© Author Adventures

Lois Lenski, Children’s Writer

Lois Lenski (1893-1974) was born in Springfield, Ohio, and spent her early years there. She loved to draw and eventually became a trained artist. In the l920s, she illustrated the Betsy Tacy books by Minnesota writer Maud Hart Lovelace. Later, she was encouraged by her publisher to try to write her own book to go along with some of her many illustrations. The experiment worked and the first book which Lenski wrote to accompany her own drawings was published. She became extremely successful at this and went on to write and illustrate almost 100 books. One of them, Strawberry Girl, won the Newbery Award in l946.

Lenski’s career shows what can happen when someone encourages another person to branch out and try a new endeavor.

Read more about her life and books here:

Lenski Children’s Center

The Lenski Children’s Center is in the Main Library of Clark County in Springfield, Ohio. It is the children’s wing and was named for the author and illustrator. At the Children’s Center, there is a collection of Ms. Lenski’s many published books on display, including those which have been translated into other languages.

Springfield, Ohio, has a population of just shy of 50,000, a little less than double the number of residents when Lenski was born there.

“A new respect for Nature had been learned, a new kinship with sun and water and soil….They had learned that while Nature is often beautiful and kind, her laws must be respected, for they are ruthless and inexorable as well. Man must accept these laws and adjust his way of living to them. Then only can he prosper.” — Lois Lenski

The Lenski Children’s Center in Springfield is the fourth stop on our Ohio Author Adventures Trail.

Rebecca Blake Beech