The important thing about Margaret Wise Brown

by Mac Barnett

Other authors(Illustrator) Sarah Jacoby (Illustrator.)
Paper Book, 2019




New York, NY : Balzer Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]


An exceptional picture book biography of Margaret Wise Brown, the legendary author of Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and other beloved children's classics, that's as groundbreaking as the icon herself was--from award-winning, bestselling author Mac Barnett and acclaimed illustrator Sarah Jacoby. What is important about Margaret Wise Brown? In forty-two inspired pages, this biography artfully plays with form and language to vivdly bring to life one of greatest children's book creators who ever lived: Margaret Wise Brown. Illustrated with sumptuous art by rising star Sarah Jacoby, this is essential reading for book lovers of every age.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Salsabrarian
Wow, here is a book that, like Margaret herself and her work, respects the wandering, wondering mind of a child. A tribute that is gentle, loving and honest. Love how the last line circles back to the beginning, the earlier line “The important thing about Margaret Wise Brown is that she wrote books.” Captures her voice.
LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
In this quirky biography, Barnett presents factual details about author Margaret Wise Brown's life, but also focuses more on some of the unusual things she did like keep a large number of rabbits as pets (and then use their furs to make coats after they died) and buying an entire cart worth of flowers for a party with her first paycheck as an author. A fairly large section of the book discusses Brown's 'feud' with New York Public Library's librarians who refused to put her book in their collection for years.

I'm really not sure how to feel about this book. Going into it and expecting a straightforward biography was definitely a mistake as this weird, sort of rambling story was off-putting as a result. If you go into it knowing that it will be unusual, that would probably help. A second reading for those of us in the first category might help as well.

It's certainly not going to be a book that would be helpful for a child writing a biographical report for school. But as something just to read, it's an interesting musing about what really matters in life (is it your date of birth or your fondness for skinny-dipping in the sea outside your door?) as well as a meta look at literature. The book often calls notice to its own page length as well as pointing out things like authors being real people who go grocery shopping just like everyone else.

In the end, I would recommend this book but with the caveat that it's not your typical biography. It's an interesting bit of meta-literature about what makes a good book as well as what components of daily living make a life. It's wandering, meandering look at Margaret Wise Brown that will appeal to child readers.
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Physical description

42 p.; 30 cm



Local notes

children's nonfiction
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