The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 13, No 2 (2009)

Font Size:  Small  Medium  Large
Emerging-Ozirny-13-2

Emerging Voices


Fox Be Latent: James Marshall and the Easy Reader Tradition

Shannon Ozirny


Shannon Ozirny is currently in her final year of the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) program at the University of British Columbia.  She holds a Master of Arts in Children's Literature from UBC and completed a thesis on easy readers entitled "The Big Shoes of Little Bear:  the publication history, emergence, and literary potential of the easy reader."  Her academic interest in the work of James Marshall and his Fox series began in 1988 - long before she was tall enough to see over the children's bookshelves at her public library.


Some of the most enduring characters in children’s literature have their genesis in the often overlooked easy reader genre.  Canonical characters such as Little Bear, Frog and Toad, and Amelia Bedelia, confirm the genre’s impact, as does the fact that easy readers held multiple spots on Publishers Weekly’s 2001 list of all-time best-selling children’s books in both the paperback and hardcover categories (Roback). Surprisingly, literary critics rarely pay much attention to these deceptively simple texts.  Only a handful of close readings exist, and those are mostly reserved for only the most popular titles by Dr. Seuss and Arnold Lobel. [1]  It is quite possible that scholars make premature assumptions regarding the easy reader’s depth or artistic worth.  Indeed, Anastasia Suen has opined that “the easy reader has often been viewed as the poor stepchild of the more glamorous picture book or children’s novel” (Suen 56) while George Shannon says that many consider the texts to be “a gussied-up basal reader” (Shannon 28). Regardless of the reasons, there are certainly easy readers that deserve, and practically beg, for in-depth critical analysis and close reading. Out of the ashes of the genre’s frequently controlled vocabulary and one-dimensional characters rises James Marshall and his ingenious Fox series.  Truly, James Marshall raises the literary expectations of the easy reader to staggering heights, and brings a signature comedic complexity to the genre.

With publication dates spanning from 1982 to 1993, the nine Fox books all contain vocabulary that could be decoded by a second grade student.  Each title contains three to five short stories that chronicle the same cast of animal characters.  While dozens of furry and feathered faces make up the ensemble, every story in Fox and His Friends, Fox in Love, Fox at School, Fox on Wheels, Fox All Week, Fox on the Job, Fox Be Nimble, Fox Outfoxed, and Fox On Stage revolves around, not surprisingly, a protagonist named Fox and his close-knit family of Mom and Louise.

Despite popular perception, James Marshall’s works are not simplistically “zany;” in fact, Maurice Sendak wrote that the adjective “drove him [Marshall] to murderous rage (Sendak). Rather, the nine Fox book perfectly encapsulate the possibilities of the easy reader.  Marshall plays a never-ending game of hide and seek with readers of the Fox books in that every encounter with the texts consistently reveals something previously unnoticed.  This seeming bit of magic is due to the vast amount of latent or implicit content in the books.  An analysis of this latent content will follow a brief background of the Fox series and its hilarious mammalian protagonist.  An analysis of the series’ history, hero, and hidden gems will serve to finally articulate Marshall’s true contributions to the easy reader tradition.

The nine Fox books were originally published as part of the “Dial easy-to-read” collection.  They were acquired by Phyllis Fogelman, an editor who had previously worked alongside the legendary Ursula Nordstrom at Harper and Row, and the books have subsequently been reprinted under the “Puffin Easy-to-Read” label.  Much like the “I Can Read” books published by Harper, the Fox books feature plenty of white space, limited text in a large font, and vignette-like illustrations with clear borders.  There is no way of knowing how many Fox books Marshall had planned as he passed away on October 13, 1992.  Fox’s final attempt at craftiness, Fox on Stage, was published posthumously in 1993.

Marshall created an imaginary collaborator in the form of a “cousin” named Edward Marshall for the first five Fox books.  His motivations are for doing so are unclear, but when asked about Edward, James said, “He’s very difficult to find, living out there by the crematorium, with those fourteen children” (Marcus 98).  After recounting that statement in an interview with Leonard S. Marcus, Marshall intimated that he “was really quite tipsy” from a publishing lunch at the time he had invented Edward’s back story.  Marshall later admitted to his fabrication after Edward’s presence was repeatedly requested at conferences.  Thus, despite common misunderstanding, the Fox books are written and illustrated by James Marshall, and James Marshall alone.

The short length of the books, combined with the presence of talking animal protagonists, make many of the stories reminiscent of Aesop’s fables. As most readers are probably aware, Aesop’s fables “bend animals’ behaviour towards the human, endowing them with certain qualities and putting them in a manlike world” (Yannicopoulou 116).   Fox All Week has the clearest fabular structure of the entire series, as each short story within the text depicts a different day, and a corresponding moral.  For instance, the old adage of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is employed in a mini-story called “Tuesday’s Lunch;” when Fox and his friends throw their unwanted tuna sandwiches over the schoolyard wall, a trampy alley cat reaps the benefits.

In Fox All Week’s “Thursday After School,” Dexter the pig turns green from puffing on a cigar.  Long after Fox and Carmen the frog have put out their own cigars due to feeling “sick as dogs” (26),  Dexter proclaims that smoking “makes me look smart” (28). Fox and Carmen merely take one look at their jade porcine friend and curtly reply, “Really, Dexter!”  Here, Dexter possesses the “man-like” quality of seeking social approval, but his contrived efforts have the opposite effect.  The result is a clear moral in the tradition of Aesop: one should not try to be something he/she is not (in this case, a debonair smoker).

While the previous two examples adhere to the classic fable structure, albeit with a hearty addition of laughter, Marshall goes even farther in his use of the fable conventions by satirizing Aesop.  This is most evident in “Fox and the Grapes” which appears in Fox on Wheels.  In Marshall’s parody, Fox’s fear of heights stands between him and his friend Millie, who sits high atop a tree eating grapes.  When Fox summons up the courage to climb the tree, the end result is pure humour:

“Oh, I’m so glad you’re here,”
said Millie.
“I’m scared!
I don’t know how to get
down!”
“Well that’s just dandy!”
said Fox.
“Want a grape?”
said Millie (33-34).

Instead of walking away from the tempting fruit and expressing a bitter rationale of “sour grapes” as in the Aesop version, Fox goes so far as to reach the grapes, only to find that he was tricked by his similarly acrophobic friend.   Indeed, Fox would have been much better off had he taken Aesop’s route and simply walked away.

While a scan of the literature shows that the series has attracted no scholarly attention, it has been well-received by critics and reviewers.  A reviewer of Fox Be Nimble urged readers to “buy multiple copies of this hilarious winner by a master illustrator” (“Fox Be Nimble” Review).  Another reviewer of Fox on Wheels declared the entire series a “funny, sharply witty tradition” (“Fox on Wheels” Review).  On November 18th, 2008, MIT even held a panel dedicated to Marshall’s work entitled “Celebrating James Marshall and Humor in Children’s Books” wherein they discussed Marshall’s often overlooked genius.  However, despite this positive reception, Marshall never received a Newbery or Caldecott Honor for the Fox series.  As Maurice Sendak opined in the New York Times, “The award-givers were foolish enough to consider him a charming lightweight, and when Caldecott Medal time came around, they ignored him again and again.” Arnold Lobel remains the only author in easy reader history to receive a Newbery Honor for his 1973 book, Frog and Toad Together.  The one major award Marshall did receive for his work (besides a Caldecott Honor in 1989) came fifteen years after his death.  He was awarded the 2007 Wilder prize, an honor that recognizes an author’s entire body of work.  Such a comprehensive award is well-deserved, especially since the Fox books are often overshadowed by the success of more popular Marshallian creations like the George and Martha and Miss Nelson picture books.  This is especially unfortunate considering the rich content of the Fox collection, and Fox himself, the unforgettably proud protagonist.

For the sake of clarity, it is important to note that the series’ main character is a fox who is aptly named Fox.  The rest of the animal ensemble all have proper names, such as Fox’s sister Louise and their crotchety rabbit neighbour, Mrs. O’Hara.  Admittedly, it is very hard to articulate Fox’s character.  He has been called everything from “a debonair, lazy exhibitionist,” (Lambert), to an “antihero whose faults mortify him” (Thomas), to a “goofy rake” (“Fox on Wheels” Review).  Fox’s unconventionality most likely stems from his relationship to the trickster archetype. The trickster archetype is one of the most well established conventions in literature; by the second millennium, “the role of the fox as trickster was already established in Mesopotamian animal proverbs” (Sax 117).   Despite the popular belief that all tricksters are one-dimensional characters led purely by cunning and craftiness, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. discusses the African trickster figure of Esu and describes a more complicated character:

Scholars have studied these figures of Esu, and each has found one or two characteristics of this mutable figure upon which to dwell … A partial list of these qualities might include individuality, satire, parody, irony, magic, indeterminancy … disruption and reconciliation, betrayal and loyalty, closure and disclosure, encasement and rupture.  But it is a mistake to focus on one of these qualities as predominant.  Esu possesses all of these characteristics, plus a plethora of others which, taken together, only begin to present an idea of the complexity of this figure … (6).

Truly, Fox has much in common with the multi-faceted Esu. At times he becomes the victim of his own tricks, at others he becomes too pre-occupied to see his tricks through to fruition, and at others he is an empathetic, caring friend.  Perhaps most humourous are the times when Fox’s attempts at trickery simply backfire.  For instance, in Fox All Week, Fox seems successful in his scheme to skip school when he tells his mother, “I have a sore throat.  But I will go to school anyway” (7).  Later, Fox looks out the window to see that his classmates are on a rollicking field trip, and mutters to himself about his reversal of fortune:

“We are off on our field trip!”
called out Carmen.
“A little rain can’t stop us!”
said Miss Moon.
“This isn’t funny,” said Fox (10).

The truth of the matter, as obvious to both child and adult readers, is that the circumstance is quite funny, and the humour comes from the fact that the trickster must face the consequences of his own trick.  As Donnarae MacCann and Olga Richard write, “instead of the proverbial cunning predator, the Marshall protagonist is a boastful dude who bungles his countless intrigues” (100).

In other instances, and further fulfilling Gates’ assertions on the complex trickster, Fox is merely too distracted to see his schemes through to fruition.  For example, after sneaking off on many dates in Fox in Love, Fox is too busy to hide the evidence from Raisin, his steady squeeze.  While dangling upside down from the monkey bars at the fair, and “showing off for Raisin,” Fox fails to notice some incriminating pictures falling from his pockets. The pictures, taken at a self-serve photo booth, show Fox at the same fair with four other young vixens.  “Well!” Raisin cries, upon discovering the photos, “Wait until the girls hear about this!” (33). The next page shows Fox, the dejected trickster, with the accompanying text, “And on Saturday Fox went to the fair … all alone. ‘Click’” (33-34).

In further accordance with Gates’ complex description of Esu, Fox is also capable of empathy and understanding. When Raisin gets braces in Fox All Week, she promptly dons a paper bag on her head to sneak past her friends. Fox spots her and says to his gang, “It isn’t easy being the new kid.” Once he discovers that it is Raisin hiding beneath the disguise, he gently says, “I’m getting braces soon … want to play with us?” (44-48). This act of kindness is certainly not uncharacteristic for Fox, but it is very unconventional for the one-dimensional, archetypal trickster. Thus, Marshall’s protagonist is firmly in stead with the complex trickster tradition of Esu, and is endowed with a depth of character not often associated with easy-reader protagonists.

Arguably, Marshall has included just as much implicit material in his easy readers as lauded authors like Dr. Seuss and Arnold Lobel.  The inclusion of so much implicit content is especially laudable considering the sparseness of Marshall’s drawings and text.  Jane Resh Thomas asserts that Marshall “knew the difference between simple-mindedness and simplicity,” while MacCann and Richard say, “Marshall is so unlabored that one may fail to notice the numerous details.” Ironically, Marshall uses implicit or latent content to complicate a simple text. As demonstrated in the examples below, sub-text and small illustration details, while not necessarily integral to understanding the plot, ultimately enrich the stories and often bring humour. Much of this latent content in the series involves Fox’s family unit.  Despite the fact that Fox’s mother is never explicitly characterized, the latent content of the books tell readers she is an independent, cunning, single mother. Fox’s father is never referenced in the text or illustrations.  In Fox On the Job, Mom (readers never learn her first name) is pictured doing yoga, burning incense, and wearing a t-shirt that says “Om,” while in Fox All Week she reads a magazine called “Vanity Fox.”  She also insists that she can’t run errands when she tells her children, “This is my quiet time” (Fox Be Nimble 8).  Despite the fact that Marshall only has a few words and pencil lines at his disposal, he is still able to form a realistic, multi-faceted matriarch.  Mom is simultaneously kind and threatening, especially when Fox wants to make a home movie for his ailing Grannie in Fox on Stage; Mom promptly replies, “How sweet … But if anything happens to my camera …” (8). The simplicity of the easy reader genre does not hinder her characterization.

Louise, Fox’s little sister, is also implicitly multi-faceted and the depth of her character is most clearly noted in the illustrations.  She rarely explicitly expresses her love for Fox in the text, yet her undying admiration for her big brother is clear as she is usually pictured gazing up at Fox with a goofy, satisfied smile.  When Fox is rendered blind by a tree costume he must wear in a school production, Louise maternally leads him down the sidewalk proclaiming, “You were the best tree in the whole play” (Fox At School 22).  In Fox All Week Louise endearingly dons a paper nurse cap and serves pie to Fox in his sick bed.  Furthermore, even when Fox calls her Halloween costume “dumb,” Louise steadfastly peers up at him through the tiny holes in her massively rotund pumpkin get-up.  At the same time, however, Louise is acutely aware of Fox’s attempts at trickery, and clearly follows in his crafty footsteps.  When Fox tries to charm Louise into lending him money for a new bike in Fox on the Job, Louise scowls, holds her piggy-bank high above her head and threatens, “I’ll scream!” (9). She even tricks Fox into thinking she has perished on Halloween, and then bursts forth from a closet singing “Tra la!” at her victory (Fox Outfoxed 46). While the easy reader cannot accommodate lengthy character description, Marshall provides a well-rounded portrayal of Louise through this subtly implicit content.  As a reviewer of Fox and His Friends writes, “the sibling exchanges and situations are comically true to life” (Palmer).  Like a real little sister, Louise alternates between complete awe and suspicious distrust of her older brother.

Another implicit anomaly of the Fox series is the frequent non-verbal communication that happens between Mom, Fox, and Louise.  They often exchange signature Fox family “looks,” adding to both the comedy of the books, and the perception of the Foxes as a close-knit unit.  Mom first uses her piercing gaze in Fox and His Friends as silent warning to Fox in the premiere book of the series:

“But today you must take care of
little Louise,” said Mom.
“You’re joking,” said Fox.
I am not joking,” said Mom.
And she gave Fox a look.
“Come on, Louise,” said Fox (5).

Later, Mom upgrades her stare to a “serious look” after Fox blatantly refuses to look after his sister.  By the second book of the series, Fox in Love, Mom’s challenging stares become tradition, as the narrator says, “Mom gave Fox one of her looks” (8). While Mom’s warning glares are undoubtedly comedic, their brevity also functions particularly well in the easy-reader.  Marshall is not able to include long arguments between mother and son because he must abide by the tight space restrictions of the genre.  So, rather than paint an unrealistically rosy picture of the family, he uses the quick the “looks” to deftly establish conflict.

In a hilarious twist, Louise inherits her mother’s strong non-verbal skills.  Louise often finds herself entangled in Fox’s love triangles and uses “the look” whenever female foxes are within earshot.  Instead of employing the wordless communication for discipline, Louise makes a point of peering at Fox when he is acting like a lothario.  The following scene from Fox In Love provides a perfect example of Louise’s “look,” and takes place after Mom forces Fox away from the television to take Louise out:

“You are sweet to bring
your little sister to the park,”
said Raisin.
“I love to do it,” said Fox.
Louise gave Fox a look.
“This is more fun than TV,”
said Raisin.
“Oh, yes,” said Fox.
“I never watch TV.”
Louise gave Fox another look (15-16).

In truth, this tiny excerpt contains a multitude of implicit content, especially for the child reader.  In addition to spotting Fox’s fibs, Louise uses a non-verbal communicative device presumably inherited from her mother.  In the space of only forty-six words, Marshall creates a tri-layered discourse; Fox is lying, Raisin takes Fox’s words literally, and Louise demonstrates through her “look” that she understands both the literal and sub-textual elements of the conversation.  Marshall clearly infuses his sparse text with rich meaning, a technique that is well-exemplified by the Fox family “look.”

While many of the plots in the Fox series do not directly involve performance, an implicit sense of theatrics runs through all nine books.  Reviewers have commented on this textual element, calling the characters “certified performers,” (McCann 100) and describing Fox as a “quick-change artist whose outfits are as outlandish as anything he says or does” (Steinberg).  One of the most obvious theatrical conventions of the series is Fox’s penchant for costumes.  While this is never addressed explicitly in the text, the illustrations illuminate Fox’s changing appearance.  For instance, at the boxcar race in Fox Outfoxed, Fox arrives ready to race in goggles, an old-fashioned racing cap (complete with holes for his pointed ears), and a striped scarf; he looks more like an antique pilot than a racing neophyte.  Fox even dons massive reading glasses when perusing his comics, and also wears an over-sized chef’s hat to prepare peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  In one of his most ludicrous get-ups in Fox On Stage, Fox dresses as an eccentric director to film a get-well video for his Grannie.  A large purple beret sits between his ears, and a look of snobbish disinterest appears on his snout beneath a pair of decidedly John Lennon-esque sunglasses.  Even Mom demonstrates a similar taste for theatrics after she gives birth to twins in Fox On Wheels.  When she takes her babies out for a walk, Mom wears a large green hat and Victorian petticoat while proudly pushing an old-fashioned pram.  Marshall’s motive for costuming his characters seems three-fold; on a superficial level, he may use the costumes to clearly delineate roles and assist the emerging reader with plot comprehension.  Secondly, the wild clothes may function purely as gags.   However, on a much more implicit level, the costumes seem to support characterization.  The exaggerated clothing denotes Fox’s and Mom’s playful eccentricity, and expands on a text with limited space to reveal quirks of character.  Simply put, the easy reader does not allow Marshall the time, space, or the advanced vocabulary to comment on the Fox family’s seemingly genetic love of the theatrical.  Therefore, instead of foregoing this kind of development altogether, Marshall loads the illustration with implicit content.  Even if young readers miss the hints at Mom’s eccentricity, they will, at the very least, laugh at her unconventional appearance.

While the illustrations show Fox’s love for costumes, the text illuminates Fox’s tendency to role-play.  Like many children who enjoy make-believe, Fox is a consummate actor.  In fact, his theatrical antics occur so frequently that they often blend seamlessly into the plot.  For instance, when Fox finds out that Lulu has stolen his comics, he grasps his heart and crosses his eyes in melodramatic horror.  As Fox lies in bed, rigidly scorned, Louise asks “Is he dying?” (Fox Outfoxed 48). In another example from Fox Be Nimble, he suffers a minor scrape and quickly takes to his death bed:

“Call Doctor Ed,” said Fox.
“Before it’s too late.”
“Really Fox,” said Mom.
“You’re making such a fuss” (31).

While Fox’s bouts of melodrama create obvious humour, they are also very telling of his character.  It seems that Fox loves play-acting almost as much as he loves evading responsibility or chatting with vixens and he confirms this suspicion in Fox Be Nimble when he gleefully tells Mom, “I’m playing rockstar.”  Whether his theatrics are tragic or raucous, Fox’s inner-actor is frequently implied throughout the series.

In fact, James Marshall has commented on the theatrical nature of his texts saying, “I like to play with the margins … it’s a whole technique that does wonderful things dramatically” (Steinberg).  Indeed, a brief browsing through any Fox book illuminates Marshall’s stage-like style.  All of the illustrations are captured as vignettes within borders that are well-defined with a thick, black line; some are rounded squares like an old-fashioned television screen, while others are much larger and shaped like a proscenium arch.  Furthermore, two white pages separate each mini-story within the books, and all the titles are written in marquee-like font that is highlighted by bright dots of light.  Clearly, this explicit theatrical structure relates to some of the latent theatrical content of the series.

The vast amount of latent content in the Fox series, combined with its eleven year history and entertainingly innovative protagonist, bring a welcome complexity to the world of easy-to-read books.  Unlike many easy readers, wherein “the text is plain and predictable” (Smith), Fox’s escapades often make for surprise endings.  Take, for example, Fox’s treatment of Raisin in the final story in Fox All Week.  Instead of employing his usual trickery, Fox invites Raisin to play croquet with him under the stairs.  In Fox on the Job, Fox is terrified by a haunted house and declares, “That’s no place for little kids!”(28). Readers never know if Fox will prevail because “sometimes he lands deftly on his feet, and sometimes he is one shamefaced Fox” (MacCann).  Furthermore, the series is not plagued with simple illustrations that merely “provide ample clues to the text” (Smith). While Marshall’s pictures operate on a straightforward level, they also contain precious bits of information that expand characterization and complicate the plot. Unlike many of the banal, predictable books in the easy reader tradition, the Fox series provides dynamic stories and rich illustrations in the simplest of formats.  Truly, James Marshall recognizes the true potential of the easy reader and shows “what can be done within strictures as demanding as those of the sonnet” (Thomas).  Just as the sonnet is counted as an artistic, literary form of expression in spite of the genre’s line and subject restrictions, so too should the easy reader be counted as a legitimate form in spite of restrictions on length and vocabulary.  James Marshall’s Fox, in all his complexity, clearly deserves a place alongside celebrated easy reader characters like Seuss’ anarchical feline and Lobel’s fraternal amphibians.  Fox be latent, your praise is nascent.

 

Notes

1. Close readings of Dr. Seuss’ easy readers, particularly The Cat in the Hat, include Ruth K. MacDonald’s Dr. Seuss (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1988), Philip Nel’s The Annotated Cat (New York: Random House, 2007), Rita Roth’s "On Beyond Zebra with Dr. Seuss" (The New Advocate 2.4 (Fall 1989): 213-24),
Close readings of Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad series include Michael Cart’s What's so Funny? Wit and Humor in American Children's Literature (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), Jeanette Kennett and Michael Smith’s "Frog and Toad Lose Control." (Analysis 56.2 (1996): 63-73), George Shannon’s Arnold Lobel (Boston: Twayne, 1989), and Joseph Stanton’s "Straight Man and Clown in the Picture Books of Arnold Lobel" (Journal of American Culture 17.2 (1994): 75-84).

 

Works Cited

“Fox Be Nimble Book Review.”  School Library Journal May 1990: 89.

“Fox on Wheels Book Review. School Library Journal December 1983: 79.

Gates, Jr., Henry Louis.  The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Lambert, Bruce.  “James Marshall, 50, an Illustrator and an Author for Children, Dies.”  New York Times 15 Oct. 1992: B16.

MacCann, Donnarae and Olga Richard.  “Picture Books for Children: Art and Text.”  Wilson Library Bulletin June 1993: 98-100.

Marcus, Leonard S.  Ways of Telling: Conversations on the Art of the Picture Book.  New York: Dutton, 2002.  82-105.

Marshall, Edward.  Ill. James Marshall.  Fox All Week.  New York: Dial, 1984.

Marshall, Edward.  Ill. James Marshall.  Fox and His Friends.  New York: Dial, 1982.

Marshall, Edward.  Ill. James Marshall.  Fox At School.  New York: Dial, 1983.

Marshall, Edward.  Ill. James Marshall.  Fox In Love.  New York: Dial, 1982.

Marshall, Edward.  Ill. James Marshall.  Fox On Wheels.  New York: Dial, 1983.

Marshall, James.  Fox Be Nimble.  New York: Dial, 1990.

Marshall, James.  Fox On Stage.  New York: Dial, 1993.

Marshall, James.  Fox On The Job.  New York: Dial, 1988.

Marshall, James.  Fox Outfoxed.  New York: Dial, 1992.

Palmer, Nancy, “Fox and His Friends Review.” School Library Journal May 1982: 77.

Roback, Diane, Jason Britton, and Debbie Hochman Turvey. "All-Time Bestselling Children's Books." Publishers Weekly Dec. 17 2001: 24-32.

Sax, Boria.  The Mythical Zoo: an encyclopaedia of animals in the world myth, legend, and literature.  Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO Inc., 2001.

Sendak, Maurice.  “James Marshall, Wicked Angel.”  New York Times Book Review 16 Nov. 1997, A1.

Shannon, George. Arnold Lobel. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1989.
Smith, Robin.  “Too Easy?  Too Hard?  Finding the Right Easy Reader.”  Booklist July 2003: 1902-1903.

Steinberg, Sybil.  “PW Interviews James Marshall.”  Publishers Weekly 28 July 1989: 202-203.

Suen, Anastasia. "15 Classic Easy Readers." Book Links 15.6 July 2006: 56-8.
Thomas, Jane Resh.  “Gotcha, Smarty!” New York Times Book Review 17 May 1992: BR28.

Yannicopoulou, Angela.  Fables and Children: Form and Function. Liverpool: Manutius Press, 1993.

 

Shannon Ozirny


Volume 13, Issue 2 The Looking Glass, May/June, 2009

Site design and content, except where noted, © The Looking Glass 2009.
"
Fox Be Latent: James marshall and the Easy Reader Tradition" © Shannon Ozirny
Send general correspondence regarding The Looking Glass c/o The Editor



The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680