October 7, 2008 Historian of Children's Literature Leonard Marcus To Discuss His New Book on the Shaping of Children's Literature on Oct. 29

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

Considered one of America's leading authorities on children's books, historian and critic Leonard S. Marcus will discuss his new book, “Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs and the Shaping of American Children’s Literature,” during a program at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 12 p.m. in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The program is part of the Books & Beyond author series of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Marcus began his publishing career with a widely acclaimed biography of “Goodnight Moon” author Margaret Wise Brown, called “Awakened by the Moon,” (HarperPaperbacks), and last fall Random House released “Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever and Became an American Icon Along the Way.” In May 2008, Houghton Mifflin published his history of children’s book publishing, a project 14 years in the making. Marcus, a consummate professional, capable of discourse on a wide range of topics, also possesses a wry wit, hinted at in the picture book he created with his wife, Amy Schwartz, “Oscar: The Big Adventure of a Little Sock Monkey” (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books). “Minders of Make-Believe” (Houghton Mifflin) is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at American children’s literature and the people responsible for its creation. It illuminates why children’s books give us such a good window on our national culture and why the “view” from that window has changed so dramatically over the years. According to Marcus, “Children’s books are prime carriers of our cultural DNA. Through them, each generation speaks to the next and passes down the ideals and attitudes it cares about most deeply. As Americans’ religious beliefs, ideas about education, hopes for the future and understanding of childhood itself have all continued to change, children’s books have changed in tandem with them.” Following the program, “Minders of Make-Believe” will be available for sale and signing for $28. The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s Web site www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at www.myLOC.gov. The Center for the Book was created in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For information about its program, publications and national reading-promotion networks, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook/.


PR 08-182
ISSN 0731-3527