How could anybody turn down Crockett Johnson?

I was browsing in Olympia's Fireside Bookstore over the weekend, and I came across this:

Isn't it lovely? Crockett Johnson (author of Harold and the Purple Crayon, one of the awesomest kids' books on the planet) loosely based this simple, dreamy story on the legend of the Fisher King. Two children are playing on a beach, and discover that when they write a word in the sand ("JAM"), the tide magically produces it. Their original wishes are mostly for food, but eventually they produce a king, a castle, an enchanted forest...

Johnson wrote Magic Beach in the early sixties, but it was turned down by his publisher. It was eventually published in 1965 as Castles in the Sand, although Johnson's idiosyncratic pencil sketches were replaced with illustrations by Betty Frazer. Johnson's original version was discovered a few years ago, and was published for the first time in 2005, with an introduction by Maurice Sendak and an afterword by Philip Nel.
Posted by: Julianka


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