The Little Fisherman
Margaret Wise Brown
As a "writer of songs and nonsense," the words of Margaret Wise Brown have delighted generations, from Goodnight Moon to The Runaway Bunny. This lesser-known classic, written in 1945, tells a rhythmic, comparative story of two fishermen--one big, and one little.
In a career spanning more than eighty years, Maine artist Dahlov Ipcar (1917-2017) wrote and illustrated more than thirty children's and young adult books, starting with The Little Fisherman (by Margaret Wise Brown) in 1945. Ipcar was born in Vermont and raised in Greenwich Village. She summered in Maine after her parents (famed sculptor William Zorach and artist Marguerite Zorach) bought a farm on Georgetown Island in 1923. Thirteen years later, eighteen-year-old Dahlov, an aspiring artist, married Adolph Ipcar. The young couple left New York City in 1937 to live on the Maine farm where they first met. By the early 1940s, Ipcar had nearly given up thoughts of writing and illustrating books, when she was contacted by a New York publisher to illustrate The Little Fisherman. The struggling young artist jumped at the chance, and this charming title helped launch her prolific career.Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952) wrote more than one hundred children's books, including beloved classics Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. She is credited with developing the "here and now" philosophy of writing for children: She believed children would become more engaged in a story when it was about everyday life they could relate to rather than fantasies or fairy tales. Brown often wrote at "The Only House" her island home on Vinalhaven, Maine. Her Caldecott Medal-winning book, The Little Island, was based on her Maine retreat. Brown's prolific career was cut short at the age of forty-two when she died from complications following surgery. More than fifty years later, her books remain favorites of parents and children alike.