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Janice May Udry (1928-) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

Surname pronounced Yoo-dree; Born 1928, in Jacksonville, FL; Education: Northwestern University, B.S., 1950.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, HarperCollins Children's, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019.


Freelance writer.


American Association of University Women.

Honors Awards

Caldecott Award, 1956, for A Tree Is Nice.


A Tree Is Nice, illustrated by Marc Simont, Harper (New York, NY), 1956.

Theodore's Parents, Lothrop (New York, NY), 1958.

Moon-Jumpers, Harper (New York, NY), 1959.

Danny's Pig, Lothrop (New York, NY), 1960.

Alfred, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1960.

Let's Be Enemies, Harper (New York, NY), 1961.

Is Susan Here?, Abelard, 1962.

The Mean Mouse, and Other Mean Stories, Harper (New York, NY), 1962.

The End of the Line, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1962.

Betsy-Back-in-Bed, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1963.

Next Door to Laura Linda, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1965.

What Mary Jo Shared, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1966.

If You're a Bear, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1967.

Mary Ann's Mud Day, Harper (New York, NY), 1967.

What Mary Jo Wanted, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1968.

Glenda, Harper (New York, NY), 1969.

The Sunflower Garden, Harvey House, 1969.

Emily's Autumn, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1969.

Mary Jo's Grandmother, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1970.

Angie, Harper (New York, NY), 1971.

How I Faded Away, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 1975.

Oh, No! Cat!, Coward (New York, NY), 1976.

Thump and Plunk, Harper (New York, NY), 1981, published with new illustrations by Geoffrey Hayes, 2000.

Glenda Glinka, Witch-at-Large, illustrated by Marc Simont, HarperTrophy (New York, NY), 1997.

Urdry's books have been translated into Spanish.


The author of picture books that include A Tree Is Nice, Betsy-Back-in-Bed, and Glenda Glinka, Witch-at-Large, North Carolina-based writer Janice May Udry once noted that the test of a good children's book is that it "will not bore an adult." "I love to read," she added. "Someone has said that not all readers are writer, but all writers are readers. I believe this is true. And a lot of reading in childhood often leads to a life time of writing. I love good books for children today as much as I did when I was a child. I probably appreciate them more now."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Hopkins, Lee Bennett, Books Are by People, Citation Press, 1969.

Kingman, Lee, editor, Newbery and Caldecott Medal Books: 1956-1965, Horn Book (Boston, MA), 1965.


Chicago Daily News, February 3, 1962.

School Library Journal, August 1995, Rose Zertuche Trevino, review of A Tree Is Nice, p. 167; January, 2000, Laura Scott, review of Thump and Plunk, p. 112.*

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