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Happy Birthday, Greenwillow!

Thirty-five years! That is a long time. That is a lot of books. And a lot of catalog copy. And a big reason to kick up our heels. Welcome to the Greenwillow Books thirty-fifth anniversary blog, where all year long we’ll be celebrating the past, present, and future of Greenwillow.

Greenwillow Books was founded on December 16, 1974, by Susan C. Hirschman. She was soon joined by art director Ava Weiss, managing editor Ada Shearon, and senior editor Libby Shub. They published the first list in the fall of 1975.

In late December 2009 we were invited to fill the cases in the lobby of our new offices here at 10 East 53rd Street with a Greenwillow anniversary display—here’s a video tour. If you don’t see your favorite book, don’t worry. Its time will come!


  1. Debbie Ridpath Ohi says:

    Happy Birthday, Greenwillow! :-) I have a calendar note that your online birthday party starts today. Should I be sending people to this page, or is there another site?

  2. Hurrah for Greenwillow! Happy Birthday. :-) Does Greenwillow have a birthday wish?

  3. cindy says:

    happy 35th birthday GWB!!
    it’s going to be such an exciting
    year, i can feel it!

  4. In 1984, I met with Susan Hirschman for the first time, and we clicked. She was so full of energy and enthusiasm, that I was sparked to go home and type up a story about my own terrible stagefright, Molly Pink. Then Ava sent me to Uri Shulevitz to learn pre color separation, and my career began.
    I will never forget my 25 years with Greenwillow…eight years ago, Virginia saved me by helping me to reinvent a book that I had tucked away in a drawer, On the Town: A Community Adventure. Their passion, integrity and insistence on authenticity have always been Greenwillow’s trademark.

  5. Happy birthday, Greenwillow. From Kevin Henkes to Jack Prelutsky to Chris Crutcher, I’ve been a fan for almost two decades, and look forward to the diamonds you’ve yet to mine.

    Kelly Milner Halls

  6. Christy Hale says:

    YAY! Everybody loves Greenwillow. Here’s wishing you another 35 years and more of wonderful books.

    Also, just a little note about your alphabetical list of authors and illustrators–there doesn’t seem to be a way to scroll down to click on anyone after Marilyn Hafner.

  7. Michael Gerard Bauer says:

    G’day and Happy Birthday from Down Under!

  8. elizabeth fitzgerald howard says:

    Lovely!Happy memories. Looking forward to spotting later WHEN WILL SARAH COME LULU’S BIRTHDAY FLOWER GIRL BUTTERFLIES and meanwhile CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

  9. Virginia Duncan says:

    Thanks for the birthday wishes! Yes, this is our anniversary site, so please direct people here. We love visitors!

  10. Happy Birthday! Can’t wait you the posts of what the new offices look like.

  11. I mean, I can’t wait FOR the posts of what the new offices look like.

  12. Jody Feldman says:

    You know how it’s rare, but possible, to just fall in with the right group of friends at school? And you wonder how you got so lucky?

    Happy birthday, Greenwillow!

  13. Thirty five??!!! Is that all? I was well into botching my first career when you were born! Lordy, lordy, you could be my KID. I have RUNNING SHOES older than you. Oh!, but I’ll bet this isn’t your first life… you know… reincarnation. What were you before? I’ll bet you were a Christian press… yeah, that’s why you picked ME up. Wait. Christian… reincarnation… that doesn’t really work. I’m confused. It’s very possible I forgot my medication. By this time tomorrow I could very well have forgotten that I forgot my medication. Is that a double negative? So having forgotten twice, is it possible I’m medicated? I’ll take a nap and check back. Oh, yeah, and Happy 35th.

  14. Happy birthday, Greenwillow, and congratulations to all!
    How gratifying it is to see the much anticipated come to life… and so beautifully.
    A toast to at least 35 more!

  15. Now this is some kind of wonderful, and a birthday I am happy to celebrate. My favorite imprint in the world is only thirty-five? But how? The list is richer than houses that are twice its age.

  16. Susan Engel says:

    Great video. Just wondering who you used for the soundtrack? Thanks.

  17. Tim Smith says:

    Susan, the score to the video had been inadvertently taken from the Gosford Park original motion picture soundtrack. It has been replaced with “‘S Wonderful” by Al Caiola, courtesy of YouTube’s excellent Audio Swap feature. We regret the error. Thanks for visiting!

  18. Rachel Isadora says:

    Happy Birthday! I was there for the first birthday…..Greenwillow has developed into a beautiful thing! I love the photo of Susan, Libby, Ava and Ada on the video….brings back many wonderful memories.
    Here’s to another 35!

  19. Ian Beck says:

    Happy Birthday indeed . . . I remember the moment my British publisher told me that Greenwillow had bought my first novel, and the awed tone in the voice of both her and later my agent, ‘they’re really good’, she said with the emphasis on the word really.
    Best Wishes

    Ian Beck

  20. Happy 35th, Greenwillow!
    I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of the family!

  21. Camilla says:

    But…but…where are The Mennyms??? (she asked worriedly)

  22. Happy Birthday to you, and to all the elves working day and night to make you a magical place right here in the City of New York.

  23. LaurieA-B says:

    When I saw the link to your blog from Educating Alice, I immediately thought, “Greenwillow! The Hero and the Crown! The Blue Sword!” Thank you for many happy hours of reading.

  24. Aliki says:

    I tried to congratulate you sooner, but couldn’t edit out enough words, so I’ll take my chances. Wow. Where did 35 years go? Ever since I first met brilliant Susan at the original Harper’s, we went through so much together – before and after there was a Greenwillow. She gave me a heart stopping-break in her amazing, instantaneous way. Her decisions were all instant. She just had it. We went on and on until that brilliant day when Greenwillow was born. 35 years? I must have been in my pram when Susan was our inspiration and Ava made my every design wish come true (two Virgos working together). Greenwillow was a family and it still is. It is a tribute that in this age of blockbusters, Greenwillow’s integrity remains, now with Virginia’s arms around us, Sylvie pushing her electronic buttons, Barbara keeping us cool, and all the rest joined in one end: Respect – for the BOOK, the one who wrote it, illustrated it, produced it, and reads it. Thank you, Greenwillow. Long may you live!
    All the best, Aliki

  25. Marjorie Dennis Murray says:

    Congratulations, Greenwillow! Your commitment to excellence in children’s publishing has set a wonderfully high standard for all of us in the field to aspire to. Thank you for 35 years of extraordinary children’s books!

  26. Happy Birthday Greenwillow! What wonders you have loosed on the world, what vision you’ve held and followed. Jim and I (and our children and grandchildren) are grateful for so many great reads. We’re grateful, too, to have been part of the family. I often think about Libby Shub, her brilliance and her no-nonsense decisiveness. Sometimes when I’m writing I still hear her voice! Meeting Susan, Ava and Libby in Juneau when I was just beginning to write for children was a stroke of the best possible good fortune. My hat is off to all of you currently at Greenwillow and to those who went before — including the assistant editors, interns, and other staff who contribute to the wonderful world of Greenwillow. May sunshine follow you and any clouds have silver linings.

  27. Miriam Charney says:

    Happy Happy Birthday, Greenwillow! I’m one of Libby Shub’s 2 nieces and I love that picture of The Quartet too! And we still have ALL the great books that Libby would bring for Evan (who is now almost 21, a Junior at Williams College – and a voracious reader)and I have precious pictures of the two of them, heads close, Libby reading, Evan pointing: Isadora, Aliki, James Stevenson! (oh – those Flying Acorns), Marisabina Russo, Tana Hoban, so many others – and of course, The White Stallion itself.Also pictures of Evan taking every single one of those toys off Susan’s bookshelves. And, in case anyone was wondering – I have The Tree and it’s alive and very well and bigger. May Greenwillow continue to thrive and prosper, just like Libby’s ficus, against all odds. Thank you thank you thank you for being such a large part of Evan’s childhood and of all our lives.

  28. […] guess what . . . we turned 36 yesterday. And that means that our year-long blogging extravaganza in celebration of our thirty-fifth anniversary is now officially […]

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