Review: In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown

In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown
In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown by Amy Gary

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I honestly had no idea how prolific Margaret Wise Brown was/is in the children’s market; I had a 2 year old, and I picked up this book mainly because I’m often lamenting about the frequency with which I’d been forced to read “Goodnight, Moon,” and wondering a little about the person behind the poem that (at this point) I can now recite from memory.

Her life differed quite a bit from what I had imagined it to be; she was apparently quite privileged, and seemed to move in the same circles as some pretty wealthy/important/high class individuals, which is not what I would have expected of the author of books for pre-schoolers. I appreciated her eccentricities and her creativity, and even her dismay at her seeming inability to write for “grown-ups” – I’m a creative writer who would love to write children’s literature, but everything I write takes a turn for the inappropriately dark (so, same problem in the other direction – I feel you, Margaret).

I’m not sure I loved the narrative style of the book; as pure prose, there aren’t really any interjections of Margaret’s own voice or really, anyone else’s besides the author.

Also, I would love to make it more widely known that Margaret was bisexual. We could always use more representation in all walks of life/forms of media.

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