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One year ago: Karla Kuskin

Karla-kuskin Karla Kuskin was a children's book author and illustrator who had a celebrated read-aloud writing style that reflected a rare understanding of a child's perspective. She died one year ago at age 77.

Kuskin first achieved fame with "Roar and More," a 1956 book about animals and the noises they make that was her senior project at Yale.

She could "think herself into a child's skin" by using memories of her childhood as inspiration, Margaret F. Maxwell wrote in the "St. James Guide to Children's Writers" (1999). "That she has been able to distill these memories into simple yet lighthearted verses . . . is Kuskin's lasting talent."

Her flowing, simple and readable style is reflected in an early work, "James and the Rain" (1957), which Publishers Weekly called "one of the best read-aloud stories" for children:

James pressed his nose against the pane
and saw a million drops of rain.
The earth was wet,
the sky was gray,
it looked like it would rain all day.

For more, read Karla Kuskin's obituary in The Times.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: Karla Kuskin. 

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