Writer of Songs and Nonsense
Margaret Wise Brown was the author of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, along with hundreds of other books, stories and songs.She was renowned not only for her prolific writing and publishing savvy, but also for her stunning beauty and thirst for adventure. She spent her royalties on extravagant parties and was known for making friends wherever she went.
Margaret said she woke up every morning with a “head full of stories”, which led to a prolific career. She created pen names to keep from flooding the literary market with Margaret Wise Brown titles. She worked closely with illustrators to tailor the style of their art to suit the growing field of children’s publishing. Her business savvy carved out rights for writers and illustrators that remain today. She pushed the boundaries of publishing to merge with other forms of media and marketing - creating stories for the backs of cereal boxes, drafting television radio dramas for children, and writing songs to be sung by some of the most famous singers of her day.
Margaret’s ability to lead children into the realm of imagination laid the foundation for her to became one of the most enduring writers for children of all time.
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In 1990, Amy Gary discovered unpublished manuscripts and songs from Margaret Wise Brown tucked away in a trunk in the attic of Margaret’s sister’s barn. Since then, Gary has catalogued, edited, and researched all of Margaret’s writings. She has worked with several publishers to publish more than 100 of those manuscripts, which include bestsellers and Caldecott nominees. In 2017, her biography of Margaret was published by Flatiron Books.