- Title Pages
- 1 Ruth Krauss’s Charmed Childhood
- 2 Becoming Crockett Johnson
- 3 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman
- 4 Punching the Clock and Turning Left
- 5 First Draft
- 6 Crockett and the Red Crayon
- 7 “We Met, and That Was It!”
- 8 Barnaby
- 9 A Good Man and His Good Wife
- 10 The Athens of South Norwalk
- 11 Art and Politics
- 12 At Home with Ruth and Dave
- 13 The Big World and the Little House
- 14 Artists Are to Watch
- 15 The Art of Collaboration
- 16 Harold
- 17 Striking Out into New Areas of Experimentation
- 18 New Adventures on Page and Screen
- 19 “Hitting on All 24 Cylinders”
- 20 Poet in the News, Cartoonist on TV
- 21 Lorca Variations and Harold’s ABC
- 22 Provocateur and Philosopher
- 23 Painting, Passports, and Protest
- 24 Theorems in Color, Poems on Stage
- 25 “You’re Only as Old as Other People Think You Are”
- 26 What Would Harold Do?
- 27 Life after Dave
- 28 Children Are to Love
- (p.145) 16 Harold
- Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss
- University Press of Mississippi
In November 1954, Crockett Johnson finished dummies for Harold and the Purple Crayon. In December 1954, he received a $750 advance and a contract from Harper for the publication of the book. That very same day, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New Haven office asked director J. Edgar Hoover for “Bureau authority” to interview Johnson, citing their uncertainty about whether Johnson “has defected from his participation in Communist front groups or from the Communist Party.” Meanwhile, Ruth Krauss was looking forward to the fall publication of Charlotte and the White Horse and working on her next book, even as a weekly television show was in the works for an adaptation of her husband’s comic strip Barnaby. Johnson was also pondering other ideas for children’s books. After Ursula Nordstrom’s initial lack of enthusiasm about Harold and the Purple Crayon, the book was eventually published in the fall of 1955 and became a runaway hit. Over the next ten years, Johnson would write more sequels of the book.
Keywords: children’s books, Crockett Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Harper, Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover, Ruth Krauss, Charlotte and the White Horse, Barnaby, Ursula Nordstrom
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