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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


***Dear Genius

The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom

collected and edited by Leonard S. Marcus

Reviewed April 5, 2004.
HarperCollins, New York, 1998.  406 pages.

Dear Genius is a collection of the letters of Ursula Nordstrom, the Director of Harper’s Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973.  In this collection are letters to Laura Ingalls Wilder, Maurice Sendak, E. B. White, Crockett Johnson, Margaret Wise Brown, Syd Hoff, Louise Fitzhugh, and many other great names in children’s literature.

This book is a treasure trove for anyone who loves children’s books or any writer who wants insight into the process of making a book.  Ursula Nordstrom indeed saw genius in her authors and even when offering suggestions did so with great admiration and encouragement.

This book is far too long to read in one sitting, but you’ll be surprised how many letters you’ll be pulled through any time you open it.  A look at the wonderful legacy of a brilliant editor who brought magnificent books into the world.

Review of another book edited by Leonard S. Marcus:
Listening for Madeleine
Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration
You Can't Say That
The Wand in the Word
Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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