Natalie Babbitt was born and grew up in Ohio. She decided in the fourth grade that she wanted to be a children's book illustrator someday and never changed her mind. When the time came—after college; marriage to Samuel Fisher Babbitt; and the birth and launching into school of their three children, Chris, Tom and Lucy—she asked Sam to write for her to illustrate. This he did, in two hours and with great success, and she made the pictures. The book, The Forty-Ninth Magician, was sold to a young editor at Pantheon named Michael di Capua. But Sam didn't want to go on writing books for kids—he was an academic with his own career to pursue, and so Natalie had to start doing her own writing. She is still doing it and is still surprised to find herself doing it. Making pictures has always seemed more appropriate. But never mind—she is not complaining.
She is still working with Michael di Capua. They have been together at Farrar, Strauss and Giroux; HarperCollins; Hyperion; and now Scholastic—all this in more than 40 years. She is very proud to be on the Board of NCBLA. After all, its founder and president, Mary Brigid Barrett, although a good deal younger, was also born and raised in Ohio. It has to mean something.
Books by Natalie Babbitt include:
- Phoebe's Revolt (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
- The Search for Delicious (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
- Kneeknock Rise (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
- The Something (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
- Goody Hall (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
- The Devil's Storybook (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
- Tuck Everlasting (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
- The Eyes of the Amaryllis (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
- Jack Plank Tells Tales (Scholastic)
- 2012: The Moon Over High Street (Michael di Capua Books)