John Cech

(pronounced "check")

Department of English
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-6650, ex. 285


Professor of English and Children's Literature, The University of Florida.

Director, Center for Children's Literature and Culture, The University of Florida.

Producer and Host of "Recess!" a daily Public Radio program about the cultures of childhood. Currently entering its fourth year on the air for a national audience.

Recipient of the Chandler Award of Merit for Contributions to the Field of Children's Literature.

President and member of the Executive Board, Children's Literature Association,
1980 - 1984.

Author of articles and essays on Maurice Sendak, Randolph Caldecott, H. C. Andersen, Pinocchio, Howard Pyle, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the art of the storyteller, children's folklore, children's media, and other subjects in such publications as Children's Literature, Children's Video, The Horn Book, The Lion and the Unicorn, and Southern Studies.

Contributor of feature articles and numerous reviews of books for children and adults in Child, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, and USA Today.

Selected Publications


Angels and Wild Things: The Archetypal Poetics of Maurice Sendak. University Park: Penn State Press, 1995. Named Honor Book of the Year, Children's Literature Association; Finalist for the Gradiva Award (in the category of works related to childhood), given annually by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, April 1997.

Editor, American Writers for Children, l900-l960, Volume 22 of The Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale Research, l983. Series developer for the DLB's volumes on American children's literature.

Charles Olson and Edward Dahlberg: A Portrait of a Friendship. Vancouver, B.C.: The English Literary Studies Monograph Series, l982.

An Afternoon at Colonus: A Recollection of Edward Dahlberg. New York: The Pequod Press, l978. In limited and trade editions.

Charles Olson in Connecticut: Last Lectures. With Oliver Ford and Peter Rittner. Iowa City: The Windhover Press, l974. Limited edition. Rpt. as Charles Olson in Mansfield: Last Lectures. Boston: Northeastern University Press, l977.

Works for Children

My Grandmother's Journey, with illustrations by Sharon McGinley-Nally. Bradbury Press/Macmillan: 1991. Named an Outstanding Book in the Field of Social Studies by the Children's Book Council and the National Council of Social Studies.

First Snow, Magic Snow, with illustrations by Sharon McGinley-Nally. Four Winds Press / Macmillan: 1992. Named an Outstanding Book in the Field of Social Studies by the Children's Book Council and the National Council of Social Studies.

Jacques-Henri Lartigue: Boy With A Camera. Four Winds Press/ Simon and Schuster, 1994.

Django, with illustrations by Sharon McGinley-Nally. Four Winds Press / Simon and Schuster, 1994.

The Southernmost Cat, with illustrations by Kathy Osborne. Simon and Schuster, 1996. Winner of the Silver Storybook Award from Parents' Choice Magazine.

Works for Theater

The Secret River, an adaptation for the stage of the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings story,
first produced in conjunction with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of M. K. Rawlings at the annual Rawlings Society conference, 1996.

From Inside a Swan's Egg, a play based on the life of Hans Christian Andersen. Toured throughout Florida and the Southeast by The Learning Stage and Caldwell Theatre in the Schools programs (1982-85); selected for performance at the World Festival of Theatre Young Audiences held at the World's Fair in New Orleans, 1984.

A Rush of Dreamers, being the Remarkable Story of Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. New York: Marlowe, 1998.

Grants and Awards

Awards and grants for scholarship and teaching, include:

*Individual Artist Fellowship, Florida Department of State, Div. of Cultural Affairs.
*National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend.
*National Endowment for the Humanities Youth Projects Planning Grant.
*Weston Woods Research Fellowship.

Papers, Panels, Seminars, Colloquia, and Workshop Presentations

Along with presenting numerous professional conference papers and panels, I have been invited to offer guest summer seminars for graduate programs in children's literature (at Hollins College and Simmons College). I am frequently invited to give talks or to present day-long workshops on the writing process for children and teachers in public schools, on current trends and issues in children's literature for librarians and parent groups, and on the creative process for writers groups. I am also asked to speak for other, non-academic groups, such as the Chicago Humanities Festival, Jacksonville's and Miami's annual book fairs, and Chautauqua South, held annually in Stewart, Florida, as part of an on-going program for bringing University of Florida faculty and their work in touch with the general public.

Education and Degrees

Ph.D. in English and American Literature, University of Connecticut at Storrs, 1974.

B.A. in English, University of Illinois at Urbana, cum laude, 1966.

Works in Progress

* Video documentaries, drawing on materials from the Baldwin Collection and other archives about:

- Growing up in Florida, in words and pictures (in conjunction with the 150th
anniversary of the University of Florida).

- Children's manners as they have been presented in children's books throughout history.

* A history of Weston Woods film studio -- the pioneer producer of quality animated and short films for children.

* A visual history of childhood in America (with Martin Sandler).

Copyright © 2002 by John Cech