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Happy Birthday, Greenwillow!

GW champagne bottle Greenwillow

The bottle that christened Greenwillow's first book in 1975.

Well, 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 over.

Thank you all for celebrating with us. We hosted more than sixty guest bloggers (and twice as many guest posts), featured 749 books in our “Book of the Day” box, received more than 1,200 comments from all of you, launched 36 new books, marked anniversaries, and generally kicked up our heels. We also didn’t miss a day. Thank you.

Please come back Monday for our final post of 2010 . . . you might like it!

We are strangely addicted to blogging, so we took a vote (hey, it’s the Greenwillow way) and have decided to keep going . . . God help us. It won’t be a birthday blog, of course, so perhaps we won’t be so relentlessly cheerful? All suggestions, comments, ideas, guest posts, videos, and photos are welcome—as always. See you in the New Year!

Highlights of the GWB 35th Anniversary Blog
(According to Those Who Work Here)

Tim: I really, really appreciated and enjoyed the three following contributions by Greenwillow alums Phyllis Larkin, Robin Roy, and Altie Karper. The pictures of Kevin Henkes and Peter Sís in Altie’s post are simply priceless.

My favorite posts have been: Leah Clifford’s caving adventure, Heather Dixon’s dance tutorial, and April Fool’s.

Lois: I enjoyed hearing from all the authors and illustrators in their own voices, especially Molly Bang’s post, because I always loved her books but never knew her in person.

Michelle: I think the most fun I had with the blog was the day we put together the Greenwillow Twitterfeed. All of us sat in the conference room and shouted out funny lines from the different characters while I scribbled madly. By the end, we actually had a logical (kind of!) conversation written out, with punchlines and everything. It felt like we were writing a TV show!

Barbara: Well, Kevin told me my June 3rd post, “Barbara Goes West,” was a big hit on his block in Madison (and it got 21 comments!), and I’m fond of my ode to Mr. Slinger. And if you thought I was going to answer anything else…

Virginia: Well, maybe it’s the season, but I have an attachment to this one, and I still can’t quite believe that Lynne Rae wrote an entire audio script for her dogs in AEAFOTFOTE and then shared it with us. Also, the posts by Barbara Bader, Peter Glassman, and Susan Hirschman should not be missed.

Sylvie: My favorites have to be when Tim and I went on press for Amelia Bedelia, and the photo of Barbara and Chad in their Lilly shirts.

March 25, “Man Day is Here.” Several months after the post we received a comment from someone who has a Man Day website and is trying to create an official National Man Day. And also May 5,  “In Celebration of Sid’s Final Biography, Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World,” by Susan Erickson.  Susan gave us some wonderful insights into Sid’s creative process.

Paul: I like the posts of Razzle having a nervous breakdown.

What are yours?


  1. mwt says:

    It’s so hard to pick just one, because I loved the recent posts on the Freight Train app and the chance to hear Donald Crews read one of my favorite picture books ever, but I also loved Lynne Rae Perkin’s AEAFOTFOTE. Still, if I can only have one, it would be Barbara and the feral dogs. Where else am I going to read about that?

  2. Tim Smith says:

    One other highlight: Cindy Pon’s commenting throughout the year! Thanks, Cindy.

  3. Suzanne Crowley says:

    I looked forward to checking in every day to see what was new.

  4. The 80’s hair. Hands down.

  5. cindy says:

    i loved MY i mean megan’s surfing post
    where i surfed and DID NOT DROWNEDED. =D
    i also loved martha’s mapo tofu post which
    i’ll link in the new year!

    but really, my favorites are the personal
    and funny ones from the staff and authors
    and artists. i also enjoyed the history ones
    and the how i got to gwb ones. i also liked
    the razzle and cover ones. also, if food was

    and thanks tim! i read almost every post, even if
    i didn’t comment on every one.

    happy 35h birthday greenwillow books!
    i’ll always be two years older than you. =)

  6. Tania says:

    Happy Birthday To You! Happy Birthday To You! Happy Birthday, Greenwilloooooow! (takes a deep breath) May your wishes come true! I have to say I really enjoyed everything I’ve read and watched on the GWB. I especially loved the video on “How Ink Is Made.” Simply amazing! Oh, and while I’m on the subject, what’s the chances of Kevin Henkes making a full color, limited edition of “Kitten’s First Full Moon? Hmmm?” (the April Fool’s blog of Kitten with fangs sorta got me goin’ on this!) Just me thinkin’ out loud though…love his books!

  7. Greenwillow Memories.

    In early spring of 1979, not long after Adventures for Kids began, a customer came into the bookstore and asked me if I could get her “Greenwillow Books.”
    “You mean, like this Greenwillow,” I asked, holding up a treasured copy of Donald Crews’ Freight Train.

    That was the moment I understood the concept of “imprint.” Greenwillow became for me, a fledgling children’s bookseller, the imprint to which all others should aspire.

    Five years later, in Washington’s Mayflower Club, 1984, at Louise Howton’s Children’s Bookseller’s Cocktail Party, Paulette Kaufmann invited me to talk to her about a notion she was wrestling with. It was the wisdom of Morrow’s (Greenwillow of course) retaining the rights to all their beautiful picture books and forming their own paperback imprint to be sold in bookstores.

    It was at that convention that the concept of children’s “trade” publishing became clear to me. And it also was the defining moment in my career that I understood how much we needed an association of children’s booksellers that would promote quality children’s books. I went home from that experience in Washington, and wrote the bylaws for ABC. In San Francisco, 1985, we voted ourselves into being.

    Over the years, the bookstore hosted a raft of Greenwillow authors and illustrators; Aliki, Elisha Cooper, Chris Crutcher, Sid Fleischman, Nikki Grimes, Kevin Henkes (after he recovered from mononeuclosis), Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, Jack Prelutsky with and without Peter Sis, Ted Rand, Vera B. Williams and Charlotte Zolotow. Oh my!

    In 2002, while living in Australia for a two year break from bookselling, I submitted Family Lullaby to Susan and Virginia by email. And joined the ranks of Greenwillow authors. Pinch me. Was I dreaming? And now, yes even now, as I continue to write, the Greenwillow imprint remains the beacon.

    Thank you and all good wishes. May you thrive to 105 and always stay “young at heart.”

    Jody Fickes Shapiro

  8. Virginia says:


    Thank you! 105 here we come!

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