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Cece Bell
Born: 1970 in Richmond, Virginia, United States
Nationality: American
Occupation: Children's writer
Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2015. From Literature Resource Center.
Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2018 Gale, a Cengage Company
Updated:June 5, 2015
 
PERSONAL INFORMATION:

Born 1970, in Richmond, VA; married Tom Angleberger (a writer); children: two sons. Education: College of William and Mary, B.F.A., 1992; Kent State University, M.F.A., 1998. Addresses: Home: Ironto, VA. E-mail: cecebell@yahoo.com.

 
CAREER:

Writer, freelance illustrator, and designer.

 
AWARDS:

Geisel Honor Award, 2013, for Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover; Newbery Honor Book, 2015, for El Deafo.

 
WORKS:

WRITINGS:

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

  • Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood: A Star Is Bathed, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.
  • Sock Monkey Boogie-Woogie: A Friend Is Made, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
  • Food Friends: Fun Foods That Go Together, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2006.
  • Busy Buddies: Silly Stuff That Goes Together, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2006.
  • Sock Monkey Rides Again, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.
  • Bee-wigged, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2008.
  • Itty Bitty, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2009.
  • Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, Candlewick Press (Somerville, MA), 2012.
  • El Deafo (graphic novel), Abrams Books (New York, NY), 2014.

ILLUSTRATOR

  • Tom Angleberger, Crankee Doodle, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2013.
  • Denise Dowling Mortensen, Bug Patrol, Clarion Books (Boston, MA), 2013.

 

Sidelights

Cece Bell is known for her children's books about the character Sock Monkey, who she depicts as a toy actor who was once nominated for Best Supporting Toy in a motion picture. Bell not only writes stories about Sock Monkey, she also illustrates them using cartoon-like computer artwork. Bell's grandmother gave her a sock monkey kit in 1995, at a time when Bell was feeling low. "I got to work on [him]," she told a Monkey Town online interviewer, "and as soon as he was finished, I was madly in love." Bell now makes visits to libraries and schools during which she reads from her "Sock Monkey" books and shows interested readers how to make their own sock monkeys. Bell gets volunteers from the audience to help her dramatize the "Sock Monkey" stories and she teaches children how to draw all the characters from the books.

In Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood: A Star Is Bathed, the toy star plans to attend a Hollywood awards presentation. He needs to take a bath, however, something the stuffed toy has never done. With the help of toy friends Miss Bunn, Froggie, and Blue Pig, Sock Monkey manages to get cleaned up and attend the ceremony. He even wins the Ichabod Thalburg Award as the cleanest attendee at the event. According to Olga R. Kuharets, who reviewed the book for School Library Journal, readers should enjoy Bell's "simple story with a Hollywood ending."

Sock Monkey Boogie-Woogie: A Friend Is Made finds the toy actor invited to the Big Celebrity Dance. He needs a dance partner, but all of his friends are out of town. Even an advertisement does not attract a good dance partner, so Sock Monkey fashions a partner out of some cotton, a pair of socks, a hat, and a sweater. Together, the pair of stuffed toys have a great time at the dance. As Kathleen Kelly MacMillan concluded in School Library Journal, Bell's "bouncy tales skips along on the strength of Bell's colorful, cartoon digital illustrations." Jennifer Mattson wrote in Booklist that Bell's "silly, cheerful artwork and story will attract kids' attention, and the enthusiasm beaming from their elders will seal the deal."

Sock Monkey's big showbiz break comes in Sock Monkey Rides Again, in which the stuffed toy is cast in a Hollywood Western movie. He works hard to be a cowboy, learning to lasso, yodel, and ride a horse. When the filming begins, Sock Monkey does well, performing all his cowboy stunts perfectly. He just cannot bring himself to give his leading lady, Lulu Nevada, a kiss, but her tears make him realize that the best way to apologize is to give her a peck on the cheek. Martha Simpson, writing in School Library Journal, applauded Sock Monkey Rides Again, finding that Bell's "colorful, childlike drawings and breezy plot make it a quick, enjoyable read."

FURTHER READINGS:

FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

PERIODICALS

  • Booklist, January 1, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of Sock Monkey Boogie-Woogie: A Friend Is Made, p. 867.
  • Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2006, review of Sock Monkey Rides Again, p. 1217.
  • Publishers Weekly, September 1, 2003, review of Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood: A Star Is Bathed, p. 89; November 22, 2004, review of Sock Monkey Boogie-Woogie, p. 62; March 27, 2006, review of Busy Buddies: Silly Stuff That Goes Together, p. 80.
  • School Library Journal, December, 2003, Olga R. Kuharets, review of Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood, p. 104; January, 2005, Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, review of Sock Monkey Boogie-Woogie, p. 86; January, 2007, Martha Simpson, review of Sock Monkey Rides Again, p. 88.
  • Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), January 7, 2007, Mary Harris Russell, review of Sock Monkey Rides Again, p. 7.

ONLINE

  • Candlewick Press website, http://www.candlewick.com/ (March 5, 2008), "Cece Bell."
  • Cece Bell website, https://cecebell.wordpress.com/ (January 21, 2015).
  • Monkey Town blog, http://monkeytown.typepad.com/ (April 5, 2005), "Cece Bell and Sock Monkey Speak!"
  • School Library Journal, http://www.slj.com/ (December 8, 2014), Kiera Parrott, "SLJ Chats with Cece Bell About her Graphic Novel Memoir El Deafo."

 
Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition)
"Cece Bell." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2015. Literature Resource Center, http%3A%2F%2Flink.galegroup.com%2Fapps%2Fdoc%2FH1000189580%2FGLS%3Fu%3Dcuny_laguardia%26sid%3DGLS%26xid%3Dd8e86627. Accessed 17 Nov. 2018.

Gale Document Number: GALE|H1000189580