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Natalie Babbitt

Biography

Natalie Babbitt

I was born and raised in Ohio. During my childhood, I spent most of my time drawing and reading fairy tales and myths. My mother, an amateur landscape and portrait painter, gave me art lessons. She always made sure I had enough paper, paint, pencils, and encouragement. I grew up wanting only to be an illustrator. I studied art at Laurel School in Cleveland and at Smith College.

Right after graduation, I married Samuel Fisher Babbitt, an academic administrator. I spent the next ten years in Connecticut, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., raising our children, Christopher, Tom, and Lucy.

My husband took time out from his academic career to write a novel and discovered that he didn't enjoy the long, lonely hours that writing demanded. My sister produced a comic novel, which required substantial rewriting. I learned three valuable things from observing my husband's and sister's forays into the writer's world: You have to give writing your full attention. You have to like the revision process. And you have to like to be alone. But it was years before I put any of this to good use.

In 1966, my husband and I collaborated on a children's book called The Forty-ninth Magician -- he wrote it and I illustrated it. With encouragement from our editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, I continued producing children's books even after my husband became too busy to write the stories.

I write for children because I am interested in fantasy and the possibilities for experience of all kinds before the time of compromise. I believe that children are far more perceptive and wise than American books give them credit for being.

Natalie Babbitt

Books by Natalie Babbitt

by Natalie Babbitt - Children's 8-12, Fiction
Everyone in town knows Herbert Rowbarge as the wealthy creator of the Rowbarge Pleasure Dome, a fantastic amusement park. But his past is murky. What the town doesn’t know is that Herbert was born a penniless orphan, sustained only by his desire to create something beautiful: An amusement park with a carousel featuring pairs of identical animals. Everything he’s achieved has been a product of that single-minded determination. What Herbert himself doesn’t know is that he is a twin. All he knows is that he has never felt complete. 
by Natalie Babbitt

Doomed to—or blessed with—eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.