Nancy Carlson, ’75
Even after sixty-one books—so far—Nancy Carlson trusts her instincts. “I never really looked into the psychology of kids . . . I just build on my own experiences, and my children’s, and what’s going on in the world.”
Carlson just plain gets childhood, and her droll-but-wise children’s books prove it. In compact adventures such as I Like Me! or Louanne Pig in the Mysterious Valentine, readers see their own foibles enacted by charming animals. One book, Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!, has been given to every school-starting child in Tennessee for several years now, thanks to a grant from Dolly Parton.
Carlson relies on her own childhood daydreaming—“I wish kids were allowed to play with no adults butting in!”—but she prepares for the future of children’s media as well. “With the help of some MCAD students, we’re doing an app of one of my books—books now lean more toward entertainment, and less toward content."
She happily reads to audiences and leads workshops far and wide. “I’m doing more and more teaching—especially at MCAD—and speaking, and I do enjoy it. I’ve even just written a book, without illustrating it!”