Eleanor Frances Butler Cameron in was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on March 23, 1912. She attended UCLA and the LA Art Center School for three years before marrying Ian Stuart Cameron, a printer, in 1934. Mrs. Cameron worked as a reference librarian for many years before beginning to write full time, and was fascinated by the way the mind took fragments of a writer’s life and rearranged them for writing material. “Situations … are like usable places—mysterious in their ability to arouse the writer’s creative response.”
One day her son David told her of a dream he’d had that would inspire the five Mushroom Planet books, including The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet and Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet. She wrote of California, which she knew well, in The Terrible Churnadryne and The Mysterious Christmas Shell; The Court of the Stone Children, for which she won a National Book Award; and in A Room Made of Windows, part of a realistic fiction series about Julia Redfern, a twelve-year-old writer. Mrs. Cameron died in 1996, leaving a legacy of delightful children’s books. She also wrote extensively about the field of children’s literature and analyzed her own creative process in such essays as “The Seed and The Vision: on the Writing and Appreciation of Children’s Books,” which is a part of the Kerlan Collection.
— Julie Schuster
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