Leonard S. Marcus
Children's Book Historian, Author, Critic
                       
                 
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
 
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RANDOLPH CALDECOTT: THE MAN WHO COULD NOT STOP DRAWING
(FSG/Foster, August 2013)
What the critics are saying:

“Superb . . . A worthy tribute to the man who remains a giant in the world of children's literature.”
--Michael Cart, Booklist, starred review

“An exemplary juvenile biography.”
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

A Junior Library Guild selection

An Amazon Best Nonfiction Book for September



RANDOLPH CALDECOTT: THE MAN WHO COULD NOT STOP DRAWING - Book by Leonard S. Marcus

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MAURICE SENDAK: A CELEBRATION OF THE ARTIST AND HIS WORK
(Harry N. Abrams, Society of Illustrators)
Published in conjunction with the Society of Illustrators exhibition “Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Work,“ this lavishly illustrated catalogue is edited by Leonard S. Marcus and features hundreds of previous unpublished artworks by the twentieth century's preeminent children's book artist.



MAURICE SENDAK: A CELEBRATION OF THE ARTIST AND HIS WORK - Catalogue edited by Leonard S. Marcus

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LISTENING FOR MADELEINE: A PORTRAIT OF MADELEINE L'ENGLE IN MANY VOICES
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Madeleine L'Engle is best known to the world as the author of A Wrinkle in Time, the enduring milestone work of fantasy fiction that has enthralled millions of readers for the past fifty years. But to those who knew her well, L'Engle was much more: a larger-than-life persona, an inspiring mentor, a strongwilled matriarch, a spiritual guide, and a rare friend. The renowned literary historian and biographer Leonard S. Marcus reveals L'Engle in all her complexity through a series of incisive interviews with the people who knew her most intimately. Vivid reminiscences of family, colleagues,and friends create a kaleidoscope of keen insights and snapshot moments that help readers to understand the many sides of this singularly fascinating woman.
Starred Review --Publishers Weekly


“A multifaceted portrait of the complicated writer who won the 1963 Newbery Medal for A Wrinkle in Time. Timed as part of the publisher's 50th-anniversary celebration of the beloved classic . . . this collection brings more than 50 voices to bear on the life and career of Madeleine L'Engle (1918—2007). Children's-literature scholar Marcus approached the project with a curator's eye, seeking out interview subjects who knew L'Engle in an impressive range of roles. He has arranged their remarks thoughtfully, in sections that cover L'Engle as a child and youth, writer, matriarch, mentor, friend and icon . . . Marcus is an unobtrusive interrogator; in many cases, he elides his questions altogether, allowing his interlocutors to speak fluidly and directly . . . [Readers] come away with a greater appreciation for the way [L'Engle] grappled with her life and wrestled it into narrative.”
--Kirkus Review


“Compelling”
--Booklist


“Fascinating insights into the lives of picture-book creators and the format itself.”
--Kirkus

“Let us just say for the record that Leonard Marcus is a national treasure.”
--Julie Danielson, “Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast”



LISTENING FOR MADELEINE: A PORTRAIT OF MADELEINE L'ENGLE IN MANY VOICES - Book  by Leonard S. Marcus

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SHOW ME A STORY! WHY PICTURE BOOKS MATTER: CONVERSATIONS WITH 21 OF the WORLD'S MOST CELEBRATED ILLUSTRATORS
(Candlewick Press)
It's here! Check out Leonard's latest collection of not-to-be missed conversations about children's books and the people who make them! Max and Mickey; Miss Nelson; Pack, Quack, and Mrs. Mallard; Pigeon; Sylvester; John Henry; and a very hungry caterpillar - these are just a few of the beloved picture book characters discussed in Show Me a Story! Renowned children's literature authority Leonard S. Marcus speaks with their creators and others - twenty-one of the world's mostcelebrated authors and illustrators - and asks about their childhood, their inspiration, their determination, their mentors, their creative choices, and more. And yes, Mo Willems did the cover!


“This fine resource [will] inspire, inform, and delight those of any age who are engaged in—or by—the arts”
--Joanna Rudge Long, The Horn Book



SHOW ME A STORY! WHY PICTURE BOOKS MATTER: CONVERSATIONS WITH 21 OF the WORLD'S MOST CELEBRATED ILLUSTRATORS - Book  by Leonard S. Marcus

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THE ANNOTATED PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH
(Random House)
“A timeless tribute to learning as play, much enriched with background on even the (seemingly) throwaway lines and puns.”
--Kirkus (starred review)

Best Book, Fall 2011
--The Village Voice



THE ANNOTATED PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH - Book edited by Leonard S. Marcus

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FUNNY BUSINESS: CONVERSATIONS WITH WRITERS OF FANTASY
(Candlewick Press)
13 well-loved comic writers tell how they found their funny bones, their voices, and themselves. In this companion to The Wand in the Word, Leonard talks with Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Sharon Creech, Christopher Paul Curtis, Anne Fine, Daniel Handler, Carl Hiaasen, Norton Juster, Dick King-Smith, Hilary McKay, Louis Sachar, and Jon Scieszka, and Daniel Pinkwater makes a special cameo appearance.


--"Illuminating [and] intriguing. . . This title should find its way onto shelves for readers of all ages."
--Maria B. Salvadore, School Library Journal (starred review)
--Booklist (starred review)
and Booklist.com Review of the Day
(October 23)

--"A great way to see how authors do what they do."
--Indiana Post-Tribune

--"Children . . . are certain to savor this collection."
--Jennifer M. Brown, Shelf Awareness.com

See Awards and Reviews


FUNNY BUSINESS: CONVERSATIONS WITH WRITERS OF FANTASY - Book by Leonard S. Marcus

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MINDERS OF MAKE BELIEVE: IDEALISTS, ENTREPRENEURS, AND THE SHAPING OF AMERICAN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
(Houghton Mifflin)
Minders of Make-Believe is the first-ever history of American children's book publishing, from colonial times to Harry Potter.

"A historian's wonderfully knowing account of the world of children's literature becomes something more: a brilliant rendering of a nation's values over the generations. Bravo!"
— Robert Coles

"In the busy barnyard of children's literature, Leonard Marcus is Charlotte—a calm, wise soul who weaves every strand into something meaningful and useful. (He does not, as far as I know, have eight legs.)"
— Daniel Handler

"A tour de force . . . Indispensible."
Booklist (starred review)

New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice selection

"[A] lively, savvy . . . engrossing narrative."
Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A landmark work . . . by the leading historian in this field."
— Martha Davis Beck

"Meticulously documented and beautifully written."
New York Sun

"Excellent. . . . a story entertainingly populated with colorful characters from Benjamin Franklin to E. B. White."
Washington Post Book World

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MINDERS OF MAKE BELIEVE: IDEALISTS, ENTREPRENEURS, AND THE SHAPING OF AMERICAN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE - Book by Leonard S. Marcus

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GOLDEN LEGACY: HOW GOLDEN BOOKS WON CHILDREN'S HEARTS, CHANGED PUBLISHING FOREVER, AND BECAME AN AMERICAN ICON ALONG THE WAY
(Random House)
This lavishly illustrated book tells the fascinating, never-before-told story of the creation, marketing, and world-wide impact of the most popular children's books of all time.

[A] treasure of a history."
Kirkus (starred review)

"What a grand story [this] is! A big book about the 'Little Books'!"
— Eric Carle

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GOLDEN LEGACY: HOW GOLDEN BOOKS WON CHILDREN'S HEARTS, CHANGED PUBLISHING FOREVER, 
AND BECAME AN AMERICAN ICON ALONG THE WAY - Book by Leonard S. Marcus

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A CALDECOTT CELEBRATION: SEVEN ARTISTS AND THEIR PATHS TO THE CALDECOTT MEDAL
(Walker)
Watch for this expanded, tenth-anniversary edition of this award-winning book, featuring a new chapter about Mordicai Gerstein and the making of The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. The ideal companion book for Mock Caldecott events!

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A CALDECOTT CELEBRATION: SEVEN ARTISTS AND THEIR PATHS TO THE CALDECOTT MEDAL - Book by Leonard S. Marcus

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PASS IT DOWN: FIVE PICTURE BOOK FAMILIES MAKE THEIR MARK
(Walker & Company, 2007)
LSM introduces readers to five best-selling and award-winning families with talent that spans the generations. By opening up these family albums - sharing personal memories, scrapbooks, book dummies, model shots, and final art - Marcus reveals the way that picture books come into being, how artists and writers are nurtured and grown, and how family influences how and what we each become. With chapters based on interviews with: Donald Crews, Ann Jonas, and Nina Crews; Clement and Edith Thacher Hurd and Thacher Hurd; Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers; Jerry Pinkney and Brian Pinkney; and Harlow and Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell.

"Fascinating . . . An outstanding work about the connections between parents and children, editors and artists and readers and writers."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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PASS IT DOWN: FIVE PICTURE BOOK FAMILIES MAKE THEIR MARK - Book by Leonard S. Marcus Their Mark WIDTH=

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OSCAR: THE BIG ADVENTURE OF A LITTLE SOCK MONKEY
(HarperCollins, 2006)
When Oscar's best friend, Susie Green, forgets to bring the key for her pet rabbit's cage to the pet show, he embarks on an adventure of epic proportions. Oscar learns to read a map, navigates a city, and defeats a bully -- all in day's work for this intrepid little sock monkey!

— 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Best Book Award winner

"[A] charming story with a satisfying ending"
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Brisk pacing, uncluttered compositions, and clear, descriptive language make this a first choice for groups or individuals."
— Wendy Lukehart, School Library Journal

"[A] charmer . . . sure to please any child who has counted on a toy for solace."
— GraceAnne DeCandido, Booklist

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OSCAR: THE BIG ADVENTURES OF A LITTLE SOCK MONKEY - Book co-authored and illustrated by Amy Scwartz

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THE WAND IN THE WORD: CONVERSATIONS WITH WRITERS OF FANTASY
(Candlewick Press, 2006)
Fantasy is storytelling with the beguiling power to make the impossible imaginable and to reveal our own 'real' world in a fresh and truth-bearing light. Few have harnessed this power with the artistry, verve, and imagination of the authors encountered in this compelling book. How do they work their magic? Find out in richly rewarding interviews with thirteen master storytellers: Lloyd Alexander, Franny Billingsley, Susan Cooper, Nancy Farmer, Brian Jacques, Diana Wynne Jones, Ursula K. Le Guin, Madeleine L'Engle, Garth Nix, Tamora Pierce, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, and Jane Yolen. Inspiring reading for fantasy fans and future writers alike.

"Lively, highly and readable... [An] essential volume for fantasy fans of all ages."
School Library Journal (starred review)

"A rich resource."
Booklist (starred review)

"Highly recommended."
achuka.com

"If someone in your household loves fantasy or wants to be a writer, this book will please them."
Chicago Tribune

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THE WAND IN THE WORD: CONVERSATIONS WITH WRITERS OF FANTASY - BooK by Leonard S. Marcus

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STORIED CITY: A CHILDREN'S BOOK WALKING-TOUR GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY
(Dutton, 2003)
This handy-sized, paperbound book consists of twenty-one walking tours that offer a unique perspective on New York City. The tours extend to all five boroughs and feature more than 100 New York places and spaces that have lit the imaginations of writers and artists as varied as E. B. White, Maurice Sendak, Judy Blume, Faith Ringgold, Kay Thompson, and Madeleine L'Engle. Along the way, more than 200 of the best books about New York City written for young people from preschoolers to teens are discussed. With book illustrations, original photographs, and maps.

School Library Journal Book of the Week

"Excellent, wide-ranging . . . extremely cool."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Perfect for summer family travels."
— Summer 2003 Childrens Book Sense

— 2003 Best Book, Miami Herald

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STORIED CITY: A CHILDREN'S BOOK WALKING-TOUR GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY-Bool by Leonard S. Marcus

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WAYS OF TELLING: CONVERSATIONS ON THE ART OF THE PICTURE BOOK
(Dutton, 2002)
This extraordinary collection of interviews features wide-ranging, insightful, and often humorous conversations with fourteen contemporary masters of the picture book: Mitsumasa Anno, Ashley Bryan, Eric Carle, Tana Hoban, Karla Kuskin, James Marshall, Robert McCloskey, Iona Opie, Helen Oxenbury, Jerry Pinkney, Maurice Sendak, William Steig, Rosemary Wells, and Charlotte Zolotow. Completing this beautifully designed volume is a sixteen-page "mini-gallery" of representative illustrations and page layouts reproduced in full color.

— 2002 Horn Book Fanfare

"Unique portraits, drawn with sensitivity and depth."
— Joanna Rudge Long, The Horn Book (starred review)

"Compelling."
— Connie C. Rockman, in School Library Journal (starred review)

"This collection shouldn't be missed."
— Elizabeth Ward, in Washington Post Book World

"Remarkably rich in texture, thanks not only to the array of diverse voices speaking from its pages but also to Marcus's guiding intelligence and imagination."
— Susan Marie Swanson, The Riverbank Review

"Engaging...portraits... that will interest young readers as well as adults."
— Junko Yokota, Children & Libraries

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Side by Side-Book by Leonard S. Marcus Click on the image to buy the book.
SIDE BY SIDE: FIVE PICTURE-BOOK TEAMS GO TO WORK
(Walker, 2001)
Have you ever wondered how a picture book is made? The process is similar to the way we play a team sport, put on a play, or build a sand-castle with friends — through collaboration. Go behind the scenes with five famous author/artist teams: Arthur Yorinks and Richard Egielski; Alice and Martin Provensen; Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, and Molly Leach; Julius Lester and Jerry Pinkney; and Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen — and find out how each set of collaborators rolled up their sleeves to create one of their best-known children's books.

— 2001 Best Book, New York Public Library

— 2002 Best Book, CCBC Choices


"Inviting . . . well-written and beautifully designed
Booklist (starred review)

"Fascinating."
The Horn Book

"Insights into the inner workings of bookmaking"
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Side by Side-Book by Leonard S. Marcus

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AUTHOR TALK
(Simon & Schuster, 2000)
Fifteen entertaining, perceptive conversations with some of America's best-known children's book authors reveal engaging details about their life and work. Illustrations include childhood and adult photos, manuscript pages, and other memorabilia. Featured authors: Judy Blume, Bruce Brooks, Karen Cushman, Russell Freedman, Lee Bennett Hopkins, James Howe, Johanna Hurwitz, E. L. Konigsburg, Lois Lowry, Ann M. Martin, Nicholasa Mohr, Gary Paulsen, Jon Scieszka, Seymour Simon, and Laurence Yep.

— 2001 Best Book, Children's Book Committee at the Bank Street College of Education

— 2001 Orbis Pictus Recommended Book

— 2000 Best Book, New York Public Library

— 2000 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List

— 2000 Los Angeles' 100 Best Books (Los Angeles Unified School District and IRA SL/R SIG)


"Fascinating."
Kirkus Reviews

"Indispensable. . . . [A] first-rate collection of interviews."
Riverbank Review

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AUTHOR TALK-Book by Leonard S. Marcus

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DEAR GENIUS: THE LETTERS OF URSULA NORDSTROM
(HarperCollins, 1998; 2000)
Ursula Nordstrom, director of Harper's Department of Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973, is a legend-one of the most creative forces in children's books. Working with such talents as Maurice Sendak, E. B. White, Margaret Wise Brown, Shel Silverstein, Garth Williams, and John Steptoe, Nordstrom recognized that each was a genius to be nurtured, encouraged, and published. Here are the entertaining, thought-provoking, and moving editorial letters of this extraordinary woman.
Excerpted inPublishers Weekly and School Library Journal

— A Junior Library Guild selection

— 2000 Best Book, New York Public Library

"Irresistible."
The New Yorker

"Wonderful."
— Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World

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DEAR GENIUS:  THE LETTERS OF URSULA NORDSTROM-Bool by Leonard S. Marcus

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A CALDECOTT CELEBRATION: SIX ARTISTS and THEIR PATHS to THE CALDECOTT MEDAL
(Walker, 1998)
Step behind the scenes to see how six Caldecott winners created their award-winning books: Robert McCloskey (Make Way for Ducklings); Marcia Brown (Cinderella);
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are); William Steig (Sylvester and the Magic Pebble); Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji); and David Wiesner (Tuesday). With photos, sketches, dummies, and more; text based on interviews with the artists.

"A beautifully made book."
Booklist (starred review)

"Eminently satifying."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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A CALDECOTT CELEBRATION: SIX ARTISTS SIX ARTISTS and THEIR PATHS to THE CALDECOTT MEDAL-Book By Leonard S. Marcus

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MARGARET WISE BROWN: AWAKENED BY THE MOON
(Quill/Morrow, 1999)
Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952), author of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, was early childhood's poet laureate and one of the best-selling children's authors of all time. Margaret Wise Brown is the definitive biography of this colorful and often controversial figure.

"An absorbing biography."
New York Times Book Review

"More than a finely etched, honest portrait of an artist, Margaret Wise Brownis an exciting, fast-paced glimpse into the very beginnings of the golden age of children's book publishing in America. Leonard Marcus has restored Brown to her rightful place as both pioneer and poet."
— Maurice Sendak

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MARGARET WISE BROWN: AWAKENED BY THE MOON

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THE MAKING OF GOODNIGHT MOON: A Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective
(HarperCollins,1997)
Lively anecdotes about the making of the classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon will delight both new and devoted fans. Previously unpublished photographs of Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd, as well as pages from the original dummy and full-color studies of the artwork, tell a personal story of friendship, respect, and inspired collaboration.

"Illuminating."
Los Angeles Times Book Review

"An engrossing story-behind-the-book."
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

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THE MAKING OF GOODNIGHT MOON: A Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective-Book by Leonard S. Marcus

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ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll;
illustrated with photographs by Abelardo Morell;
introduction by Leonard S. Marcus
(Dutton, 1998)
You know the story —the little girl, the rabbit hole, "eat me","drink me", et cetera, et cetera. It's quite the fantastic adventure. What makes this edition of Lewis Carroll's classic unique are the haunting photographs by Abelardo Morell. By making cutouts of Sir John Tenniel's famous illustrations, staging them in playfully surreal three-dimensional settings, and then photographing them, Morell has created powerful images in an otherworldly style. How Carrollian! With an introduction that offers a glimpse into the intriguing connection between Carroll's pioneering efforts as a photographer and his timeless contributions to the world of nonsense.

"There is no end to the available editions of Alice, of course, but here is one worth having."
Booklist

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ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND-Bokk by Lewis Carroll; illustrated with photographs by Abelardo Morell; introduction by Leonard S. Marcus

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75 YEARS OF CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK POSTERS
(Knopf, 1994)
From Jessie Willcox Smith and N. C. Wyeth to Maurice Sendak and Chris Van Allsburg, generations of renowned artists have lent their talents to help mark Children's Book Week. The posters they created—which are reproduced in full-color in this lavish volume—make for fascinating social commentary as well as a unique overview of American children's book art during the twentieth century. Biographical notes on the artists are provided along with an essay tracing the history of children's publishing in the United States.

"Splendid."
— Michael Cart, Booklist

"Fascinating."
— Lee Bennett Hopkins, Creative Classroom

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LIFELINES: A POETRY ANTHOLOGY PATTERNED ON THE STAGES OF LIFE
(Dutton, 1994)
80 poems chronicle the ages and stages of life from infancy and childhood to old age and death. Illustrated with photographs by Imogen Cunningham, Bruce Davidson, and others.

"One of those fine anthologies whose whole is greater than the sum of its excellent parts."
Kirkus (pointer review)

"This is such a good idea. Leonard Marcus has woven a wonderful variety of poets and their poems into a fascinating running commentary on that most individual and universal of journeys: the one from birth to death."
— Karla Kuskin

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MOTHER GOOSE'S LITTLE MISFORTUNES
illustrated by Amy Schwartz
(Bradbury, 1990)
When things go wildly wrong in each of these Mother Goose rhymes —some familiar, others sure to be new—the result is sheer fun for readers. With high-spirited illustrations by Amy Schwartz.

"[Among] the finest [nursery rhyme collections] produced for children."
— Anita Silvey, Children's Books and Their Creators

"A charmingly ideosyncratic selection of 18 nursery rhymes that, as Marcus says in his excellent introduction, 'remind us all of the supreme virtue of being able to laugh at oneself.' . . . Not to be missed."
Kirkus (pointer review)

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