Charlotte Zolotow

1915 -



"Youth is not really the protected and beautiful period it is alleged to be..." - Charlotte Zolotow

Charlotte Zolotow
Born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1915, Charlotte Zolotow did not have an easy life. Constant moves, new schools, and physical ailments contributed to her difficulties and her ever-present shyness- which helped to lead Charlotte to writing. She is known as a champion of honest, non-sugarcoated literature for young readers. She attended the University of Wisconsin in 1929. She studied the writings of Piaget, art, and writing, all of which were united when she began to write children's books. After marrying Maurice Zolotow, a fellow writer, in 1938 the two moved to New York. She had been working in the adult trade department of Harper & Brothers publishing when children's book editor Ursula Nordstrom offered her a job. Both women shared the idea that children's books should be faithful to the difficulties of childhood, and these views were evident in their writings where their respect for children's feelings and intelligence was made visible. Charlotte Zolotow also admired the writings of Margaret Wise Brown. In fact, it was Charlotte's suggestion to Ursula Nordstrom that Margaret Wise Brown be asked to write a story about a day in a park that resulted in Charlotte's own first book for children. The Park Book, written in 1944 and illustrated by H.A. Rey, was the first of more than ninety children's books.

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Last Modified: May 5, 2002