Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Biographies of Children's Books Authors For Adults

Book Saleswoman . Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.
quest.eb.com/search/108_262773/1/108_262773/cite. Accessed 27 Jan 2017.
Thomas Wolfe said you can't go home again, and that often applies to your favorite children's books when you're an adult (though we think the Moomins stand the test of time quite well). We had a friend who found The Lonely Doll a bit disturbing as an adult, though she loved the book as a child, and this month's Smithsonian magazine has an article titled "The Little House on the Prairie Was Built on Native American Land," a critical look at Laura Ingalls Wilder's work; other books might contain ideas and/or situations that are less acceptable than they used to be, so sometimes you have to decide whether or not you want to share them with the children in your life. But what about you? How do you get your nostalgia fix if the treasured classic of your childhood no longer pulls at your heartstrings in the same way?

How about some backstory for your favorite children's literature? There are many biographies of children's authors in the library catalog. Sometimes you can learn more than you want to know about your idols - we know someone who was troubled by the T. H. White vein that runs through Helen Macdonald's H Is for Hawk - but often learning about the authors you love can be illuminating and can enhance your understanding of their books. The books on the following list tackle a bevy of different authors, some as straight biography, some as memoir, some approaching an aspect of their work. Who's the favorite author from your childhood? Let us know in the comments!

In the Great Green Room: The Life of Margaret Wise Brown by Amy Gary

Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books by Christine Woodside

Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, the Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I by Paula Becker 


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