Claire Huchet Bishop (ca. 1899-1993) was a librarian, storyteller, critic, and writer. She grew up in Le Havre, France, and attended the Sorbonne for a time before founding France’s first library for children, L’Heure Joyeuse. Her children’s books grew out of the popular stories she told both at L’Heure Joyeuse and at the New York Public Library, where she worked after marrying the pianist Frank Bishop and settling in the United States. Among the seventeen works of fiction she wrote for children are The Five Chinese Brothers (1938), Twenty and Ten (1952), and the Newbery Honor books Pancakes-Paris (1947) and All Alone (1953). Bishop also wrote several biographies for children and nonfiction works for adults, and served as children’s book editor at Commonweal during the 1930s. Active during the Second World War in the cause of European Jews, she devoted herself after the war to fostering better understanding between Jews and Christians, writing How Catholics Look at Jews (1974) and encouraging the Vatican’s recognition of the State of Israel.
What would you do if your head went missing? Would you replace it with a pumpkin? a parsnip? maybe a block of wood? The man who lost his head tries all of these things, but it takes a brash bold boy to save the day. This delightful tale pairs the author of The Five Chinese Brothers with the creator of Make Way for Ducklings.