Ludwig Bemelmans shot and almost killed a waiter.
Ludwig Bemelmans, author/illustrator of the Madeline book series, failed in school and was so rebellious that his family kicked him out and sent him to work in hotels owned by his uncle in Italy. When Bemelmans was sixteen, he supposedly shot and almost killed a waiter. He was spared prison and given the choice between reform school or emigration to America. He chose America. Bemelmans became a naturalized citizen, served in the U.S. Army, and eventually owned a restaurant. In 1934, when Bemelmans was 36, a friend who worked in publishing saw some whimsical paintings that Bemelmans had created and suggested that Bemelmans write and illustrate a children’s book—the rest is history.
Read more about Bemelmans . . .
Beatrix Potter told Roald Dahl to “buzz off”.
As a young child, Roald Dahl loved Beatrix Potter’s books. In fact, at age six Dahl was, perhaps, Potter’s biggest fan. He persuaded his mother to take him to Potter’s home in northern England, so he could see where she lived.
Not long before Dahl died, Brough Girling, founder and director of Readathon, a campaign to get more children reading, interviewed Dahl and asked about books he had read as a youngster and his influences. On Roald Dahl Day in 2008, Girling shared what Dahl had said about Potter:
“He told me he went with his mum when he was six. He asked if he could go and see where she lived. So they went up to the Lake District.
“He came to the farmyard and recognized it, which made him very nervous. In Jemima Puddle-Duck the farmyard was actually Beatrix Potter’s farmyard and he recognized that.
“He said it was like stepping into a page of one of his favorite books.
“Then he saw Beatrix Potter, this old woman in her garden. And she said to him, ‘What do you want?’
“He said, ‘I’ve come to meet Beatrix Potter’ and she said ‘Well, you’ve seen her. Now buzz off!’
“His wife said it’s actually true. Roald had told her. And it’s true Beatrix Potter was quite grumpy and not fond of children. He would have been six and she would have been about 80.”
Dr. Suess, Theodore Geisel was afraid of children.
Geisel never had children of his own, and he was uncomfortable being around kids. He rarely did book signings or wanted to meet the children who loved The Cat in the Hat and his other books. When interviewed and asked whether he had children, Geisel answered, “You have ‘em; I’ll amuse ‘em.”
After his death, Geisel’s widow said that he didn’t just dislike children—he was afraid of them. When he was around kids, Geisel fretted about what they might do or ask. “I don’t think spending your days surrounded by kids is necessary to write the kind of books I write,” he said. “I don’t write for children, I write for people.”
You might also enjoy this video,
“47 Charming Facts About Children’s Books”
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