Leonard S. Marcus
Children's Book Historian, Author, Critic
                       
            Leonard S. Marcus      
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
         
Bibliography Books Archive
Biography Calendar Presentations Home
WHO WAS RANDOLPH CALDECOTT? FIND OUT IN THIS LAVISHLY ILLUSTRATED, MUCH HERALDED BIOGRAPHY
Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing, book by Leonard S. Marcus
RANDOLPH CALDECOTT: THE MAN WHO COULD NOT STOP DRAWING
(FSG/Foster, August 2013)
★★★★

What the critics are saying:

“[Written] with wit and fluency [and] so beautifully designed and printed. . . . Randolph Caldecott [himself] . . . would be pleased.”
--Kathleen T. Horning, , The Horn Book, starred review

“This beautifully designed and illustrated large-format volume is 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 delight for picture-book enthusiasts and a provocative introduction for those who want the backstory of the man behind the medal.”
--Wendy Lukehart, School Library Journal starred review

“Essential reading for picture book lovers of all ages.”
--Julie Danielson, Bookpage.com

A Junior Library Guild selection

An Amazon Best Nonfiction Book for September 2013

Click on this link for Leonard's conversation with Caldecott Medal winner Brian Selznick about Randolph Caldecott: http:www.omnivoracious.com/2013/08/the-man-who-inspired-maurice-sendak-brian-selznick-beatrix-potter.html
Held Over through September 7, 2014!


The ABC of It: WHY CHILDREN'S BOOKS MATTER
Don't miss this landmark exhibition at The New York Public Library (42nd Street at Fifth Avenue) now through March 23, 2014
“The show's nearly 250 books and artifacts are so intelligently woven together by the curator, Leonard S. Marcus, that you make your way through them with a mixture of eager pleasure and focused attentiveness. . . . By the end you won't wonder why children's books matter but how other books can even come close.”

--Edward Rothstein, The New York Times

Click here for 3 panel discussions of the exhibition, held this fall at the Bank Street College of Education:
“Inside the ABC of It: The Educator's and Librarian's Perspective”
“Inside the ABC of It: The Artist's and Designer's Perspective”
“Inside the ABC of It: The Writer's Perspective”
New from Harry N. Abrams: Unseen Sendak!

Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Work, book by Leonard S. Marcus

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.

“A must-have for Sendak fans.”
--BookPage.com

“Lovingly assembled, . . .generously and beautifully illustrated. A must for fans of Sendak and a great gift for aspiring illustrators.”
--Library Journal

--A book of stirring, revelatory interviews about the beloved Newbery Medal—winning author
Listening to Madeleine, book by Leonard S. Marcus 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

“Mr. Marcus's immensely readable and fascinating book will probably stand as the definitive portrait of Madeleine L'Engle.”
--James Kennedy, Wall Street Journal

“The woman who emerges from these pages will remind readers that an actual human being can be just as fascinatingly contradictory as a fictional being.”
--Cara Parks, The New Republic

“The next best thing to having dinner with Madeleine L'Engle yourself.”
--Anita Silvey, Book-A-Day Almanac

“Best Holiday Gift Books 2012.”
--Vogue

Why Do Picture Books Matter?
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

“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

Best Holiday Book, 2011!
The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth [Book] by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer. Annotations by Leonard S. Marcus
THE ANNOTATED PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH
by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer. Annotations by Leonard S. Marcus
(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

“Brilliantly edited.”
--Maria Tatar

Best Holiday Gift Book, 2011
--Entertainment Weekly

Best Holiday Gift Book, 2011
--Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Best Holiday Gift Book, 2011
--Los Angeles Times

Best Holiday Book, 2011
--The Boston Globe

Best Holiday Book, 2011
--Babble.com
An SLJ Best Book of 2009!
FUNNY BUSINESS
(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
Also New from Candlewick
The paperback edition of THE WAND IN THE WORD: CONVERSATIONS WITH WRITERS OF FANTASY


-- “An essential volume for fantasy fans of all ages.” School Library Journal (starred review)

-- "A rich resource."
Booklist (starred);

-- “Wisdom, variety, and humor characterize these interviews full of incisive comments from thirteen fantasy writers. . . An unusual exposition of creativity and courage, this book offers a fascinating glimpse into the diverse ways imagination and fantasy work.” The Horn Book (Horn Book Fanfare; starred review)
Winner of the 2010 Children's Literature Association Book Award
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.

New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice selection

“Best Nonfiction Books of 2008”
Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Best Summer Nonfiction Reading”
— NPR's Fresh Air

“A historian‘s wonderfully knowing account of the world of children's literat ure 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)
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The perfect gift for anyone who loves Golden Books—now in its 3rd printing!
Golden Legacy = New Book by Leonard S. Marcus
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

SEE THE LARGEST PUBLIC SHOWING EVER OF ORIGINAL ART FROM GOLDEN BOOKS, AS THE EXHIBITION “GOLDEN LEGACY” CONTINUES ON ITS NATIONAL TOUR:


Arne Nixon Center California State University at Fresno (Fresno, CA): 18 March 2013 — 27 May 2013

Racine Public Library (Racine, WI): 9 June 2013 — 18 August 2013



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Presentations
Leonard with Norton Juster (left) and Jules Feiffer (right) on the steps of 153 State Street--the Brooklyn Heights row house where The Phantom Tollbooth was created.
Leonard (moderator) with artists Rick Meyerowitz, Edward Sorel, Roz Chast, and Roxie Munro, following their public conversation “The New Yorker's New York,” at the Katonah Museum of Art on November 3rd
Books of Wonder window display, November 2011
Leonard on stage with Jules Feiffer at the Eric Carle Museum, November 5, 2011
Leonard Marcus is one of the children's-book world's most engaging and versatile speakers. Contact him about coming to your library, school, convention, or group meeting to give any the programs listed below. Programs can also be planned to meet your group's specific needs.

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Highlights July/August 2014
Leonard is now represented by the Macmillan Speakers Bureau. To arrange for him to speak at your conference, library, school, corporate offices, or other venue, please contact Scottie Bowditch:: scottie.bowditch@macmillan.com

07/01 — NEW YORK, NY: The exhibition “The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter,” continues its record-breaking run at The New York Public Library (Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street), through September 7.

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07/18 — NEW YORK, NY: Leonard leads a tour of “The ABC of It” for a group of Chinese children's book writers and translators visiting from Beijing.

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07/23 — NEW YORK, NY: Leonard's graduate seminar on the history of the picture book meets for its final sessions at the School of Visual Arts.

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08/20 — SEWARD, NE: The exhibition “Golden Legacy: 65 Years of Original Art from Golden Books,” opens at Concordia University; on view through October 6.

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Media Mix

Hear Leonard discuss his work and the latest trends in chidren's and teen literature on “Cynsations”.
Hear Leonard talk with Inquiry host Mark Lynch about "Golden Legacy" an exhibition at the Eric Carle Museum now though February 28.
HOPES AND DREAMS

Click here to watch Leonard's Video interview at Adolescent Literacy's website.
“Marcus believes that every generation makes the books that contain the hopes and dreams it wants to pass onto the next generation.”
Click here for Leonard's recent talk about Funny Business at New York‘s Strand Bookstore.
THE BAT OF MINERVA

Click here to hear Leonard, during a recent visit to the University of Minnesota, discuss his career on Peter Shea‘s podcast “The Bat of Minerva”.


Hear Leonard talk with founder Deborah Harper about Funny Business
Listen to LSM's interview about Minders of Make-Believe with Inquiry host Mark Lynch.
Hear Leonard talk about Funny Business on WICN Public Radio with Inquiry host Mark Lynch.
Hear LSM discuss the history of Golden Books with Leonard Lopate on the WNYC-AM's Leonard Lopate Show on July 1.
Read what Achuka.co.uk has to say about Minders of Make-Believe.
Read about the recent Carle Honors dinner, where Leonard helped present this year's awards, on the First Book blog
Click on the image to watch the VIDEO. LSM previews the exhibition
Click on the image to hear Leonard talk with First Book's Jennifer Wrenn in their May 12th PODCAST about Minders of Make-Believe.
Click on the image to watch the VIDEO of Leonard's May 20 conversation about Minders of Make-Believe with PW's Elizabeth Devereaux, at the Strand Bookstore, New York, NY.
Leonard discussed Minders of Make-Believe in an interview with Psychjourney founder and president Deborah Harper, recorded on August 23, 2008.
Click on the logo to listen to the PODCAST.
Maclean's reporter Brian Bethune calls on Leonard to comment on the return to print of maverick picture-book great Tomi Ungerer.
Click on the logo to read the ARTICLE.
Quote of the Month “ I hop The shadow hops too I lie and think about the sun And my shadow thinks about me ”
-poem by a five-year-old, quoted in an essay by Richard Lewis

Unless otherwise indicated, all text copyright Leonard S. Marcus. LeonardSMa@aol.com


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