Scholar of children’s literature and comics. Best-known for work on radical and anti-racist children’s literature, Crockett Johnson, and Dr. Seuss – especially Was the Cat in the Hat Black?


Books, Selected Articles, and full CV.

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Recorded lectures and media appearances.

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Resources for educators and students.

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Singing. Vlogging. Enthusiastic amateurism.

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Crockett Johnson

Learn about the creator of Barnaby and Harold and the Purple Crayon via my (archived) Crockett Johnson Homepage and other writings.

Nine Kinds of Pie

Recent Posts

  • Why Are People Afraid of Multicultural Children’s Books? (Geschichte der Gegenwart)
    Why are people afraid of multicultural children’s books?  To answer that question, I look back to the roots of American censorship — which, as you doubtless know, has been enjoying a renaissance lately.  My piece makes its debut today in Geschichte der Gegenwart, a Swiss publication the title of which means History of the Present. That’s
  • Syd Hoff’s The Ruling Clawss: unboxing!
    Look what just arrived in the mail! This is Syd Hoff’s first book. But you probably don’t know it. It was published under a pseudonym in 1935. And it’s never been republished — until now. Also, Syd Hoff didn’t want you to know about it.  I tell that story and others in my introduction to the
  • Keep on shining. #PlagueSongs, no. 41
    Since the pandemic is now over-ish, I’m posting what I had intended to post as my final “Plague Song,” last March: Carsie Blanton’s “Buck Up”! I never quite got around to it last year. Several reasons. The pandemic doesn’t have a definitive end point because, well, we will still need vaccinations, which are unequally distributed,