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Dorothy Butler, 1925-2015

dorothy butlerWe were very sad to hear about the death this week of Dorothy Butler — author, bookstore doyenne, kiwi, and great Friend of The Horn Book.

Read — and be inspired by — her classic Horn Book Magazine article “A Children’s Bookshop in New Zealand: One Family’s Enterprise“:

“The fact that the story of my bookshop cannot be separated from the story of my family is hardly surprising. Given simultaneous ambitions to enjoy the childhood years of eight children and to establish a book business, one is not offered a choice; the area of overlap must be considerable. In my case, the two did not overlap as much as intertwine; they became inextricably enmeshed…”

See the upcoming November/December 2015 Horn Book Magazine for a full obituary of this Great Lady.



  1. It was wonderful to find your mention of Dorothy here, she was friend, family and mentor to me. I was hoping the article link would click through so i could read Dorothy’s article in full but it just goes to a blank page. Could you perhaps tell us what issue the article was in so we could look it up?

  2. Katie Bircher Katie Bircher says:

    So sorry about that, Crissi! We’ve fixed the broken link. Enjoy! The article is from the April 1977 Horn Book Magazine.

  3. Steve Yeoman says:

    It was great to see Dorothy remembered by your publication. Her study of our daughter Cushla was first published by Horn Book in the USA, and it made her a profound influence in thousands of lives around the world, as did all her other books. Cushla continues to thrive and read, and will forever keep Dorothy’s spirit and faith in books alive.

  4. Rusty True Browder says:

    Thanks, Steve Yeoman, for mentioning Cushla and Her Books. I was an American children’s bookseller at that time and, you are right, it was very influential in nurturing an understanding of the crucial role of books in children’s lives.

  5. Marilyn Carpenter says:

    Dorothy’s book, Cushla and Her Books, changed my life and launched a detour in my career. Years ago we invited her to speak at a Pacific Rim conference in L.A. It was a treat to hear her speak.

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