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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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Children Are to Love

Children Are to Love

(p.269) 28 Children Are to Love
Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss

Philip Nel

University Press of Mississippi

In 1989, Ruth Krauss placed an ad looking for someone to rent Crockett Johnson’s studio in Westport. Joanna Czaderna, a Polish immigrant who was seven months pregnant at the time, responded. Czaderna and her husband, Janusz, became a part of the household, followed by their daughter, Bianca, who was born in December 1989. In Joanna Czaderna, Krauss found a confidant and chauffeur. They traveled in Krauss’s little Honda, visiting the places she had lived and worked, including the Rowayton house and the schools where she had interviewed children for her books. Krauss also began making books for her own amusement—one of her favorite childhood activities. In July 1992, her health started to fail, and Czaderna became her primary caregiver. Aware that Ruth might die anytime soon, Maureen O’Hara phoned Maurice Sendak and asked him to come back for a final visit. On 10 July, Ruth Krauss passed away. In accordance with her wishes, she was cremated and her ashes scattered in Long Island Sound where her husband’s ashes were also tossed nineteen years earlier.

Keywords:   Ruth Krauss, Crockett Johnson, Joanna Czaderna, Rowayton, Maureen O’Hara, Maurice Sendak

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