The lives of the creators behind some of the more enduring children’s books are often as interesting as the books themselves, albeit to an older audience. Here we round up a selection of new and forthcoming books for adults about children’s authors and artists. Spanning from political biographies to wartime diaries, these books offer new insights into these literary figures.

In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown

Amy Gary (Flatiron Books, Jan. 10, 2017; 978-1-250-06536-0)

Some ink has been spilled on the Goodnight Moon author before: her extravagant lifestyle, affairs with men and women, and immense influence on the field of children’s literature makes her a fascinating subject. Gary adds to the portrait we have of Brown with never-before-seen materials she uncovered in 1990, including manuscripts, diaries, and letters. 

Love from Boy: Roald Dahl's Letters to His Mother

Ed. by Donald Sturrock (Blue Rider Press, Sept. 6, 2016; 978-0-399-16846-8)

Sturrock presents a collection of the author’s letters to his mothers, beginning when Dahl was nine years old and in boarding school. In the subsequent years, as he traveled the world, lived in Africa, moved to the U.S., and started his career, the letters offer a glimpse in Dahl’s process of becoming an artist.

Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, the Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I

Paula Becker (University of Washington Press, Sept. 15, 2016; 978-0-295-99936-4)

Before now, there’s been little published about the author of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series, which has endured in print since the 1940s and was recently rebooted with a new spinoff series. Here Becker accesses never-before-seen archival material to create the first biography of MacDonald.

War Diaries 1939–1945

Astrid Lindgren, trans. by Sarah Death (Yale, Nov. 22, 2016; 978-0-300-22004-9)

This collection of the Pippi Longstocking author’s diaries, written during World War II, were published posthumously in her native Sweden to much acclaim. Available now in the U.S. for the first time, the diaries offer a glimpse into her quotidian observations of life during wartime, while also offering her more philosophical responses to war, evil, and the trials she experienced.

The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Pioneer's Correspondence

Ed. by William Anderson (Harper, Feb. 18, 2016; 978-0-06-241968-2)

This volume marks the first time that many of Wilder’s letters have been both collected together and made public. Ranging from responses to fan letters, sharing recipes, and discussing the work on her many books, this collection offers [a rare glimpse into Wilder’s private life. 

Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books

Christine Woodside (Arcade, Sept. 6, 2016; 978-1-62872-656-5)

Woodside investigates the true story behind the Wilder family, including the author’s own views on pioneering, and the political leanings of the family, and even adds insight, supported with new evidence, on the extent of the collaboration between Laura and her daughter Rose.

Garth Williams, American Illustrator: A Life

Elizabeth K. Wallace and James D. Wallace (Beaufort, June 13, 2016; 978-0-8253-0795-9)

While many are familiar with Williams’ illustrations, which have graced classic novels from E.B. White and Laura Ingalls Wilder to picture books from various Golden Books to the Frances series by – this book makes easy work of knowing the man behind the pencil. Married four times, living around the world, meeting influential foreign dignitaries, Williams lived a full life, which is cataloged here.