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Natalie Babbitt, 1932–2016

Beloved author and illustrator Natalie Babbitt died this past Monday; she had been recently diagnosed with lung cancer. She gave the children’s book world immeasurable gifts — her books. In the New York Times obituary, her husband, Samuel Fisher Babbitt, described her as a remarkable woman “who left her mark in the literary world with her […]

Tuck, then, now, and always

Well, it’s just past the first week of August, but it’s always a good time to visit with old (in this case, very, very old) friends. This year marks the 40th publication anniversary of Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting. FSG/Square Fish put out a lovely new hardcover edition — with a foreword by Gregory Maguire — […]

Moving moment No. 7

One of the best friends the Horn Book has.

Future Classics: Tuck Everlasting

by Tim Wynne-Jones My guess is that in the next hundred years they aren’t going to find a cure for death. Our children’s children’s children’s children’s children might live to be a hundred and forty — poor souls — but while they are still children, each of them will one day suddenly realize, as have […]

Circling Tuck: An Interview with Natalie Babbitt

Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting was first published in 1975; it has since become a modern classic. Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s 25th anniversary edition of the novel, to be published this spring, features a wide-ranging, deep-digging conversation between Ms. Babbitt and critic Betsy Hearne. The following selection is excerpted from that interview. BETSY HEARNE: The style […]

Editorial: The Mystery in the Yellow Suit

As an occasional adjunct instructor in children’s literature, I’ve taught Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting three times. While the students have sometimes been contemptuous of my other reading assignments (my beloved Tom’s Midnight Garden in particular seems to reveal a generation gap), they tend to get along quite well with Tuck, but they always ask the […]

On the Cover: The Man in the Yellow Suit

by Natalie Babbitt That I should attempt a picture of the man in the yellow suit was Roger Sutton’s idea, and when he first broached it to me, I said no, I was too busy, couldn’t handle it. But almost before the words were out of my mouth, I was struck by what an extraordinary […]

Drawing on the Child Within

by Natalie Babbitt Over the years I have noticed that an awful lot of people don’t seem to remember what it felt like to be a child. This is hard for me to understand. My childhood is very vivid to me, and I don’t feel very different now from the way I felt then. It […]

The Rhinoceros and the Pony

by Natalie Babbitt One doesn’t want to say anything too shocking in a breakfast speech. It’s okay to be shocking in a dinner speech because everyone will be going home soon and can recover in the privacy of bed. But at this hour there’s still a whole day ahead, so morning is probably not the […]

Metamorphosis

by Natalie Babbitt It has been my lifelong wish that there was no such thing as change — outward change, anyway. I like things familiar and predictable. Yet, from the very beginning, my life has been made up of repeated outward changes. I have moved twenty-two times. The humblest dandelion has more tangible roots than […]