Ruth Krauss

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Ruth Krauss (July 25, 1901 – July 10, 1993) was an American writer of children's books, including The Carrot Seed, and of theatrical poems for adult readers.[1] Many of her books are still in print.[2][3]


Krauss was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a graduate of the Parson School of Design. She was a member of the Writers' Laboratory at the Bank Street College of Education in New York during the 1940s. Ruth Krauss married children's book author Crockett Johnson in 1943. They collaborated on many books, among them The Carrot Seed, How to Make an Earthquake, Is This You? and The Happy Egg.[4]

She died in Westport, Connecticut.


Maurice Sendak characterized Krauss as "a giant" in the world of children's literature.

"Prior to the commercialization of children's books, there was Ruth Krauss."[citation needed]


Beside children's books Krauss wrote three collections of theatrical poems primarily for adult readers (‡).

  • A Good Man and His Good Wife, illustrated by Ad Reinhardt (1944); re-illustrated by Marc Simont (1962)
  • The Carrot Seed, illus. Crockett Johnson (1945)
  • The Great Duffy, illus. Mischa Richter (1946)
  • The Growing Story, illus. Phyllis Rowand (1947)
  • Bears, illus. Rowand (1948); re-illus. Maurice Sendak (2005)
  • The Happy Day, illus. Marc Simont (1949) —a Caldecott Medal Honor Book for Simont
  • The Big World and the Little House, illus. Simont (1949).
  • The Backward Day, illus. Simont (1950)
  • I Can Fly, illus. Mary Blair (1950)
  • The Bundle Book, illus. Helen Stone (1951)
  • A Hole is to Dig: A First Book of First Definitions, illus. Sendak (1952)
  • A Very Special House, illus. Sendak (1953) —a Caldecott Medal Honor Book for Sendak
  • I'll Be You and You Be Me, illus. Sendak (1954)
  • How To Make An Earthquake, illus. Johnson (1954)
  • Charlotte and the White Horse, illus. Sendak (1955)
  • Is This You?, by Krauss and Johnson (1955)
  • I Want to Paint My Bathroom Blue, illus. Sendak (1956)
  • Monkey Day, illus. Phyllis Rowand (1957)
  • The Birthday Party, illus. Sendak (1957)
  • Somebody Else's Nut Tree, and Other Tales from Children, illus. Sendak (1958)
  • A Moon or a Button: A Collection of First Picture Ideas, illus. Remy Charlip (1959
  • Open House for Butterflies, illus. Sendak (1960)
  • Mama, I Wish I Was Snow; Child You'd Be Very Cold, illus.Ellen Raskin (1962)
  • A Bouquet of Littles, illus. Jane Flora (1963
  • Eyes, Nose, Fingers, Toes, illus. Elizabeth Schneider (1964)
  • The Cantilever Rainbow, illus. Antonio Frasconi (1965) ‡
  • What a Fine Day for ..., illus. Remy Charlip, music by Al Carmines (1967)
  • The Happy Egg, illus. Johnson (1967)
  • This Thumbprint: Words and Thumbprints (1967)
  • The Little King, the Little Queen, the Little Monster and Other Stories You Can Make Up Yourself (1968)
  • There's A Little Ambiguity Among the Bluebells and Other Theater Poems (1968) ‡
  • If Only (1969)
  • I Write It, illus. Mary Chalmers (1970)
  • Under Twenty (1970)
  • Everything Under a Mushroom, illus. Margot Tomes (1973)
  • This Breast Gothic (1973) ‡
  • Love and the Invention of Punctuation (1973)
  • Little Boat Lighter Than a Cork, illus. Esther Gilman (1976)
  • Under Thirteen (1976)
  • When I Walk I Change the Earth (1978)
  • Somebody Spilled the Sky, illus. Eleanor Hazard (1979)
  • Minnestrone (1981)
  • Re-examination of Freedom (1981)
  • Love Poems for Children (1986)
  • Big and Little, illus. Mary Szilagyi (1987)
  • And I Love You, illus. Steven Kellogg (1987)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Director in a Changing Theatre: Essays on Theory and Practice, J. Robert Wills, ed. (1976) (pp. 305–307)
  2. ^ Ruth Krauss. Authory & Illustrators. HarperCollins Children's Books.
  3. ^ The Carrot Seed 60th Anniversary Edition. HarperCollins Children's Books.
  4. ^ "Ruth Krauss, 91, Dies; A Writer for Children". The New York Times. July 15, 1993.

External links[edit]