(As told by Nat Hentoff)
I had heard of Ursula Nordstrom – the legendary orchestrator of books for young readers – from a friend of mine, Maurice Sendak. But l never expected to hear from her.
One day in 1964, she called. Would I be interested in writing a children’s book for what was then Harper & Row? I demurred. I would have to make the words short, the ideas simple, and take care not to offend any librarian or parent. I would let this cup pass from me, I told her.
“Write what you want to write,” Ursula said. “Don’t censor yourself.”