Crystal has a bachelor's degree in English, a certification in General Studies, and has assisted in teaching both middle and high school English.
Pamela Allen was born in 1934 in Devonport, New Zealand. Her love of illustration came at an early age and prompted her to pursue and obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. She is married to Jim Allen, who is a sculptor, and the couple lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
Since 1980, Pamela Allen has been writing, illustrating, and publishing children's books. Her first book, Mr. Archimedes' Bath, is an educational tale of Mr. Archimedes, whose bathtub is always overflowing with water because there are too many animals in the tub with him. Determined to find out which of his friends is responsible for the rising water level and ensuing mess, Mr. Archimedes uses scientific means to measure the water levels as his friends get in and out of the bathtub. Allen's writing style is simplistic in order to give the children a better understanding of her books. Her illustrations are meant to bring life to the characters through both a visual means and through children's imaginations. In fact, her stories are so vivid and vibrant that The Patch Theatre Company has adapted and performed eight of her books at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Her books have also been translated into French, Swedish, and Japanese.
Pamela Allen has won numerous awards for her literary works; she is actually the only author to ever win the Australian CBC Picture Book of the Year Award two years in a row, 1983 and 1984. Who Sank the Boat and Bertie and the Bear were the recipients of these prestigious literary awards. In five other years, Allen was nominated again for that same award. She has also won an International Board on Books for Young People Diploma for her talented illustrations. In 1986, Allen won the New Zealand Library Association Russell Clark Award for her illustrations in A Lion in the Night. In 2001, Allen's book Who Sank the Boat won the Gaelyn Gordon Award for being such a celebrated children's book. In addition, she has received two New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards and the Margaret Mahy Medal, which is New Zealand's most distinguished prize for children's literature. Pamela Allen has also received many more nominations for literary awards, and her books have been consistently listed on Storylines Notable Books since 2002.
Having published more than thirty children's picture books, Pamela Allen's words are used for both educational and entertainment purposes. Some of her more notable words include: Bertie and the Bear, Fancy That!, I Wish I Had a Pirate Suit, A Lion in the Night, Mr. Archimedes' Bath, Who Sank the Boat?, and Simon Said.
A drawer and a dreamer, Pamela Allen has penned over thirty children's picture books that are award-winning and celebrated in several countries, particularly in New Zealand, which is her country of origin and residence. Eight of her books are so creative and animated that they have been theatrically performed by The Patch Theatre Company at the Sydney Opera House. During a career that spans more than three decades, Pamela Allen has brought joy, laughter, and learning to children, whose imaginations help to bring her characters and stories to life.
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