“I never thought I was going to be a writer,” says award-winning author David Martin. “I thought that I was going to be an engineer or a scientist because I was always dragging home broken televisions and trying to fix them.” When he had children of his own, he started to make up stories, and it was then that he began to learn the craft of writing.
David Martin penned a deliciously fun tale with a sweet and satisfying ending: All For Pie, Pie For All, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev. David Martin is also the author of a rollicking romp, playfully illustrated by Randy Cecil, which encourages little ones to follow the actions of animal babies to discover all the wonderful ways their bodies can move. Of his inspiration for the book, David Martin says, “We’ve All Got Bellybuttons! was originally a song about the things we have in common with elephants. Whenever I sing it to children, I always stop and say, ‘But there’s one special thing I’m thinking about that I have, and you have, and elephants have too. Can you guess what it is?’ Over the years kids have guessed heart, feet, blood, bones, skin, hair, souls, and love. But no one has ever guessed bellybutton!”
David Martin is also the author of the Piggy and Dad books. Fans may remember Piggy and Dad from their first appearances in Piggy and Dad and Piggy and Dad Play—two titles in Candlewick Press’s Brand New Readers series. These simple, funny books for children who are just beginning to read each contain four short stories. The pair was also featured in their first full-length picture book, Piggy and Dad Go Fishing, a delightful tale about a new form of fishing that’s fair game for everyone. David Martin also contributed Monkey Business and Monkey Trouble to the series, drawing on his years of teaching experience. Based on the Ttheory that even the easiest books should be worth reading and should reward the child’s efforts to read with appealing characters and humor, early versions of the books were tested on David Martin’s students. “I got to see how much fun kids in my school had reading the funny but very simple and readable stories,” he recalls. “And rereading them and rereading them!”
Readers of David Martin’s books won’t be surprised when they meet the author and find that he is just as entertaining as his books; he sings, plays the guitar or the kazoo, or even juggles during his school visits. As David Martin says, “I have never minded particularly making a fool of myself,” so he is never at a loss to illustrate his points or to make a connection with the kids. In his interactive sessions, he also works with students to create their own books or to produce oversized class books. The author’s ease in the classroom comes from his hands-on teaching experience: he’s an eighteen-year veteran of elementary and middle schools.
A native of Queens, David Martin has lived in northeast Vermont since 1970.