|Born||Natalie Zane Moore
July 28, 1932
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||October 31, 2016
Hamden, Connecticut, U.S.
|Alma mater||Smith College|
|Notable works||Tuck Everlasting|
|Spouse||Samuel Fisher Babbitt|
Natalie Zane Babbitt (née Moore; July 28, 1932 – October 31, 2016) was an American writer and illustrator of children's books. Her acclaimed 1975 novel Tuck Everlasting has been adapted into two feature films and a Broadway musical. She received the Newbery Honor and Christopher Award, and was the U.S. nominee for the biennial international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1982.
Born Natalie Zane Moore in Dayton, Ohio, on July 28, 1932, Babbitt studied at Laurel School in Cleveland and Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She was married to Samuel Fisher Babbitt, and the couple had three children, born between 1956 and 1960. The family lived in Samuel's home town of New Haven, Connecticut, until he earned a PhD in 1965 and became the president of Kirkland College in Clinton, Oneida County, New York.
The Babbitts collaborated to create The Forty-ninth Magician, a picture book that he wrote and she illustrated, published by Pantheon Books in 1966. Samuel became too busy to participate but editor Michael di Capua, at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, encouraged Natalie to continue producing children's books. After writing and illustrating two short books in verse, she turned to children's novels, and her second effort in that vein, Knee-Knock Rise, was awarded a Newbery Honor in 1971.
Tuck Everlasting, published in 1975, was named an ALA Notable book and continues to be popular with teachers. It was ranked number 16 among the "Top 100 Chapter Books" of all time in a 2012 survey published by School Library Journal. Two of her books have been adapted as movies: Tuck Everlasting twice, in 1981 and 2002, and The Eyes of the Amaryllis in 1982. The novel was also adapted as a Broadway musical, which premiered in Atlanta on February 4, 2015, and played on Broadway from April 26 to May 29, 2016.
In addition to her own writing, Babbitt also illustrated a number of books by Valerie Worth. Babbitt died on October 31, 2016, at her home in Hamden, Connecticut. She had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer.
In 1982, another Times reviewer, George Woods, enjoyed Babbitt's Herbert Rowbarge. "Mrs. Babbitt creates a plausible world and peoples it with believable humans, but the most satisfaction comes from the pleasure of her company as she effortlessly takes the reader in velvet-gloved hand to point out life's coincidences and near misses."
In 2002, Melanie Rehak, also writing in the Times, described Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting as a "slim, ruminative" novel, and stated that "From the moment it appeared, it has been fiercely loved by children and their parents for its honest, intelligent grappling with aging and death."
Picture books (‡) were written and illustrated by Babbitt unless noted otherwise.
- 1967 Dick Foote and the Shark ‡
- 1968 Phoebe's Revolt ‡
- 1969 The Search for Delicious, self-illus.
- 1970 Knee-Knock Rise, self-illus.
- 1970 The Something ‡
- 1971 Goody Hall, self-illus.
- 1974 The Devil's Storybook, self-illus.
- 1976 Tuck Everlasting
- 1977 The Eyes of the Amaryllis
- 1982 Herbert Rowbarge
- 1987 The Devil's Other Storybook, self-illus.
- 1989 Nellie: A Cat on Her Own ‡
- 1990 "Bus for deadhorse", illus. Jon Agee, in Ann Durrell and Marilyn Sachs, eds., The Big Book for Peace (E. P. Dutton)
- 1994 Bub: Or the Very Best Thing ‡
- 1998 Ouch!: A Tale from Grimm, illus. Fred Marcellino ‡
- 2001 Elsie Times Eight ‡
- 2007 Jack Plank Tells Tales, self-illus.
- 2011 The Moon Over High Street
- 2012 The Devil's Storybooks – omnibus edition of The Devil's Storybook and The Devil's Other Storybook
- 1966 Samuel Babbitt, The Forty-ninth Magician ‡
- 1972 Valerie Worth, Small Poems
- 1994 Valerie Worth, All the Small Poems and Fourteen More
- 2002 Valerie Worth, Peacock and Other Poems
- "Babbitt, Samuel F.". LC Authorities. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- "Candidates for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards 1956–2002". The Hans Christian Andersen Awards, 1956–2002. IBBY. Gyldendal. 2002. Pages 110–18. Hosted by Austrian Literature Online (literature.at). Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "Babbitt, Natalie". Library of Congress Authorities (lccn.loc.gov). Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- "Babbitt, Natalie". Children's books and their creators. Anita Silvey, editor. Houghton Mifflin. 1995. p. 43.
- "Natalie Babbitt". Courtesy of Natalie Babbitt. 1996. ipl2 (ipl.org). Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- "Biography: Natalie Babbitt". Scholastic Teachers (scholastic.com/teachers). Retrieved September 24, 2015. With linked transcript of interview by Scholastic students (no date).
- "Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922–Present". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). American Library Association (ALA).
"The John Newbery Medal". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". National Education Association. 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
- Bird, Elizabeth (July 7, 2012). "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results". A Fuse #8 Production. Blog. School Library Journal (blog.schoollibraryjournal.com). Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- Tuck Everlasting (1981) Allmovie entry
- Tuck Everlasting (2002) Allmovie entry
- The Eyes of the Amaryllis (1982) Allmovie entry
- "Broadway Premiere of Tuck Everlasting Sets Complete Cast" Broadway.com. January 15, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016
- Silvey, Anita (2002). The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0547348894.
- Associated Press (31 October 2016). "Tuck Everlasting author Natalie Babbitt dies at 84". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
- Lanes, Selma G. (November 13, 1977). "Love Story, Sea Story". The New York Times Book Review. pp. BR10. Retrieved May 13, 2012. Entire article available by subscription or purchase only.
- Woods, George A. (November 30, 1982). "Books of The Times". The New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
- Rehak, Melanie (October 6, 2002). "Film: Falling for a Children's Tale of an Age-Old Wish". The New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
- "Providence's 'Tuck Everlasting' author honored with first E.B. White Award". Providence Journal. March 14, 2013. Archived from the original on April 29, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- "Natalie Babbitt | Authors | Macmillan". US Macmillan. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
- "The Big book for peace". WorldCat. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "Natalie Babbitt's List of Books | Scholastic Teacher". Scholastic Teachers. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
- Macmillan. "All the Small Poems and Fourteen More | Valerie Worth | Macmillan". Macmillan. Retrieved 2016-11-02.