Big Green Pocketbook

Jessie Wilcox Smith Girl eating porridge

Green Tiger Press, Part One 

In the ear­ly 1980s, there was a resur­gence of illus­trat­ed folk and fairy tales fea­tur­ing such Gold­en Age illus­tra­tors as Arthur Rack­ham, W. Heath Robin­son, Kay Nielsen, and Jessie Will­cox Smith. 

Nature's Ambassador

Reading through Troubled Times 

I pulled off the shelf a one-hun­­dred-year-old edi­tion of The Burgess Ani­mal Book for Chil­dren by Thorn­ton W. Burgess and took it to bed. The rolled edges of the worn bind­ing felt reas­sur­ing in my hands, the thick rag pages soft and gen­tly foxed. Why turn to an ancient children’s book?

Little Lulu

Little Lulu Gave Me Fairy Tales 

Many chil­dren were once intro­duced to fairy tales by Andrew Lang’s books or the com­plete sto­ries of Grimm or Ander­son. Yet I was steeped in fairy tales through Lit­tle Lulu com­ic books.

The Encyclopedia of Writing and Illustrating Children's Books

Starting Over … Sort Of 

This year — after more than 40 years as a full­time writer of books for chil­dren — I feel the need to start over. What went wrong in my career? It’s a long list, I’m afraid

Rabbit Hill

Robert Lawson Gave Me Animals 

Is there any­thing fin­er than a mid­dle grade book with inte­ri­or art? Yes, a mid­dle grade book about wood­land ani­mals with excel­lent inte­ri­or art.

Childcraft cover

A Lust for Endpapers 

They say don’t judge a book by its cov­er but watch out for entic­ing end­pa­pers! I dis­cov­ered the lure of end­pa­pers as a kid leaf­ing through my cousin’s Child­craft series.

Child Life

Magazine Parade 

In which Can­dice F. Ran­som takes a look at Amer­i­can chil­dren’s mag­a­zines from 1789 to today.

mice

When I Was a Wild Pony 

The title of this essay comes from a dream I had last night, its mem­o­ry and mean­ing caught between mys­te­ri­ous dream­time and awak­en­ing in this harsh end-of-sum­mer world. I was nev­er a wild pony. 

Andersen's Fairy Tales

Borrowed Sparkle 

I sat on a rust­ed swing hung from an I beam in our base­ment with a heavy book on my lap. I was ten and lone­ly because my only sis­ter had left home a year earlier.

Waiting for Mr. Tumnus

Waiting for Mr. Tumnus 

Long ago, on windy, win­try nights, I’d look out the win­dow by my bed as trees shift­ed for a glimpse of a light deep in the woods.  The yel­low light — on and off as the wind tossed — kept me up late, won­der­ing.  We had no neigh­bors on the oth­er side of our woods.

Candice Ransom

My Journey with Margaret Wise Brown 

How long does it take to write and have a non­fic­tion pic­ture book pub­lished? A few years? Five? How about nineteen?

Candice Ransom

Listening for Stories 

Each morn­ing, when I can, I walk two and a half miles.  I walk for exer­cise because I write most of the day.  But main­ly I walk to lis­ten for stories. 

Candice Ransom

Crafting a Home of the Heart 

It had been years since I last vis­it­ed the home of my heart, the only place where I can breathe freely. Con­icville is in Shenan­doah Coun­ty in the Val­ley of Vir­ginia, bor­dered by the Alleghe­ny Moun­tains. It con­sists of a church, a ceme­tery, and a scat­ter­ing of hous­es and farms. In 2012, I trav­eled to meet my 98-year-old cousin. His farm

Candice Ransom

The Cottage of Lost Play 

Work­ing on my mag­i­cal real­ism mid­­dle-grade nov­el, I real­ized I couldn’t visu­al­ize where my sto­ry is locat­ed. I could describe imme­di­ate build­ings, but the land­scape was blank. If I couldn’t see it, nei­ther could a reader.

Candice Ransom

Finding Wonder 

When fairy tale char­ac­ters step into the woods, they are beset by tests, yet are stronger by the time they find their way out. At the begin­ning of 2021, I wan­dered in a deep, dark woods because, as Bruno Bet­tel­heim warns in The Uses of Enchant­ment, it’s where you go after los­ing the frame­work which gives struc­ture to your life.

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