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Brian P. Cleary facts for kids

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Brian P. Cleary, (born October 1, 1959, in Lakewood, Ohio) is an American humorist, poet, United States patent holder, inventor and author. The bow-tie wearing children's author is best known for his books that explore grammar in humorous ways written for grade-school children.

Education and career

One of nine children, Cleary graduated from Saint Ignatius High School, a private Roman Catholic Jesuit high school for young men in Cleveland, Ohio. He then graduated with a degree in Communications from John Carroll University in 1982, also located in Cleveland.

Since 1982, he has worked for American Greetings Corporation—one of the largest creative divisions in the world—where he is currently the Senior Editor working on product from greeting cards to songs, and electronic greetings. He also tours the U.S. and Europe as an author visiting schools and presenting to students and staff.


Cleary created the best-selling "Words are CATegorical" series for grade school readers, a 27-volume set with more than 3 million copies in print published by Lerner Publishing Group. He has also written humor essays for national and local magazines and newspapers. His cartoon writings have been published in more than 600 newspapers worldwide. His books have sold more than 3 million copies worldwide. His poetry has been anthologized alongside Jack Prelutsky, Kenn Nesbitt, and Lemony Snicket in a collection tilted "One Minute Till Bedtime."

Cleary's literary influences include Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, and E.E. Cummings.


  • International Reading Association/Children's Book Council Children's Choice Award
  • American Booksellers Association Kids' Pick of the List
  • Benjamin Franklin Award (First Place)
  • Society of School Librarians International Book Awards, Honor Book

All of Cleary's children's books have been published by Lerner Publishing Group and are written for grades K-6.

"Words are CATegorical" Series

Cleary's best-selling "Words are CATegorical" series include 27 titles, published from 1999 to 2015.

An 8-book series written for 1st graders and "English as second language" students, published in 2009.

  • The Bug in the Jug Wants a Hug
  • Stop, Drop, and Flop in the Slop
  • The Nice Mice in the Rice
  • The Frail Snail on the Trail
  • The Thing on the Wing Can Sing
  • Whose Shoes Would You Choose?
  • The Peaches on the Beaches
  • The Clown in the Gown Drives the Car with the Star

"Math is CATegorical" Series

A 7-book series that introduces math concepts to 3rd graders.

  • The Action of Subtraction
  • The Mission of Addition
  • How Long or How Wide? A Measuring Guide
  • On the Scale, A Weighty Tale
  • Windows, Rings, and Grapes: A Look at Different Shapes
  • A Fraction's Goal: Parts of a Whole
  • A-B-A-B-A: A Book of Pattern Play

Other Lerner Book Titles

  • Eight Wild Nights: A Family Hanukkah Tale (Carolrhoda Picture Books series)
  • Peanut Butter and Jellyfishes: A Very Silly Alphabet Book (Millbrook Picture Books series)
  • "Mrs. Riley Bought Five Itchy Aardvarks" and Other Painless Tricks for Memorizing Science Facts (Adventures in Memory series)
  • Rainbow Soup: Adventures in Poetry
  • The Laugh Stand: Adventures in Humor
  • Rhyme & PUNishment: Adventures in Wordplay
  • The Punctuation Station
  • Six Sheep Sip Thick Shakes: And Other Tricky Tongue Twisters"
  • The Sun Played Hide-and-Seek; A Personification Story"

Books for Adults

  • You Oughta Know by Now (Perseus 2010)
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