Thursday, May 6, 2010
Margaret Wise Brown Birthday Sing-in: May 23
Margaret Wise Brown deserves the laurel leaf crown for many reasons -- the last line of The Runaway Bunny, the real moths in the pretend Little Fur Family, Maine -- but the prime reason is this: She once staged a literary tea on the steps of the New York Public Library in defiance of Anne Carroll Moore. Margaret was defiant because Miss Moore had chosen not to include Miss Brown's books in the NYPL's children's collection. Leonard Marcus tells the story beautifully in his wonderful book, Awakened by the Moon, but, in a nutshell:
Miss Moore hosted an annual tea party at the main branch of the library for authors she supported. Margaret and her adored editor, Ursula Nordstrom, set up a tea for themselves on the library steps, which meant that all the included authors and publishers had to step right over the refusées in order to enter the event. Very naughty. Very Margaret.
The 100th anniversary of Margaret Wise Brown's birthday is Sunday, May 23. I'll bring cupcakes if you'll come out to sing Happy Birthday on the steps of the New York Public at 2PM. Isn't it the least we can do for her? And wouldn't she have loved it?