cowboy Hall of Fame.
>> “The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans” – a 2016 Storytelling World Award Honor book, nominated for the Triple Crown Award and recognized as a Mamie Eisenhower Library Project Book of the Week.
You can visit him online at LayneJohnson.com. To see his latest art, follow him on Facebook (facebook.com/laynejohnsonstudio) and Instagram (instagram.com/laynejohnsonstudio).
Books By Layne Johnson
When American soldiers entered World War I, Moina Belle Michael, a schoolteacher from Georgia, knew she had to act. Some of the soldiers were her students and friends. Almost single-handedly, Moina worked to establish the red poppy as the symbol to honor and remember soldiers. And she devoted the rest of her life to making sure the symbol would last forever. Thanks to her hard work, that symbol remains strong today. Author Barbara Elizabeth Walsh and artist Layne Johnson worked with experts, primary documents, and Moina's great-nieces to better understand Moina's determination to honor the war veterans.
A portion of the book's proceeds will support the National Military Family Association's Operation Purple®, which benefits children of the US Military.
NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book
American Farm Bureau Foundation for Education Recommended Book
Besides being a general and the first president of the United States, did you know that George Washington was also a farmer? Here's a look at America's first President as he's rarely seen.
George Washington was the first leader of our country—but he was also an inventor, scientist, and the most forward-thinking farmer of his time. As he worked to make the new country independent, he also struggled to create a self-sufficient farm at Mount Vernon, Virginia. Excerpts from Washington's writings are featured throughout this nonfiction picture book, which also includes a timeline, resource section, as well as essays on Washington at Mount Vernon and his thoughts on slavery. Both the author and illustrator worked closely with the staff of Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens to render an accurate portrait of Farmer George at work.
Nebraska Farm Bureau Children’s Agriculture Book of the Year
Ohio Farm Bureau’s Children’s Book Award
A Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Book of the Year
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List
From the Boston Tea Party in 1773 to the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776, this comprehensive alphabet book follows the citizens of the Thirteen Colonies as they fight for representation. During the 1700s, greed ruled King George III of England, and he thought he could tax the Colonists on anything. As a result, they rebelled by forming their own government. Featuring C for Continental Congress, I for Independence, and R for Revolution, this historical children's book infuses readers with patriotism and awe.
The Declaration of Independence, one of the most important documents in the United States, gave Americans the right to defend themselves against tyranny from England. Its story lives on today in annual celebrations accented with cannon fire and spectacles of light. More than an alphabet book, this account for young readers, which features vibrantly detailed paintings, inspires a love of liberty by highlighting the devotion of those who fought for it.
Outside of ancient Syracuse on the island of Sicily, there lived a cruel ruler named Dionysius. He trusted no one. Nearby lived two best friends, Damon and Pythias. One day Pythias spoke out against Dionysius, who quickly ordered his execution, to take place in one month. Pythias wanted to return to his elderly parents to say goodbye and arrange for their care. Dionysius laughed, not trusting that Pythias would return. Damon stood up and offered to take Pythias' place until he returned. The ruler agreed only after stipulating that if Pythias did not come back, Damon would die instead. When the execution day arrived, Pythias had not returned, but Damon still believed that his friend would be there if he could. Just in time, Pythias ran in, offering up his own life for his friend's.
It's winter, and a lonely abandoned kitten is trying to survive in the woods. Each night, as he hunts for food, the warm glow of houses fills him with longing. While a family carries in its Christmas tree, the kitten slips into their house.