Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 0 to 7
- Grade: p to 2
- Reading age: 4 to 8
Mrs. Kazinski, the old woman who lives in the attic of the old Grant Street rooming house, turns eighty on Sunday. Frank, who lives with his mother in the back rooms on the main floor, is her friend. He wants to give her the best present in the world. But what could that be? He asks all the motley residents in the house and they do have good ideas, but in the end the local cat is the most help of all. On Mrs. Kazinski's birthday, Frank carries a kitten up the stairs, but his true gift is something even more precious.
About the authors
Marilynn Reynolds is the bestselling author of a number of children’s picture books, including A Present for Mrs Kazinski, The Prairie Fire, The New Land, A Dog for a Friend and The Name of the Child, published in 2002. Her book Goodbye To Griffiths Street won the Christie Harris Award in 2005. Marilynn Reynolds was born in Sudbury, Ontario, but has spent most of her life on the Prairies. This life, combined with her mother's and grandparents' experiences growing up in wide-open spaces, gave her a wealth of story material and a unique look at early Canadian life.
Born in 1942, Lynn Smith-Ary grew up in New York City. In 1975, Lynn moved to Montreal when she was invited to work at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).
In New York City, Lynn studied painting and sculpture at The Cooper Union and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She has also earned master degrees from Harvard University in Teaching, and from the University of Wisconsin in Drawing. Since 1968, Lynn has completed films in both the United States and Canada, created animated segments for a number of documentaries, and taught at Concordia and McGill universities. Over the years, she has also illustrated a number children's books and elementary school textbooks.
Lynn has worked as an artist and animation filmmaker for over thirty years. The Sound Collector and This Is Your Museum Speaking are two award winning films for children she created for the NFB. In the 1990's, Lynn independently produced Pearl's Diner and Sandburg's Arithmetic. She prefers to animate directly under the camera with pastels, cut-outs, paints, crayons or sand. Lynn loves the way animation gives her artwork and characters the added dimension of movement.
Her films have won many awards, including a Genie for Pearl's Diner. Her six-minute film Sandburg's Arithmetic (based on Carl Sandburgs poem Arithmetic) received a Golden Apple Award at the National Educational Media Network, the Best Animation Film Award at the Bombay International Film Festival, and a top honor at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival: the most creative and innovative film of the year.
Lynn (known in the film community as Lynn Smith) resides in Montreal with her husband, musician and composer Zander Ary, who wrote the music for Lynn's last three films.
Other children's books illustrated by Lynn Smith-Ary:
- Yeah, I'm a Little Kid (1982 and no longer available)
- From Daybreak To Good Night- Poems for Children by Carl Sandburg (2001)
Both books were illustrated for Annick Press.
- Commended, OLA Best Bets