Friday, August 01, 2008

Leonard S. Marcus, author of Minders of Make-Believe, at U Albany

Leonard S. Marcus will be speaking about his book Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children’s Literature

When: Thursday October 23, 2008, 4:00 PM,

Where: Standish Room, Science Library, University at Albany, SUNY

Free and open to the public

Leonard Marcus, one of the foremost authorities on the history of children’s literature, will discuss and sign his new book, Minders of Make-Believe (2008, Houghton Mifflin), an animated first-time history of the visionary editors, authors, librarians, booksellers, and others whose passion for books has transformed American childhood and American culture.

What should children read? Marcus tackles this three-hundred-year-old question that sparked the creation of a rambunctious children’s book publishing scene in Colonial times. And it’s the urgent issue that went on to fuel the transformation of twentieth-century children’s book publishing from a genteel backwater to big business. Marcus delivers a provocative look at the fierce turf wars fought among pioneering editors, progressive educators, and librarians - most of them women - throughout the twentieth century. His story of the emergence and growth of the major publishing houses - and of the distinctive literature for the young they shaped - gains extraordinary depth through the author’s path-finding research and in-depth interviews with dozens of editors, artists, and other key publishing figures whose careers go back to the 1930s.

Leonard S. Marcus began his publishing career with Awakened by the Moon, a widely acclaimed biography of Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown, and last fall Random House released Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way. Marcus, a consummate professional, capable of discourse on a wide range of topics, also possesses a wry wit, hinted at in the picture book he created with his wife, Amy Schwartz, Oscar: The Big Adventure of a Little Sock Monkey (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books).

Free and open to the public. Seating is limited. RSVP to: Brian Keough, at or 518-437-3931. Sponsored by the University at Albany Libraries & the Marcia J. Brown Fund

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