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Crockett Johnson and Ruth KraussHow an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children's Literature$
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Philip Nel

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617036248

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617036248.001.0001

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“Hitting on All 24 Cylinders”

“Hitting on All 24 Cylinders”

(p.171) 19 “Hitting on All 24 Cylinders”
Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss

Philip Nel

University Press of Mississippi

From a creative standpoint, 1958 began auspiciously for Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson. While she was working on a book based on the artwork she had collected from children at the Rowayton public schools in Connecticut over the past six years, he was writing three new stories, including Ellen’s Lion, and rewriting another, The Frowning Prince, while redoing the color separations for The Blue Ribbon Puppies and sketching plans for Harold’s Circus, the fifth in the Harold and the Purple Crayon series. Another book, Will Spring Be Early? Or Will Spring Be Late? won a contract from Thomas Y. Crowell. Harold at the North Pole was released by Harper in time for the 1958 holiday season. Johnson and Krauss also oversaw foreign editions of their earlier children’s books and promoted their work at home. Meanwhile, Krauss continued mentoring young people. Aside from Maurice Sendak, she developed a professional relationship with another young gay artist, Remy Charlip.

Keywords:   children’s books, Ruth Krauss, Crockett Johnson, Ellen’s Lion, The Frowning Prince, The Blue Ribbon Puppies, Harold’s Circus, Harold at the North Pole, Maurice Sendak, Remy Charlip

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