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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Barking with the Big Dogs

Barking with the Big Dogs

On Writing and Reading Books for Children

Natalie Babbitt

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)


In this collection of essays and speeches written over the course of four decades, beloved storyteller Natalie Babbitt explores what it was like to be a “little dog” in the literary world, continually being forced to justify her choice to write books for children—instead of doing something more serious. Babbitt offers incisive commentary on classic children’s books as well as contemporary works, and reveals colorful insights into her own personal creative life. Filled with a voice that rings with truth, wisdom, and humor across the years, the essays gathered in Barking with the Big Dogs exemplify on every page true reverence for children and an endless engagement with the challenge to write the books that shape them.



Every now and then, if the fates are kindly disposed, you will come across a book and know, as certainly as you know your own soul, that it was written just for you.

I have a few...

Praise for Barking with the Big Dogs

“Writing with passion and insight, the author's voice remains direct, incisive, witty, and true as she draws widely from the canon of children's and adult literature. . .[S]he astutely holds fast to the importance of giving children honest, hopeful, and entertaining stories in a changing world. A must for children's literature professionals and aficionados.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Yes, the titular big dogs are the authors and critics who populate the world of adult books. But, as Babbitt—the author of Tuck Everlasting and other staples of children's literature—demonstrates in this splendid collection of 18 essays and speeches, she could bark with the best of them. . . .It is children, as well as literature, who capture and hold her attention. She is a stalwart defender of both. As for her work, it speaks, or barks, for itself.” —Booklist


Reviews from Goodreads

Natalie Babbitt

Natalie Babbitt (1932–2016) began her career in 1966 as the illustrator of The Forty-Ninth Magician, written by her husband. Her first novel, The Search for Delicious, established her gift for writing magical tales with profound meaning. Kneeknock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor Medal, and in 2002, Tuck Everlasting, her most popular book, was adapted into a major motion picture.

image of Natalie Babbitto

Natalie Babbitt

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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