Saturday, July 24, 2010

25th July Ruth Krauss (1901 - 1993)

Ruth Krauss was a prolific children's author and many of her books are still in print. There are biographies that say she was born in 1901 and others that say 1911. Whichever she lived a long life. She was fortunate with her illustrators, getting to work with many well-known illustrators, namely her husband Crockett Johnson (of Harold and the Purple Crayon fame), Maurice Sendak (who she published eight books with between 1952 and 1960), Marc Simont and Helen Oxenbury. Maurice Sendak was so enamoured of Ruth Krauss' writing that he has been quoted as saying, "Prior to the commercialisation of children's books, there was Ruth Krauss."

Ruth Krauss' best-known book is probably The Carrot Seed. It was published in 1945 and has never been out of print. It tells the story of a very young boy who plants a carrot seed and patiently waits for it too grow. He tends it with love and has faith that it will grow despite all the adults who assure him that it will not. In contrast her story with Helen Oxenbury, The Growing Story has everything else growing as the seasons change, but the young boy feels that he hasn't grown at all. Both stories are very relevant to the age-group that I teach.

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