Monday, April 18, 2011

Dorthy* + Dorothy* (for Dorothy* or Dorthy*)

Children's writer and illustrator Dorothy P. Lathrop was born in Albany, New York, on April 16, 1891. Her sister, Gertrude, was an artist in her own right—a sculptor—and one of Dorothy's biggest fans. The sisters shared a large house in the city, along with an amazing menagerie of animals (often making pets of what other people would consider pests). Dorothy started out as an art teacher at Albany High School, as her father had thought prudent (he doubted anyone could make a living as an artist, especially a woman, although his own wife had been a well-regarded painter), but after two short years, Dorothy quit her job to follow her dream. Highly prolific, she eventually illustrated 38 books, many of which included beautiful color plates, such as those adorning the works of her personal favorite, Walter de la Mare, and most of which are testament to her love for animals. Dorothy Lathrop was awarded the first-ever Caldecott Medal for Animals of the Bible in 1938, and was more recently honored by the contemporary children's author Kate Spohn (who, as a teenager, had tended the Lathrop sisters' garden) in her 2004 book By Word of Mouse. There were 38 hits on today's typo in OhioLINK, and you'll probably find a few in your own catalog as well, but please be mindful of the fact that some people with this name may indeed spell it with just one O.

(Dorothy Lathrop illustration for her own The Lost Merry-Go-Round, 1934, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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