Federico Garcia Lorca, b.1898, d.1936. Spanish playwright and poet. He was actually executed by Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.
Richard Scarry, b.1919, d.1994. Author of busy, busy children’s books set in Busytown and featuring characters such as Lowly Worm, Bananas Gorilla, Huckle Cat, Mr. Frumble, and others.
Allan Ahlberg b.1938. Author with his wife Jan of The Jolly Postman, The Jolly Pocket Postman, and The Jolly Christmas Postman. Ahlberg on children’s books: ” . . . just because a book is tiny and its readers are little doesn’t mean it can’t be perfect. On its own scale, it can be as good as Tolstoy or Jane Austen.”
Ken Follett, b.1949. Mr. Follett gained fame as a writer of political thrillers, and then turned to historical fiction with 1989′s epic novel The Pillars of the Earth. I read Pillars, but I wasn’t terribly impressed. He’s good at creating characters and setting, but the attitudes and cultural mores in the book sometimes felt anachronistic to me.