Monday, August 3, 2009

Dear Genius

It's Monday, time for Picture Books Past.
Have you read Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom? Children's book historian Leonard Marcus collected and edited this well respected children's book editor's letters from the HarperCollins achieves. The book gives us a great look into the author-editor relationships of lots of top notch picture book creators of the past. You feel like you're peeking over her shoulder as she writes to them. Here's what she wrote to Crockett Johnson in 1954, "The dummy of Harold and the Purple Crayon came this morning, and I've just read it. I don't know what to say about it. It doesn't seem to be a good children's book to me but I'm often wrong--and this post-Children's Book Week finds me dead in the head. I'd probably pass up Tom Sawyer today." Of course, she was being modest. She was most often right. And a short time later she wrote to him saying how very much she liked Harold. Read Dear Genius to know more about picture books past (and, perhaps, working with editors today.)

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