I woke up this morning to the sad news that children's book author Charlotte Zolotow died at age 98. She was something special and her books reflected her sensitivity and awareness of children's deepest feelings. My mother read me her books and I read them to my children and they will surely read the books to theirs. Mr.Rabbit and the Lovely Present, Big Sister and Little Sister, I Like to Be Little, Over and Over, Someday are all books I treasure. She inspired me as a child and continues to touch my heart as an adult.
The obituary in today's New York Times says that she was an awkward shy child with a back brace, black eyeglasses and orthodontic braces. "She found solace in books and determined early to be a writer," the obit says. In addition to her children's books, she was also an editor and brought books like the Newberry-award-winning Sarah, Plain and Tall to millions of young readers.
Zolotow was honest and straightforward with children because as she once said, "We are all the same, except that adults have found ways to buffer themselves against the full-blown intensity of a child's emotions."
I pulled out my copies of her books and the pages are worn and the covers torn. These books have been loved.
Rest in peace, Charlotte Zolotow.