Natalie Zane Babbitt

Natalie Zane Babbitt(Photo courtesy of

Natalie Zane Babbitt

(July 28, 1932 – October 31, 2016)

Born in Dayton, Ohio, Babbitt spent the first few years of her life in Dayton before her family moved, which became a constant issue due to the Depression and her family’s financial issues. Babbitt credits her father’s wit and her mother’s artistic abilities for her future success as a children’s book author and illustrator. She studied at Cleveland’s Laurel School and Smith College in Massachusetts. She married Samuel Fisher Babbitt in the 1950s and raised three children.

The married couple created the picture book The Forty-ninth Magician, in 1966, which Samuel wrote and Natalie illustrated.  Samuel decided not to pursue a writing career, but Natalie was encouraged by book editor Michael di Capua to continue her work in the field. Her first big success came in 1971, when the picture book, Knee-Knock Rise, earned her the first Newberry Honor of her career.

In 1975, Babbitt published her most well-loved book, Tuck Everlasting. The book earned both critical and public success. It was made into a movie twice (1981 and 2002) and is ranked as one of the top chapter books for children.  Babbitt also had a commercial success with the book The Eyes of the Amaryllis, which was also turned into a movie (1982) and adapted into a Broadway show (2016). In addition to her own work, she also illustrated books for Valerie Worth.

Babbitt was the first recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ E.B. White Award for excellent achievement in children’s literature.

On October 31, 2016, Babbitt passed away after a short battle with lung cancer. She is buried in New Haven, Connecticut. Natalie Zane Babbitt


  • Dick Foote and the Shark (1967)
  • Phoebe's Revolt (1968)
  • The Search for Delicious (self-illustrated) (1969)
  • Knee-Knock Rise (self-illustrated) (1970)
  • The Something (1970)
  • Goody Hall (self-illustrated) (1971)
  • The Devil's Storybook (self-illustrated) (1974)
  • Tuck Everlasting (1975)
  • The Eyes of the Amaryllis (1977)
  • Herbert Rowbarge (1982)
  • The Devil's Other Storybook (self-illustrated) (1987)
  • Nellie: A Cat on Her Own (1989)
  • "Bus for Deadhorse" (Jon Agee, Ann Durrell and Marilyn Sachs, editors for The Big Book for Peace) (1990)
  • Bub: Or the Very Best Thing (1994)
  • 1998 Ouch!: A Tale from Grimm (illustration Fred Marcellino) (1998) 
  • Elsie Times Eight (2001)
  • Jack Plank Tells Tales (self-illustrated) (2007)
  • The Moon Over High Street (2011)
  • The Devil's Storybooks (omnibus edition of The Devil's Storybook and The Devil's Other Storybook) (2012)
  • Barking with the Big Dogs: On Writing and Reading Books for Children (2018)


  • Samuel Babbitt, The Forty-ninth Magician (1966)
  • Valerie Worth, Small Poems (1972)
  • Valerie Worth, All the Small Poems and Fourteen More (1994)
  • Valerie Worth, Peacock and Other Poems   (2002)

For More Information 




Source URL: