Friday, January 11, 2008

Alice E. Goudey, Children's Book Author

Bio: Alice E. Goudey — Long before ecology became an issue of national concern, Alice E. Goudey was one of its chief advocates. Born on a farm near Junction City, Kansas in 1989, she attended public schools in that city and later studied at the University of Kansas. She taught in a one room country school house where children of all grades were integrated together.

During World War I, Mrs. Goudey married Wayne G. Martin, Jr. and left her teaching position to settle down to a life of domesticity. When her husband entered the service and was forced to leave his position with a publisher of trade magazines, she returned to work as his temporary substitute and thus entered the field of publishing.

In 1929 when the family moved to Bronxville, New York Mrs. Goudey became involved in a number of community activities which led to some political and jounalistic writing. When she later moved to New York City in 1945, Mrs. Goudey resolved to pursue a career of her own. Fundamentally a domestic person, she chose writing as it was a profession which would allow her to remain at home.

She decided that since her main interest had always been in education and her initial experience had been with children, she would write for them. To fulfill that goal, Mrs. Goudey spent a year reading everything she could find about the history of children’s books, critical appraisals of them, award books and her own childhood favorites. With this background, she enrolled in the Workshop for Writing for Children at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

A prolific writer, Mrs. Goudey has written nearly twenty books, two of which have been runners-up for the Caldecott Award. Highly acclaimed by critics and young nature enthusiasts alike, her aim in writing is "to combine a sense of wonder, beauty and appreciation of the world around us without in any way sacrificing scientific accuracy." While Mrs. Goudey’s books deal chiefly with animal life, it is her profound intent that a sympathetic approach toward animals will neccessarily evoke the understanding that "the environment in which they exist must be friendly to their needs -- our streams, our land, and the plants that clothe our land. If we are to conserve any aspect of nature, we must look to the conservation of our total ecology."

Mre. Goudy is now married to Earl S. Goudey, former Chairman of the Science Department in the Bronxville schools and they have several grandchildren. Her interests include reading, gardening, sewing and painting. Residents of Maine, the Goudeys share their interests with children. They share the profound hope that "a better sense of direction, better training in inter-personal relationships and better education in general will enable the children of today to build something better for tomorrow."

For further biographical information on the author see Who's Who of American Women.

Scribner titles by the author: Here Come the Bears!; Here Come the Elephants!; Here Come the Deer!; Here Come the Lions!; Here Come the Beavers!; Here Come the Seals!; Here Come the Raccoons!; Here Come the Bees!; Here Come the Dolphins!; Here Come the Squirles!; Here Come the Cottontails!; Houses From the Sea; The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up; Graywings; Butterfly Time; Red Legs.

Newspaper article: Thursday, December 7, 1967, Searsmont — Mrs. Alice Goudey, a well-known writer of children's books, has recently been honored by being included in the Who's Who of American Women.

Another recent honor is that the University of Minnesota has asked Mrs. Goudey to give two of her manuscripts to the Kerlan Collection for their permanent collection display. They are doing research in the field of children’s books. Selected for this honor were "The Day We Saw The Sun Come Up" and "House By The Sea" runners-up for the Caldecott Award.

Also Mrs. Goudey's "The Sunnyvale Fair" received an award from The Boys Club of America.

These books published by Charles Scribner and Sons, are enchanting reading and beautifully illustrated as are the “Here Come The Beavers,” one of a series of animal and bird stories.

Dr. and Mrs. Earl Goudey, now retired and living in Searsmont find the area and Maine completely restful. Their home, “Winter Brook” overlooking Levenseller Mountain is a beautiful example of colonial architecture. Dr. Goudey was chairman of the Science Department at Bronxville High School, New York, and is currently on teh Board of Selctmen in Searsmont and on the Board of Supervisors of the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Alice Goudey was my great great aunt. Her brother Aubrey West Edwards was my great grandfather. Alice died today in 1982. I wish I'd had a chance to meet her! In the photo above Alice is on the second row, three from the right. We found the photo at the Geary County Kansas Historical Society by chance.


Anonymous said...

It is amazing how far and wide us Goudey's have spread. She seemed like a wonderful woman and a Great Goudey.

Brad G
Salem, ma

Anonymous said...

My brother (7) and I (5) received "Houses from the Sea" in 1972. We poured over it and learned the names of the pretty shells. Next week, I am taking my homeschooled girls to the beach, and we will be bringing Alice Goudy's book. They will fill their pails with shells, and we will use the book to identify and group them.

Thank you for your research on Alice E. Goudy. May I print out your post and add it to our school notebook?

<><, Elizabeth