May Hill Arbuthnot


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(1884–1969), American scholar, educator, and tireless advocate of children's literature as a necessary component of childhood. Famous for her credo that “a book is a good book for children only when they enjoy it,” she was co-creator of the Curriculum Foundation Series (the “Dick and Jane” books) for beginning readers, edited numerous genre-based anthologies for young readers, and wrote the first major textbook about children's literature, Children and Books (1947, with numerous subsequent editions). So respected was her influence that in 1969 the American Library Association established the international May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award to recognize a person who has made significant contributions to the field of children's literature.

From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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