Florence Parry Heide (1919 - 2011)
Children’s author, Florence Parry Heide, passed away on October 24 at the age of 92. The author of over one hundred books for children and teens, she is perhaps best known for The Shrinking of Treehorn and its sequels, all illustrated by Edward Gorey.
In her books, there was never any question of whose side she was on. Some children’s authors may sound like the id of the kid, but if you scratch through the mud-covered chaotic surface you find the parental super-ego—the ‘this is how we should act in the grownup world’ voice. While Ms. Parry Heide no doubt wielded that voice at times, you got the feeling when reading her work that when the chips were down, she would side with the kids every time. It takes a real grownup to know not only that the kids are alright, but they’re just flat right a lot of the time.
When asked what she liked about writing for children, she said, "Everything."