The Environment and Margaret Wise Brown
Margaret Wise Brown used the environment around her as an inspiration for her children’s books. As a child, Brown would often play outside, on the beaches and in the woods with her imaginary animal friends (Marcus, “Margaret Wise Brown” 45). The fictional animals in the stories that she made up as a child played a role in the characters that gave life to her books. When Brown decided to become a writer she bought a cottage off the coast of Maine that she called “The Only House.” This house did not include running water, electricity, or even a bathroom (Greene 32-33). It was just a place for her to write and gather her thoughts. The house was also the only house that Brown had ever owned (Marcus, Margaret Wise Brown 164). “The Only House” and the landscape that it rested on was the ideal place for some of her book settings.
In Brown’s The Seashore Noisy Book, the setting of this book is the ocean in Maine. This book is about a little puppy that can hear everything except the sea. By the end of the book the puppy jumps in the water and realizes that he can hear the sea because the sea is not just “the sea” but what it is made up of. The book’s setting by the sea was where “The Only House” rested. Brown suggested wanting to capture the sights, sound, and smell of what surrounded “The Only House” in her writing.
Another book that is purely based on “The Only House” is The Little Island (Marcus, “Margaret Wise Brown” 61). This book gives a vivid description of what kind of environment surrounded “The Only House,” both on land and at...