Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss

Posted: September 2, 2012 in Children's book authors, Illustrators

Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss, by Philip Nel

Did you know that Crockett Johnson’s real name was David Leisk, and he “borrowed” the moniker “Crockett” from Davy Crockett? I didn’t either, until I began reading the just-published Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature, by the stellar children’s literature scholar Philip Nel. Crockett Johnson is known for a number of illustrated works, most notably Harold and the Purple Crayon. Ruth Krauss wrote many books for children, including some illustrated by Maurice Sendak, but The Carrot Seed might be one of the most notable Krauss/Johnson collaborations (if you don’t know this book, watch a YouTube here.) Nel also has a Crockett Johnson website and you can find out more about Ruth Krauss here.

To celebrate the publication of this dual biography of the classic children's literature couple, Nel added a special post to his blog: Nine Kinds of Pie. This post contains 28 media treats . . . everything from Duke Ellington to a YouTube of Mr. Rogers — all with connections back to Krauss and Johnson. My favorite: an mp3 of Todd Rundgren’s “Onomatopoeia,” because “Krauss had a great ear for the sound of words,” according to Nel. I first heard this song on vinyl, didn’t remember the artist or album, and thought it was lost to me forever. Go directly to this unique blog post here, and thank you, Philip Nel, for this outstanding mix on your blog, and for all the work and engaging writing in this new contribution to the study of children’s literature.


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