Harry Matthews

January 1, 1997

Post #556 – 19970101

Daniel —

I can’t tell you how delighted I am to find that someone has braved the lion’s den of broadcast publicity to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of today’s children’s book authors and artists.

I toiled for some 25 years in the vineyards of book publishing, growing more pessimistic with each trashy novel. But the children’s books, whether YA melodramas or folk tales illustrated for the nursery-school set, were still written, illustrated, and published with care and insight. The youngest readers, ironically, get the best we had to offer. I hope that your PBS commentaries will encourage admirers of all ages to check out your recommendations. After all, I heard the latest in Seattle and now write you from New York City!

Daniel replies:

I agree. I complain about sinking standards in childrens books, but all the time I know the field is paradise compared to adult publishing. Of course it doesn't pay as well--in money, but I wake up happy every day of my life.