Marguerite de Angeli was born on March 14, 1889, in Lapeer, Michigan. "As far back as my memory goes, there was always an itch to draw, the longing to put things down in words."

Her family moved to Pennsylvania, where at age fifteen she was hired to sing contralto in a Presbyterian choir for $1 a week. Her singing teacher told her "You have a very fine voice and can go far, but I'm afraid you will be like your mother. You will marry and have six children." And she did.

In 1908, Marguerite met John Dailey de Angeli. "He was immediately friendly and I think we knew from that moment that each belonged to the other." They were married in 1910. She called him "Dai." Marguerite had a baby a year, three times, but the third one, Ruby Catherine, died.

The family moved to Detroit, where Marguerite began to study drawing with a neighbor, an illustrator. After a year of work, she started earning commissions, which was a start, but it would be 14 years and another three kids before she was illustrating stories she herself had written.

In 1935, using her own children as models, Marguerite wrote her first book, Ted and Nina Go to the Grocery Store. "One child was never happy unless near me in the studio. He would stand at the foot of the stairs and call incessantly until he was brought upstairs and put into his pen. Quiet reigned for the few moments it took me to get back to work, then miserable wails began again. When I put the pen around myself and the easel and let the child have the studio in which to roam, all was peace once more."

Marguerite's autobiography, Butter at the Old Price , was published in 1971. The dedication reads, "To my children. It wasn't all for them, but without them there would have been little point."

In 1979, the governor of Lapeer declared her 90th birthday "Marguerite de Angeli Day." Two years later, the Lapeer public library was renamed the Marguerite de Angeli Branch Library.

Marguerite had blue eyes. She died on June 16, 1987.


Butter at the Old Price: The Autobiography of Marguerite De Angeli

Copper-Toed Boots

The Door in the Wall   (1950 Newbery Award)

Henner's Lydia

Skippack School: Being the Story of Eli Shrawder and of One Christopher Dock, Schoolmaster About the Year 1750

Ted and Nina Go to the Grocery Store

Thee, Hannah!

They Loved to Laugh

Yonie Wondernose

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