Exploring The Lives of Great Children’s Authors

Much of the magic to be found in great children’s books is the the synthesis of complex “adult” emotions and ideas in ways which a child could understand and relate too. To be a truly masterful children’s author is to translate what you know of the world into the vocabulary of a child. The experiences these authors are often translating can be quite poignant, and this list of books compiled by Publisher’s Weekly all focus on the very adult lives of the great children’s writers, exploring the experiences that inspired some of our favorite childhood books.

1) In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown


Now including enlightening never before seen material, such as diary entries, letters, and manuscripts; this account of the Goodnight Moon author reveals quite a bit about her exuberant life.

2) Love from Boy: Roald Dahl’s Letters to His Mother

 This book contains the correspondence between the famed author and his mother beginning from when he was only 9 years old, offering up a view into his development as a writer.

3)Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, the Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I

 The first ever biographical work on the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle author, whose series has been in print since the 1940’s.

4) War Diaries 1939–1945

A collection of Astrid Lindgren’s, creator of Pippi Longstocking, diary entries finally to be published for American audiences. In it, we are witness to the author’s observation on the everyday trials of wartime.

5) Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books

Expanding on real life stories and political affiliations of the Wilder family, this book also tackles the creative process and collaboration between mother and daughter that spawned the iconic House on the Prairie series.

6) Garth Williams, American Illustrator: A Life

Insight into the master illustrator’s full life of art and travel, detailing his many marriages and iconic collaborations.  


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