Leonard S. Marcus
Children's Book Historian, Author, Critic
                       
                 
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
 
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Books - Biographies
RANDOLPH CALDECOTT: THE MAN WHO COULD NOT STOP DRAWING
(FSG/Foster, August 2013)
The illustrated story of the incorrigible Victorian lightning-sketch artist who transformed children's literature by inventing the picture book as we know it today. Hear Leonard discuss Randolph Caldecott's achievement with Caldecott Medal winner Brian Selznick here.

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)
A lavishly illustrated exploration of the many facets of Maurice Sendak's singular career as book illustrator, stage designer, advertising artist, print-maker, and teacher; with hundreds of previously unpublished Sendak drawings and paintings from the collection of Justin G. Schiller and Dennis M. V. David, and 12 essays by the artist's colleagues and friends.



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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DEAR GENIUS: THE LETTERS OF URSULA NORDSTROM
(HarperCollins, 1998; 2000)
The stylish, passionate, acutely perceptive letters of American children's literature's maverick visionary publisher. New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 1998 Read Rebecca Sinkler's front-page New York Times Book Review essay here.

“A once-in-a-lifetime delight. [Dear Genius] will introduce a woman of courage, rare ability, incisive wit, and perceptive vision . . . A major contribution to the history of publishing.”
——Zena Sutherland

— A Junior Library Guild selection

— 2000 Best Book, New York Public Library

"Irresistible."
The New Yorker

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

See Awards and Reviews


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

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MARGARET WISE BROWN: AWAKENED BY THE MOON
(Quill/Morrow, 1999)
The authoritative biography of the author of Goodnight Moon. Read about one of the many instances of assiduous detective work behind this pioneering book here.

"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

See Awards and Reviews


MARGARET WISE BROWN: AWAKENED BY THE MOON

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Books - Histories
GOLDEN LEGACY: HOW GOLDEN BOOKS WON CHILDREN'S HEARTS, CHANGED PUBLISHING FOREVER, AND BECAME AN AMERICAN ICON ALONG THE WAY
(Random House)
The fascinating, never-before-told story of the creation, marketing, and worldwide impact of the most popular illustrated children's books of all time. Hear Leonard talk about Golden Legacy on WNYC Radio with Leonard Lopate here.

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

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

See Awards and Reviews


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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MINDERS OF MAKE BELIEVE: IDEALISTS, ENTREPRENEURS, AND THE SHAPING OF AMERICAN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
(Houghton Mifflin)
The first-ever history of American children's book publishing from colonial times to Harry Potter. Hear Leonard discuss Minders of Make-Believe at the 2008 Chicago Book Festival here.

“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

See Awards and Reviews


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

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STORIED CITY: A CHILDREN'S BOOK WALKING-TOUR GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY
(Dutton, 2003)
Twenty-one walking 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 New York-themed books for children and teens are profiled.

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

See Awards and Reviews


STORIED CITY: A CHILDREN'S BOOK WALKING-TOUR GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY-Bool 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 make for compelling social commentary as well as a unique survey of American children's book art during the twentieth century.

"Splendid."
— Michael Cart, Booklist

"Fascinating."
— Lee Bennett Hopkins, Creative Classroom

See Awards and Reviews




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Books - Interviews
SHOW ME A STORY! WHY PICTURE BOOKS MATTER: CONVERSATIONS WITH 21 OF the WORLD'S MOST CELEBRATED ILLUSTRATORS
(Candlewick Press)
In-depth interviews with 21 of the 20th-century's leading picture books artists, including Maurice Sendak, Robert McCloskey, William Steig, Eric Carle, Helen Oxenbury, John Burningham, Mitsumasa Anno, and more. Hear Leonard discuss the vital importance of children's picture books here.


“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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FUNNY BUSINESS: CONVERSATIONS WITH WRITERS OF FANTASY
(Candlewick Press)
Thirteen well-loved comic writers for young people tell how they found their funny bones, their voices, and themselves. 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, with a not-to-be-missed cameo appearance by Daniel Pinkwater. Hear Leonard talk about Funny Business at the Strand Bookstore here.


--“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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THE WAND IN THE WORD: CONVERSATIONS WITH WRITERS OF FANTASY
(Candlewick Press, 2006)
Wide-ranging conversations with 13 literary masters of universe including Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Diana Wynne Jones, Ursula K. Le Guin, Madeleine L’Engle, Terry Pratchett, and Philip Pullman.
  From the Introduction: “Fantasy is storytelling with the beguiling power to transform the impossible into the imaginable, and to reveal our own ‘real’ world in a fresh and truth-bearing light.’”

"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

See Awards and Reviews


THE WAND IN THE WORD: CONVERSATIONS WITH WRITERS OF FANTASY - BooK 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

See Awards and Reviews


Side by Side-Book by Leonard S. Marcus Click on the image to buy the book.
AUTHOR TALK
(Simon & Schuster, 2000)
Fifteen illustrated conversations with some of America's best-known children's book 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

See Awards and Reviews


AUTHOR TALK-Book by Leonard S. Marcus

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Books - Making Books
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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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

See Awards and Reviews


A CALDECOTT CELEBRATION: SIX ARTISTS SIX 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)
An intimate look at five families of artists and writers whose talent spans the generations. With chapters based on interviews with Donald Crews, Ann Jonas, and daughter Nina Crews; Clement Hurd, Edith Thacher Hurd, and son Thacher Hurd; Walter Dean Myers and son Christopher Myers; Jerry Pinkney and son Brian Pinkney; and Harlow and Anne Rockwell and daughter Lizzy Rockwell.

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

See Awards and Reviews


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

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SIDE BY SIDE: FIVE PICTURE-BOOK TEAMS GO TO WORK
(Walker, 2001)
The rewards and challenges of collaboration is the focus of this behind the scenes look at five illustrious 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.

— 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)

See Awards and Reviews


Side by Side-Book by Leonard S. Marcus

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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

See Awards and Reviews


THE MAKING OF GOODNIGHT MOON: A Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective-Book 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

See Awards and Reviews


Side by Side-Book by Leonard S. Marcus Click on the image to buy the book.
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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