Pictured above are two of my all-time favorite books relating to children's literature. CHILDREN'S BOOKS AND THEIR CREATORS, edited by Anita Silvey, is a wonderful encyclopedia of children's authors, illustrators, and their work. If I'm looking for the author of a particular book, and I want more information than I'd find at Amazon.com, this handy resource gives me interesting facts about the author or illustrator along with other works she/he has created. There are also many short essays by the authors and artists themselves, telling about what led them to create books for children. This is a wonderful book to browse, revisiting favorite books and authors and discovering new ones. The book was published in 1995 and I hope that Ms. Silvey will produce an updated version to include recent titles; I'd definitely buy it for my bookshelf.
The second book, DEAR GENIUS:THE LETTERS OF URSULA NORDSTROM, collected and edited by Leonard S.Marcus, is a fascinating look into the life of the woman who edited such luminaries as Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, Margaret Wise Brown, and Garth Williams. I suppose it's not really a resource book, but I'd recommend it to any writer who hasn't read it yet. How lucky these authors were to have an editor who cared so deeply for them and their work.