Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss : How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children's Literature

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-07-30
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Mississippi
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $40.00 Save up to $2.00
  • Buy New
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Crockett Johnson (born David Johnson Leisk, 1906-1975) and Ruth Krauss (1901-1993) were a husband-and-wife team that created such popular children's books as The Carrot Seed and How to Make an Earthquake.Separately, Johnson created the enduring children's classic Harold and the Purple Crayonand the groundbreaking comic strip Barnaby. Krauss wrote over a dozen children's books illustrated by others, and pioneered the use of spontaneous, loose-tongued kids in children's literature. Together, Johnson and Krauss's style--whimsical writing, clear and minimalist drawing, and a child's point-of-view--is among the most revered and influential in children's literature and cartooning, inspiring the work of Maurice Sendak, Charles M. Schulz, Chris Van Allsburg, and Jon Scieszka. This critical biography examines their lives and careers, including their separate achievements when not collaborating. Using correspondence, sketches, contemporary newspaper and magazine accounts, archived and personal interviews, author Philip Nel draws a compelling portrait of a couple whose output encompassed children's literature, comics, graphic design, and the fine arts. Their mentorship of now-famous illustrator Maurice Sendak ( Where the Wild Things Are) is examined at length, as is the couple's appeal to adult contemporaries such as Duke Ellington and Dorothy Parker. Defiantly leftist in an era of McCarthyism and Cold War paranoia, Johnson and Krauss risked collaborations that often contained subtly rendered liberal themes. Indeed, they were under FBI surveillance for years. Their legacy of considerable success invites readers to dream and to imagine, drawing paths that take them anywhere they want to go.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 3
Ruth Krauss's Charmed Childhoodp. 9
Becoming Crockett Johnsonp. 16
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Womanp. 25
Punching the Clock and Turning Leftp. 32
First Draftp. 38
Crockett and the Red Crayonp. 43
"We Met, and that was it!"p. 51
Barnabyp. 61
A Good Man and his Good Wifep. 68
The Athens of South Norwalkp. 81
Art and Politicsp. 91
At Home with Ruth and Davep. 99
The Big World and the Little Housep. 108
Artists are to Watchp. 119
The Art of Collaborationp. 132
Haroldp. 145
Striking out into New Areas of Experimentationp. 153
New Adventures on Page and Screenp. 163
"Hitting on all 24 Cylinders"p. 171
Poet in the News, Cartoonist on TVp. 183
Lorca Variations and Harold's ABCp. 196
Provocateur and Philosopherp. 208
Painting, Passports, and Protestp. 219
Theorems in Color, Poems on Stagep. 231
"You're Only as Old as Other People Think you are"p. 244
What Would Harold do?p. 255
Life after Davep. 258
Children are to Lovep. 269
Epiloguep. 274
Notesp. 276
Bibliographyp. 303
Acknowledgmentsp. 341
Indexp. 346
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Rewards Program

Write a Review