Crosby Barbara Bonsall, author and illustrator of many books for young children, was born in Long Island on January 2, 1921, and lived there for 14 years. She then moved to New Jersey where she attended Tenafly High School, in New Jersey. She later studied design at a couple different schools. As a young child she had a passion for designing.
Her career life started out in small advertising agencies. Her entry into children's literature resulted from a doodle on her drawing board in the advertising agency in which she was a partner. A doll manufacturer who saw the doodle bought the rights to manufacture a doll based on it. An orange haired, freckle faced rag doll with turned in toes and saddle shoes debuted in the winter if 1951. Her name was Annie Beansprout and each doll came with a surprise in the pocket. She collaborated with her husband, George Newell, during the 1950s on several books published by Treasure Books and Wonder Books, and later worked with other artists and illustrators.
Mrs. Bonsall believed that children might enjoy a mystery series that was easy to read and followed the same group of child detectives. She wrote and illustrated a group of five "The Case Of..." books which debuted in 1963, introducing the Wizard Private Eye Club. The authors style was summed up as follows, "Mrs. Bonsall's deceptively simple style conceals a wealth of artistry, skillful characterization, suspense and humor rarely found in children's books...The drawings, as delightful as the text, are an extra dividend." Although her books are extremely popular in their original state, some of her works have been updated to a more modern look.
Crosby died in 1995.
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