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Beatrice Schenk de Regniers papers


Held at: Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection [Contact Us]1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Beatrice Schenk de Regniers (nee Freedman) was born on August 16, 1914 in Lafayette, Indiana. After attending the University of Illinois, de Regniers briefly worked as a social worker and then a copywriter. In 1961, de Regniers joined Scholastic as the editor of Lucky Book Club, where she remained until her retirement in 1981.

De Regniers's first book, The Giant Story (1953) was illustrated by Maurice Sendak and her most enduring book, May I Bring a Friend? (1964) received the Caldecott Medal for Beni Montresor’s illustrations. De Regniers adapted a number of classic stories, including Red Riding Hood (1972) and Jack and the Beanstalk (1985). She also wrote picture books in verse, which in addition to May I Bring a Friend? included the Sendak-illustrated What Can You Do With a Shoe? (1955) and three cat-themed poetry books. De Regniers published more than fifty books, including ten under the pseudonym Tamara Kitt. She died in Washington, D.C., on March 1, 2000.


“Beatrice Schenk (Freedman) de Regniers.” Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2003.

Something About the Author, vol. 68.

This collection consists of materials for four books written by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, including The Little Girl and Her Mother, Willy O'Dwyer Jumped in the Fire, May I Bring a Friend?, and The Abe Lincoln Joke Book. It includes dummies, correspondence, manuscripts outlines, sketches, research notes, drafts, galley proofs, and typescripts.

The collection consists mainly of written materials for the published works. A few dummies and manuscript outlines contain very basic graphite sketches by de Regniers.

This collection is arranged alphabetically in four series: I. The Abe Lincoln Joke Book; II. The Little Girl and Her Mother; III. May I Bring a Friend?; and IV. Willy O'Dwyer Jumped in the Fire.

Within each series, items are arranged in order of probable creation. Correspondence between de Regniers and her publishers and illustrators is grouped with the title to which it pertains.

Free Library of Philadelphia: Children's Literature Research Collection
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Lindsay Friedman
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.
Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers by appointment. Please contact the Curator for information on access.

Use Restrictions

The right of access to material does not imply the right of publication. Permission for reprinting, reproduction, or extensive quotation from the rare books, manuscripts, prints, or drawings must be obtained through written application, stating the use to be made of the material. The reader bears the responsibility for any possible infringement of copyright laws in the publication of such material. A reproduction fee will be charged if the material is to be reproduced in a commercial publication. Some of the materials in this collection may be too fragile for use without the Curator’s supervision.

Collection Inventory

Research notes, circa 1960-1965.
Box 1 Folder 1-21
Manuscript outline, 1964.
Box 1 Folder 22
Dummy and manuscript outline, 66 pages, 1964.
Box 1 Folder 23
First draft of introduction, corrected typescript, 1964.
Box 1 Folder 24
Draft, revised typescript, 25 December 1964.
Box 1 Folder 25-26
Correspondence regarding editing and production of The Abe Lincoln Joke Book, 1965.
Box 1 Folder 27

Manuscript outline, circa 1961-1963.
Box 1 Folder 28
Draft, corrected typescript, 2 June 1963.
Box 1 Folder 29
Correspondence regarding submission, editing, and production of The Little Girl and Her Mother, 1961-1963.
Box 1 Folder 30

Manuscript outline, circa 1962.
Box 1 Folder 31
Draft, corrected typescript, 1962 December.
Box 1 Folder 32
Corrected galley proofs, circa 1962-1964.
Box 1 Folder 33
Correspondence regarding contracts, production, and the published book for May I Bring a Friend?, 1961-1967.
Box 1 Folder 34

Large dummy, 46 pages, circa 1968.
Box 1 Folder 35
Medium dummy, 10 pages, circa 1968.
Box 1 Folder 36
Small dummy, 42 pages, circa 1968.
Box 1 Folder 37
Final draft, revised typescript, 1968.
Box 1 Folder 38
Corrected galley proofs, 1968.
Box 1 Folder 39
Summary for Junior Literary Guild, corrected typescript, 1968.
Box 1 Folder 40
Scope and Contents note

The summary for the Junior Literary Guild outlines de Regniers's work on Willy O'Dwyer Jumped in the Fire with illustrator Beni Montresor.

Print, Suggest