The New York Times notes the passing of Nancy Larrick at 93.
Jennifer Bayot writes (excerpt):
Dr. Larrick considered the standard reading workbooks of the 1950’s, with their picture games and stories about Dick and Jane, insulting to even a 5-year-old’s intelligence. An editor of children’s books for Random House, she preferred Dr. Seuss and Little Bear and asserted in a book review in The New York Times that children “can hear the rhythm of beautifully turned phrases and follow the suspense of a good story line.”
In a 1965 Saturday Review of Literature article, “The All-White World of Children’s Books,” she criticized the near absence of black characters in children’s books. Her criticism pushed publishers to evaluate their policies and led to several follow-up studies.