Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jim Aylesworth  

Pen Name: None


Born: 1943 in Jacksonville, Florida


Illinois Connection

Aylesworth was 15 when his family moved to Hinsdale. He lived there until he moved to Chicago in 1996.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jim Aylesworth is an award-winning author and teacher. He attended Hinsdale Highschool and graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a B.A. in English. After college, he began a career as a stockbroker but, after a series of assignments as a substitute teacher, Aylesworth ended up in a primary classroom. He began teaching first grade students in Oak Park, Illinois in 1971 and entered Concordia College in River Forest, Illinois,and graduated with a degree in elementary education in 1978. Jim won several awards as a teacher. In 1975 the Illinois State Board of Education named him among ''Those Who Excel'' and in 1984 he was named a ''Governor's Master Teacher''. It was Aylesworth's experiences as a teacher that eventually led him to writing children's books. His students enjoyed his stories and encouraged him to pursue his dream of being a children's author. Aylesworth started writing his own books and was first published in 1980.Jim Aylesworth still teaches to this day but, not in just one classroom. He continues to entertain and teach through his writing and travels to speak to children in schools and at book events across the United States.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- '''Body of Work''' *Prairie State Award for Excellence in Writing for Children Award, Illinois Reading Council, 2009 '''''Old Black Fly''''' *List of 100 Great Picture Books, New York Public Library *Reading Magic Award, Parenting Magazine *Recommended Reading, New York Public Library *Notable Book for Children Award, American Library Association '''''The Gingerbread Man''''' *Starred Review, School Library Journal *Starred Review, Publishers Weekly *Blue Ribbon Book, BCCB *Starred Review, BCCB '''''Aunt Pitty Patty's Piggy''''' *Starred Review, Booklist '''''The Full Belly Bowl''''' *Starred Review, Publishers Weekly *Starred Review, Booklist '''''The Tale of Tricky Fox''''' *Editor's Choice, School Library Journal *Starred Review, School Library Journal *Starred Review, Publishers Weekly *Starred Review, Horn Book '''''Goldilocks and the Three Bears''''' *Starred Review, School Library Journal *Starred Review, Publishers Weekly '''''Our Abe Lincoln''''' *Starred Review, School Library Journal *Starred Review, Publishers Weekly '''''The Mitten''''' *Starred Review, Publishers Weekly *Starred Review, Horn Book, November-December 2009 *Starred Review, BCCB, January 2010 *Starred Review, School Library Journal *Starred Review, Booklist '''''Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, Creak, Pop-Pop, Moo''''' *ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2014 '''''My Grandfather's Coat''''' *Publishers Weekly Best Books List, 2014 *School Library Journal Best Books, 2014 *Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, 2014 *Starred Review, Kirkus, 2014 *Starred Review, School Library Journal, 2014 *Honorable Mention, Best Picture Books of 2014, Best About Family Category, 2014 *Sydney Taylor Award, Young Reader Category, 2015 *ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2016