1st Edition

Margaret Wise Brown’s Experimental Art The Modernist Picture Book

By Julia Pond Copyright 2024
    144 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In this study, the engaging art created by children’s author Margaret Wise Brown receives the critical attention it deserves as a lasting contribution to American children’s literature. Through analysis of her dozens of titles published during the height of western Modernism, this scholarly text shares Brown’s importance and impact from the perspective of Brown’s work, rather than biographically. Moving beyond such popular titles as Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny into deeper cuts reveals how Brown’s oeuvre bridges multiple disciplines, including writing, visual art, philosophy, and music. Her projects successfully experiment with artistic collaboration and synesthesia as a natural expression for a child readership while both contributing to and reflecting high Modernism amidst the two World Wars. The quality of Brown’s writing and the maturity of her themes reveal respect for her child audience and recommend her work to the generations of readers who followed her early death. As this book demonstrates, Margaret Wise Brown remains one of the truly great authors of children’s literature.


    Chapter 1: The Literary Artist

    Chapter 2: The Visual Artist

    Chapter 3: The Philosophic Artist

    Chapter 4: The Musical Artist



    Julia Pond is an Associate professor of English and Director of the Honors Academy at Shorter University in Rome, GA. She teaches adolescent, children’s, and American literatures. She has published articles on topics such as the Harry Potter series, adolescent development in To Kill A Mockingbird, and Southern identity in Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature in Education, The Looking Glass, and Southern Studies.