Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pronunciation Guides

Wondering how to pronounce the name of your favorite children's author?

There's a great article that Jon Scieszka wrote for the Horn Book about how to pronounce the last names of well known children's writers and illustrators. The article was written in 1996, and there have been some new additions to the ranks of children's literature since then... but it's a terrific starting place (and really, really funny).

Thanks to the child_lit listserv, I just found out about this fantastic resource on TeachingBooks.net. It has sound clips of children's authors pronouncing their own names (and if they don't know how to say it, who does?) with great stories about the origins of their names.
I highly recommended it.

If you're interested in how to pronounce character names and spells from the Harry Potter books, check out Scholastic's Harry Potter website. They have a great pronunciation guide for just about everything having to do with the boy wizard.

The one author's name missing from all the websites above is J.K. Rowling's. According to her biography on her official website, here's how you pronounce her last name: "'Rowling' (the first syllable of which is pronounced 'row' as in boat, rather than 'row' as in argument) lent itself to woeful jokes such as 'Rowling stone', 'Rowling pin' and so on."

By the way, if you're wondering how on earth to pronounce Jon Scieszka's last name- it rhymes with Fresca.

And if you want to know how to pronounce the name of the title character in Knuffle Bunny, see the bottom of this post.

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