Books by Leonard Marcus:
A Selective Bibliography
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Book Reviews Index Page

Leonard Marcus is our most active commentator on the world of children's books. I've put together this list of books to make those interested in the field--as writers, illustrators, librarians, editors, and others--more aware of some of the books he has done. Where I've reviewed the book, the link takes you to my review. Otherwise, the link takes you to the book's page at Amazon.

Books about Children's Book Publishing

Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom (HarperCollins, 2000). Nordstrom was the head of Harper and Row's children's department for over 30 years, and edited many books still considered classics. Her letters provide insight into how books such as Goodnight, Moon and Where the Wild Things Are came about.

Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way (Golden Books, 2007) The title pretty much says it all--this is a history of Little Golden Books, and how the production of quality 25-cent books changed the business of children's publishing.

Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children's Literature (Houghton Mifflin, 2008). This is the only comprehensive history of American children's publishing that I know of, and would be valuable even if it were not also carefully researched, thoughtfully written, and packed with stories of individuals, companies, and influences from the outside. My copy is heavily used.

Books about Writers and Illustrators

A Caldecott Celebration: Seven Artists and Their Paths to the Caldecott Medal (Walker BFYR, 2008). LitWith illustrations and anecdotes, 7 Caldecott winners reveal how they create picture books. Compared to Ways of Telling, there is more of an emphasis on visuals and less on discussion.

Funny Business: Conversations with Writers of Comedy (Candlewick, 2009). Twelve writers known for their humor talk to Marcus about their childhoods, how they got started as writers, and their writing process.

The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy (Candlewick, 2008). As in Funny Business, lengthy interviews with writers of fantasy delve into their childhoods and writing process. Includes interviews wth Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Nancy Farmer, Brian Jacques, Garth Nix, Tamora Pierce, and Philip Pullman.

Ways of Telling: Conversations on the Art of the Picture Book (Dutton, 2002). Marcus interviews 14 picture book illustrators, including William Steig, Maurice Sendak, Karla Kuskin, Rosemary Wells, Mitsumasa Anno, and Jerry Pinkney, giving the reader insight into their creative process.

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