Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Just For Fun: Who Would You Put In The Children's Book Writers Hall Of Fame If There Were A Children's Book Writers Hall Of Fame?

I was channel flipping yesterday and I noticed that Vinny Testaverde had been admitted to the College Football Hall Of Fame. That reminded me of a vision I'd had a number of years ago for a Children's Book Writers Museum, Hall Of Fame and Gift Shop.

I would have kept my vision to myself except later on, additional channel flipping led to my hearing a reference to the Mustard Hall Of Fame.

So I decided the time had come to write an entry about who I would put in to The Children's Book Writers Hall Of Fame, and more to the point, to ask you who you would put in to this wonderful non-existent joint (by the way, if any of you have a spare $15 million you'd like to spend on it, I have plenty of ideas and only a minor taste for embezzlement).

I decided to limit my own list to The Masters Room, writers whose primary works predate 1950. Here's the list I came up with between the Mustard Hall Of Fame and Scooter waking me up at 7:14 AM. They're in alphabetical order for those of you who take umbrage if someone is listed before someone else for any other reason:

Louisa May Alcott
Horatio Alger
Hans Christian Andersen
J. M. Barrie
L. Frank Baum
Lewis Carroll
Mary Mapes Dodge
Rudyard Kipling
A. A. Milne
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Beatrix Potter
Robert Louis Stevenson
Edward Stratemeyer
P. L. Travers
Laura Ingalls Wilder

All right. The rest is up to you. Add to the Masters Room (I'm certain I forgot people). Debate whether Jules Verne should be in there, or whether Harper Lee should be in the Hall Of Fame (I couldn't decide myself on that one). Let me know if Mary Mapes Dodge should be in the Editors And Agents Room, rather than the Masters Room. Make your Hall Of Fame Lists long or short, contemporary or just past 1950 (it killed me not to put Dr. Seuss in the Masters Room).

Your only restriction is to leave me off your lists. Don't worry. There's a permanent exhibit devoted to me:

Susan Beth Pfeffer: Her Books, Her Cats, Her Vision

Put up the $15 million and you can have your own permanent exhibit too!


Marci said...

If we include influence and not restrict to quality, one must put in Mildred Wirt Benson, the primary author of Nancy Drew. Walter Farley for the Black Stallion series, some of which were written before 1950, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Maud Hart Lovelace, and the writers for the Walt Disney Studios, who often also wrote other high quality stuff. Margery Williams. And Dr Seuss does predate 1950. His earliest book is 1938. Anna Sewell for Black Beauty, Munro Leaf for Ferdinand, Albert Payson Terhune for Lad and the rest of the dogs, Arthur Ransome for Swallows and Amazons, Eleanor Cameron for her Mushroom Planet series and the list goes on and on. All of these books are beloved and influential today.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning Marci and thank you-

I amended my list to include J. M. Barrie, who I'd intended to put on but I forgot.

A lot of the writers you mention were either people I forgot or people I didn't know about. Which is the great thing about lists and interactive blogs and the suchlike.

Dr. Seuss straddles the line. He's either the youngest member of the Masters Room or the oldest of the Hall Of Fame. Eithr way, you don't go wrong.

Ruit Farm North said...

E.B. White, Madeleine L'Engle, Mary Norton (of the Borrowers and Bedknobs and Broomsticks), Maud Hart Lovelace definitely! Then there are Edward Eager, Eleanor Estes (Moffats), Elizabeth Enright (Melendy Quartet and Gone-Away Lake), and of course, E. Nesbit.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Excellent suggestions, Nina Ruit.

I just checked Wikipedia and E. B. White, who I should have remembered, straddles- Stuart Little came out before 1950 and Charlotte's Web in 1952.

There are so many wonderful children's book writers. I look forward to seeing more lists!

exBFF said...

Beverly Cleary. Laura Lee Hope (knowing it wasn't a single peron...but The Bobbsey Twins - come on).


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning and thank you for those excellent suggestions ex-BFF (aka David)-

This Museum, Hall of Fame and Gift Shop is getting better and better.

Maybe I should budget for $18 million (if nothing else, that leaves some extra for bribes and embezzlement)!

Anonymous said...

Margaret Wise Brown, Gertrude Campion, Richard Scarry, and all other Golden Books authors of the 1940's and 1950's. (And their illustrators).

Albert Kanter, the creator of Classics Illustrated comic book series, though not an author of these works, contributed tremendously to putting the classics into otherwise reluctant hands.

But what books stand the test of time? Certainly there are works by S. B. Pfeffer that meet this test. But Nancy Drew, for example, does not. The overbearing, condescending father, not even to be considered "the norm" for that era, overshadows and disgusts.


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Thank you Anonymous W.S. for your comments and suggestions.

But oh, I had a fierce crush on Nancy Drew's father, Carson Drew. Don't ask me anything about him- all I remember was his name, that he was a lawyer, and that Nancy's mother was conveniently dead.

Besides, how bad could he have been? He must have been the one to give Nancy her roadster, and he gave her the freedom to solve all those cases.

Besides, his name was Carson, which I found quite sexy!

Anonymous said...

Most of the authors listed by Marci, and all of Nina’s.
I add: Carol Ryrie Brink, Zilpha Keatly Snyder, Joan Aiken, T.H. White.

As for Harper Lee, in my opinion, ”To Kill a Mockingbird” isn’t a children’s book. Perhaps most people think it is because the narrator is a child?

--Margaret S.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I didn’t check dates. Some of my suggestions are too recent to be Masters.

--Margaret S.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Margaret S.-

Of course Harper Lee isn't a children's book writer, but To Kill A Mockingbird is used in so many school systems, it's become a de facto YA.

Of course, the same could be said of A Separate Peace and Lord Of The Flies.

Tell you what. We'll leave Harper Lee out, and slip Mark Twain into the Masters Room!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello again Margaret S.-

Don't worry about limiting yourself to Masters. There's an entire imaginary Hall Of Fame to be filled up!

Esther Pfeffer said...

Enid Blyton, my absolute childhood favorite. Especially "The Five" books, although I also ready "The Seven" books.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Merci, Esther Pfeffer.

I just scurried over to Wikipedia to learn more about Enid Blyton.

She was one interesting lady!

You know who we've all forgotten to put into the Masters Room? Beatrix Potter. I think I'll go back and slip her in while nobody's looking...

Anonymous said...

Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Alexander Key, Lois Lenski, every Little Golden Book ever published...and the possibilities go on forever.

Anonymous Santa Fe

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning Anonymous Santa Fe-

Yes, the Museum, Hall of Fame, and most importantly, Gift Shop is getting bigger and bigger.

But it deserves all the space we give it!

Becky said...

E. Nesbit, Noel Streatfeild, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Laura Ingalls Wilder,

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

All excellent suggestions, Becky!

Barker and Jones Staff said...

Richard Adams, for Watership Down.

In more contempory authors, Terry Pratchett. Nation is a masterpiece. Michael Morpurgo. Shannon Hale. JK Rowling? Got an awful lot of children reading, after all... Roald Dahl. {I'll stop there, because I could keep going. I do work in a children's bookshop, after all...

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning, here at least, Barker and Jones Staff-

I'm glad you lised contemporary writers. There are any number of them who belong in the Hall Of Fame, JK Rowling definitely among them!

Ing said...

A contemporary Hall of Fame would have to include:
Beverly Cleary
Francis O'Roark Dowell
Walter Dean Myers
Gary Paulsen
Jacqueline Woodson

I love your list, Ms. Pfeffer, as I love all that you write!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Thank you Ing for those excellent suggestions!