Happy 80th, Phyllis Krasilovsky! ("The Cow Who Fell in the Canal")

She lives in Chappaqua, NY.

"The Cow Who Fell in the Canal" was made into a 9-minute film in 1996.
Older filmstrips include "The Cow Who Fell in the Canal" (filmstrip and
record), Weston Woods, 1957; "The Man Who Didn't Wash His Dishes"
(filmstrip and record), Weston Woods, 1957, (book and cassette),
Doubleday, 1969; "The Man Who Tried to Save Time" (filmstrip and
cassette), Educational Enrichment Materials, 1980.

I knew her best for "The Shy Little Girl" - mainly because of Trina
Schart Hyman's charming b&w illustrations. It's based on one of
Krasilovsky's daughters.


(a bit of correspondence between her and Algonquin Round Table member
Edna Ferber - just search for "Phyllis")

(book covers and one Village Voice photo - the article is not about
her, but about the upcoming Oscars in 1999! She's quoted.)

Excerpts from "St. James Guide to Children's Writers":

"I wrote my first book, 'The Man Who Didn't Wash His Dishes,' for a
four-year-old boy (her cousin) who was dying of cancer. I wrote it as a
letter and was told by his mother that he had to hear it 'seven times a
day.' Considering that he was in pain most of the time, I realized I
had something there."

"Phyllis Krasilovsky has so mastered the art of providing adventure in
small rooms that it would in her case be a deservedly flattering
observation to assert that she does indeed create tempests in teapots.
In a manner at once picturesque and direct, she snatches excitement out
of the ordinary: the growth of flowers; the baking of cakes; the
munching of grass--all carry within them expansive delights which she
shares with readers and listeners, for it is apparent that she intends
to be listened to as well as read......

"From a benign world filled with kindly people (such as populate all of
Krasilovsky's books) emerges a restlessness which could be explosive,
though never destructive. The dissatisfactions of her characters, and
the revolutions they produce, seldom prove unsettling, at least not in
the long run......

"The lessons are always apparent, and probably learned without aid of
the narrative. But the muscular prose which turns attention to each of
the words, and the continual movement make for a pleasurable experience
regardless of the predictability. The experience is worth repeating for
the pleasure alone. As Auden says, 'Pleasure is by no means an
infallible guide, but it is the least fallible.' "


The Man Who Didn't Wash His Dishes, illustrated by Barbara Cooney. 1950

The Very Little Girl, illustrated by Ninon MacKnight. 1953
The Cow Who Fell in the Canal, illustrated by Peter Spier. 1957
Scaredy Cat, illustrated by Ninon MacKnight.1959

Benny's Flag, illustrated by W.T. Mars.1960
The Very Little Boy, illustrated by Ninon MacKnight. 1962
Susan Sometimes, illustrated by Abbi Giventer. 1962.
The Girl Who Was a Cowboy, illustrated by Cyndy Szekeres. 1965.
Peter's Wooden Shoe. New York, 1966.
The Very Tall Little Girl, illustrated by Olivia Cole. 1969

The Shy Little Girl, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. 1970
The Popular Girls Club, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. 1972
L.C. Is the Greatest. 1975.
The Man Who Tried to Save Time, illustrated by Marcia Sewall. 1979.

The Man Who Entered a Contest, illustrated by Yuri Salzman. 1980.
The First Tulips in Holland, illustrated by S.D. Schindler. 1982.
The Man Who Cooked for Himself, illustrated by Mamoru Funai. 1982.
The Happy Times Storybook, illustrated by Ruth Sanderson. New York,
The Christmas Tree that Grew, illustrated by Kathy Wilburn. 1987.

The Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fix Things. 1992.
The Woman Who Saved Things, pictures by John Emil Cymerman. 1993.