Happy Birthday, Ruth Krauss!

quotation from Ruth Krauss’s A Hole Is to Dig (1952), on the L.A. Public Library. If she were alive today, you would be wishing Ruth Krauss a very happy 106th birthday.  And yet Krauss was actually born 116 years ago, not 106 years ago. Look at the date in the upper-right-hand side of the document:

Election 2016 in Picture Books; or, What Will We Tell the Children?

This election. You’re tired of it. I’m tired of it. And… it’s finally over. Today. Or, at least we hope it will be resolved today. Given that Mr. Trump has vowed only to accept a Trump victory, it may not be resolved today. Either way, the 2016 U.S. Election is one for the history books

A Very Special House

This past Friday, I spent the afternoon at Crockett Johnson’s house – 74 Rowayton Avenue (Rowayton, Connecticut), where he and Ruth Krauss lived from 1945 to 1973. Though I wrote their biography and had seen (and photographed) the house from the outside, I’d never been inside. I’ve seen all of their homes from the outside, but

Purple Crayons in Connecticut: Two Talks This Week

People of Connecticut! This week, I’ll be giving two talks on two children’s-literature luminaries of the Constitution State – Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss.  One is free and open to the public, and the other is $5.  Both are lavishly illustrated.  Here’s what you need to know: Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 4:00 pm “Not So Simple: The Genius

“If I like what I’m doing, the kids will like it, too”: Marc Simont (1915-2013)

When his roommate, Robert McCloskey, wanted to study ducklings for his next book, Marc Simont let him adopt a whole group of them. McCloskey followed them around their small Greenwich Village apartment, sketching each one from all angles – work that would help make his Caldecott-winning Make Way for Ducklings (1941) a classic.  Simont would

A Brief Inquiry Into the Paradoxes of Academic Achievement

When I started writing what was then a biography of Crockett Johnson (back in the late 1990s), I thought: When I finish this, I really will have achieved something. Even as I wrote other books, I continued to think of the biography – which became a double biography of Johnson and Krauss – as The Big Achievement.

Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: a mix

Here is a mix to celebrate the publication of my new biography, Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature (2012).  Its official publication date is today (Sept. 1st), though it’s actually been available for a few weeks now. Given my own interest in music, it’s curious

It’s here, in hardcover and paperback.

Greetings, faithful readers. I am pleased to report that Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature – a book that was twelve years in the making – now exists in both hardcover and paperback.  I received my author copies today, which means that it should