Nov 212008

em>Panelists Anita Silvey and David Wiesner.
Earlier this week more than 100 booksellers, librarians, and other children’s book devotees attended a panel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., to mark the publication of James Marshall’s George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends Stories (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sept.). Billed as both a celebration of Marshall (1942–1992) and a look at humor in children’s books, the panel was moderated by Roger Sutton, editor of the Horn Book,
which cosponsored the event with the
Cambridge Public Library and HMH. 

Although, as Anita Silvey noted during the panel, Marshall was one of the few children’s writers and illustrators to get a book contract after seeing one editor (Walter Lorraine) with one portfolio—and one of the first to get on The Today Show—he never was awarded a Caldecott. Neither panelist David Wiesner, who has received three, nor Martha Speaks author/illustrator Susan Meddaugh or school librarian Susan Moynihan could explain why, except to point to the humor in his work.