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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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Poet in the News, Cartoonist on TV

Poet in the News, Cartoonist on TV

(p.183) 20 Poet in the News, Cartoonist on TV
Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss

Philip Nel

University Press of Mississippi

In a January 1959 letter, Ruth Krauss announced her newfound interest in poetry. In fact, she considered stopping writing children’s books in order to immerse herself in poetry. Meanwhile, Crockett Johnson remained immersed in an impressive array of projects. In October 1958, Ursula Nordstrom approached Johnson if he would be interested in writing a Harold story for the I Can Read series. Johnson came up with Magic Beach, which he sent to Nordstrom in early April 1959. That same year, he wrote the I Can Read book about Harold, A Picture for Harold’s Room. Back in Rowayton, Krauss resumed work on Philosophy Book, which would be published in 1960 as Open House for Butterflies and for which Maurice Sendak had drawn some illustrations. She also composed “Poet in the News,” a brief prose poem, in 1959. On December 20, Barnaby and Mr. O’Malley, a full-color pilot episode for a new Barnaby series, aired on CBS’s General Electric Theater. Johnson also began working on a series of animated films about Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Keywords:   poetry, Ruth Krauss, children’s books, Crockett Johnson, Ursula Nordstrom, Magic Beach, A Picture for Harold’s Room, Open House for Butterflies, Maurice Sendak, Barnaby and Mr. O’Malley

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