Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom

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HarperCollins, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 406 pages
3 Reviews
Ursula Nordstrom, director of Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973, is regarded as the single most creative force for innovation in children's book publishing in the United States during the twentieth century. Considered an editor of maverick temperament and taste, she dared to publish groundbreaking, sometimes controversial books for an audience that was used to the often condescending material deemed "appropriate" for children. Her unorthodox vision of what she called "good books for bad children" helped create such classics as Goodnight Moon, Charlotte's Web, Where the Wild Things are, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and the Giving Tree. But it took a lot more than editorial genius to juggle such a diverse roster of talent as Margaret Wise Brown, Shel Silverstein, E. B. White, Maurice Sendak, and John Steptoe; it took immense intuition and a generous heart. Recognizing that artists need emotional as well as financial support, Nordstrom gave to each what she or he needed to thrive and flourish. She could be a best friend, a teacher, a mother, and sometimes even a taskmaster. Most of all, she was always available - ready to talk, to listen, to encourage, and to guide. Leonard S. Marcus has culled an exceptional collection of letters from the HarperCollins archives.

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User Review  - flydodofly - LibraryThing

I very much enjoyed getting this exclusive peek at the selection of the Ursula Nordstrom's letters to so many wonderful authors of children's books. Although, being without replies, it resembled a ... Read full review

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User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

What I liked about this collection of letters is the way UN's wry wit was always in evidence. It was fun to read some of the letters to authors I know and love. What I didn't like was the lack of ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Nordstrom was the director of Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973.

Leonard S. Marcus is a historian, biographer, and critic

Leonard S. Marcus is a historian, biographer, and critic whose many books include "Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by twhose many books include "Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon; Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom;" and he Moon; Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom;" and "Storied City". In addition, he has been "Parenting" magazin"Storied City". In addition, he has been "Parenting" magazine's children's book reviewer since 1987. This is his first pe's children's book reviewer since 1987. This is his first picture book. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, icture book. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Amy Schwartz, and their son, Jacob. Amy Schwartz, and their son, Jacob.

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