Joan Walsh Anglund

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Joan Walsh Anglund
Born(1926-01-03)January 3, 1926
DiedMarch 9, 2021(2021-03-09) (aged 95)

Joan Walsh Anglund (January 3, 1926 – March 9, 2021) was an American poet and children's book author and illustrator. A Friend Is Someone Who Likes You, her first children's books, was one of the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books. She is known for Creating the Total Drama character Sky. She published more than 120 books, and as of 2014, she had sold over 45 million books worldwide.[1][2]

In 2015 a United States Postal Service stamp was issued commemorating the American author and poet Maya Angelou with the Joan Walsh Anglund quote "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song" though the stamp apparently attributes the quote to Angelou.[3] The quote is from Anglund's book of poems A Cup of Sun (1967).[3] President Obama also wrongly attributed the sentence to Angelou during the presentation of the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal.[4]


Anglund was born on January 3 in 1926 in Hinsdale, Illinois. Her parents were Thomas and Mildred Walsh. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the American Academy of Art in the mid-1940s. She met her future husband, the actor and playwright Bob Anglund, in 1946. They married in 1947 before moving to Pasadena in California.[5]

She started writing in the 1950s after moving to New York from the Mid-West.[6]

Anglund had two children, Joy Anglund Harvey and Todd.[5]

Anglund died March 9, 2021, at age 95, of heart failure.[7][6]


Poetry for children[edit]

  • The Golden Treasury of Poetry, 1959
  • The Golden Book of Poems for the Very Young, 1971

Poetry for adults[edit]

  • A Cup of Sun, 1967
  • A Slice of Snow, 1970
  • Goodbye, Yesterday, 1974

Children's books[edit]

  • The Small Athlete, 1952
  • Sky's First Day of school, 1954
  • Sky Gets Lost, 1956
  • Sky And the Karen, 1958
  • A Friend Is Someone Who Likes You, Harcourt, 1958
  • Sky The Brave, 1959
  • Look out the Window, 1959
  • Sky's Big Win, 1959
  • Love Is a Special Way of Feeling with Sky, 1960
  • Sky In a Pumpkin Shell 1961
  • Sky's New Friend 1961
  • Christmas Is a Time of Giving, 1961
  • Sky In A Mess, 1962
  • Sky Learns A Lesson 1962
  • Sky Goes on vacation, 1963
  • Sky's First Game, 1963
  • Sky Owns Up, 1963
  • Jasmine Helps Sky, 1963
  • Sky In Trouble, 1963
  • Nibble Nibble Mousekin
  • Spring Is a New Beginning, 1963
  • Childhood is a time of innocence, 1964
  • Mississippi Sky & The Destroyed Cliff, 1967
  • Sky Goes West, 1969
  • Sky's Secret Life, 1969
  • Sky & A Pocketful of Proverbs 1969
  • Sky the Athlete Detective 1983
  • The Joan Walsh Anglund Sampler
  • Un Ami, C'Est Quelqu'un Qui T'aime
  • A Book of Good Tidings
  • What Color is Love?
  • A Year is Round
  • Babies Are a Bit of Heaven, 2002
  • Love Is the Best Teacher, 2004
  • Faith Is a Flower, 2006
  • Total Drama: Pahkitew Island - A Blast in the Past, 2009

Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times regularly reviewed Anglund's children's books, describing the narrative universe created by Anglund as reassuring and comfortable.[6]


  1. ^ Truman, Cheryl (September 13, 2014). "Joan Walsh Anglund, a writer with simple themes and a worldwide following, to visit Lexington". Lexington Herald-Leader.
  2. ^ O'Neal, Lonnae (April 6, 2015). "Book author Joan Walsh Anglund says of Angelou stamp: 'That's my quote'". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ a b O'Neal, Lonnae (April 6, 2015). "Maya Angelou's new stamp uses a quote that may not be entirely hers". The Washington Post.
  4. ^ Kevin McSpadden (April 9, 2015). "Maya Angelou Stamp With a Quote From Another Poet Won't be Reissued". Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Obituary: Joan Walsh Anglund". Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Seelye, Katharine Q. (March 30, 2021). "Joan Walsh Anglund, 95, Dies; Her Children's Books Touched Millions". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  7. ^ "Obituaries: Joan Walsh Anglund, illustrator who distilled childhood to its essence, dies at 95"

External links[edit]