Born in 1906, Eleanor Estes grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, and worked at the Free Public Library there - first as an assistant, then eventually as head librarian. In 1931 she was awarded the Caroline M. Hewins scholarship for children's librarians, and used these funds to attend the Pratt Institute Library School. She continued her library career with the New York Public Library, where she stayed until 1940. Her first book, The Moffats, was published in 1941, and launched her full-time writing career.
Eleanor Estes' award-winning books include:
Ginger Pye - Newbery Medal 1952
The Middle Moffat - Newbery Honor Book 1943
Rufus M. - Newbery Honor Book 1944
The Hundred Dresses - Newbery Honor Book 1945
In addition to book awards, Mrs. Estes received the Certificate for Outstanding Contribution to Children's Literature in 1962, and was nominated for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.
Responding to a New York Times Book Review query regarding what she was trying to say to children, Eleanor Estes replied:
"I am holding up a mirror, and the scene reflected in the mirror is a true image of childhood, and the mirror, besides reflecting, also speaks and echoes the clear, profound, unpremeditated utterances, thoughts and imageries of children. I like to make children laugh or cry, to be moved in some way by my writing."