Susann's Reviews > Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom

Dear Genius by Ursula Nordstrom
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's review
May 04, 08

it was amazing
bookshelves: all-time-favorites, ursula-nordstrom
Recommended to Susann by: Melissa and Laurie
Read in April, 2008

Laurie was so right; I loved this book. Ursula Nordstrom was the editor for Harper's children's books for decades, working with Margaret Wise Brown, EB White, Maurice Sendak, Louise Fitzhugh and a bazillion others. She shaped 20th century kidlit and happened to be an excellent letter writer to boot. It was fascinating to watch how she worked with all those writers and illustrators. I had never really thought about illustrator-editor conversations and I was especially interested in her Garth Williams letters. (He was the one - not Russell Hoban - who decided to make Frances a badger!)
Even if you stripped away all the literary discussions, the book is still a fabulous journey through the 20th century: the political comments, the slang, the fads, the rising social consciousness. During an interminable subway ride, I read 40 pages straight and, when I finally looked up from the book, I had a split-second sense of being back in the early 1970s.
Any book that gives me a transcendental jump back in time merits five stars.
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message 1: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Susann, you will love this book!

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