About Charlotte Zolotow

Charlotte Zolotow has been writing and shaping picture books since 1944, as author of more than seventy books reflecting the everyday experience of young children and their discovery of the world around them, and as a distinguished editor at Harper Junior Books.

Here is what she says about herself: “Born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1915 on my sister Dorothy’s birthday. Later lived in Brookline (Mass.), Detroit, and New York City. Went to University of Wisconsin, studied writing under Helen C. White, a wonderful teacher, met Maurice Zolotow , eccentric, brilliant young man, married him in 1938. Son, Stephen, 1945; daughter, Ellen (now Crescent), 1952; divorced 1969; happy to be still alive, 1998.”

Making Picture Books: The Words

zolotow_my grandson lew

The beginning of a picture book comes before the pictures. In Margaret Wise Brown’s beautiful Goodnight Moon, it was the magic of her words, their simplicity and the music in them, that made Clement Hurd’s now-famous visual interpretation possible. Unless the writer is also an illustrator, the writing always comes first. Many fine writers can […]