Brinton Turkle was born on August 15, 1915, in Alliance, Ohio. He drew constantly in school. “Unfortunately, none of my school teachers appreciated it. If only one elementary school teacher had egged me on, I think I would have acquired art skills much earlier than I did.”
Turkle had an immense interest in the theater, but the uncertainty of that life wasn’t appealing. After a job in advertising in Chicago, he married and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he was able to indulge his theatrical interests. He had an ambition to write and illustrate three children’s books so he could dedicate them to each of his three children. He was awarded a Caldecott Honor in 1970 for Thy Friend, Obadiah (Viking).
Turkle wrote, “In writing, I use all sorts of tricks to capture the attention of my young audience: suspense, humor and even charm, when I can muster it. But no matter how successfully I may entertain, I am really up to something else: subversion. My abilities are implacably lined up against the hypocrisy, materialism and brutality that so pervade our society. As my readers leave childhood behind, I hope that they will carry with them an appreciation for such alternatives as integrity, mutual respect, kindness and reverence for life. These alternatives are in my books and I pray that exposure to them will play a part in the construction of a better tomorrow.”
Turkle died in 2003.