The Margaret Wise Brown Pen Name Quiz!

The prolific children’s author had a thing for pen names. Which of these belonged to her? Part of our 100 Maine Books package.

From our June 2020 issue

All of these pen names belong to Maine authors. Only four belonged to Margaret Wise Brown, who spent her summers on Vinalhaven and wrote hundreds of books and stories before she died in 1952, at just 42 years old. Her output was so substantial, she needed several noms de plume to keep from flooding the market with titles under her own name. Among her most beloved books are Goodnight Moon and several inspired by the Maine islands. Can you pick out the Margaret Wise Brown monikers?

This nom de plume graced early editions of Brown’s 1946 children’s classic The Little Island, about a spruce-studded isle, its seasons and wildlife, and a curious kitten from the mainland.
Sally Wood, often credited as Maine’s first novelist, used this pseudonym to publish her gothic romance novellas Tales of the Night in 1827. 
Brown submitted the first draft of her beloved Goodnight Moon using this moniker, though it was eventually published under her real name. 
Henry Sheahan is better known by the pen name on his books, including Northern Farm, his lyrical memoir of farm life in Nobleboro. 
Brown again, named after ruffage, for a horse book. 
Cathie Pelletier — whose darkly funny 1986 debut novel, The Funeral Makers, tops the Aroostook County canon — published a pair of romances as McKinnon in the ’90s. 
The name Brown used when she collaborated with kids’ author Edith Thatcher Hurd. Brown used her own name for her Maine-iest collab, with illustrator Dahlov Ipcar, on the timeless picture book The Little Fisherman

Photo credit: Consuelo Kanaga (American, 1894-1978). Margaret Wise Brown. Cellulose acetate negative, 2 1/2 x 2 3/8 in. (6.4 x 6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Wallace B. Putnam from the Estate of Consuelo Kanaga, 82.65.1836. Copyright transferred to Brooklyn Museum by the Estate of Wallace Putnam.

See more books every lover of Maine should read!

May 2024, Down East Magazine

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