Off Topic: Ellen Raskin’s picture books are as rich as her novels


They’re just harder to come by.

Ellen Raskin was a children’s author whose complex, playful novels are enormously rewarding for adults as well as kids. Sadly, she only wrote four of them – four puzzle-mysteries which I return to often, because they are always revealing new aspects, new elements. (I say sadly, but I only half mean it – we are so lucky to get those four novels.)

And Raskin was an illustrator as well as a novelist. She created over 1000 book jackets, including classics like the original cover of A Wrinkle in Time. And alongside the jackets, she created children’s picture books – large format, bold designs, a story or poem to lead you from the start to the finish.


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