de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi


Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
1.80 cu.ft. (6 boxes)

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory


Material received from Natalie Carlson between 1970 and 1991.


Noncirculating; available for research.


The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.

Biographical Sketch

Natalie Savage Carlson was born on October 3, 1906 in Kernstown, Virginia, but spent much of her childhood on a farm on the Potomac River in Maryland. At age four, she was sent to a convent boarding school along with three older sisters. After three years at the convent she stayed home and was tutored by "Miss Hallie," a family friend. She published her first story on the children's page of the Baltimore Sunday Sun when she was only eight years old. When she was 11, her family moved to Long Beach, California where she completed her high school education in parochial schools.

In California, she worked as a writer for the Long Beach Morning Sun from 1927 to 1929, when she met and married Daniel Carlson, a naval officer. Subsequently, the Carlsons were stationed in Hawaii, Mexico, Canada and France. They also traveled widely in western Europe. As a result of her travels, Carlson's stories describe the lives of children in such diverse locations as an orphanage near Paris, the Arab quarter of Marseilles and the slums of Rome. Carlson emphasizes local customs and celebrations in her books. Often, she uses particularly descriptive foreign words and expressions, defined in a glossary at the end of each book, to add as much authenticity as possible to the story. Carlson says she likes to write about people of different races and nationalities because of her French-Canadian relatives who visited when she was young. She found their differences fascinating and feels that by presenting different cultures to children she is promoting understanding, sympathy and tolerance.

Carlson was awarded the New York Herald Tribune Children's Spring Book Festival Award in 1952 for The Talking Cat and in 1954 for Alphonse, That Bearded One. In 1959 The Family Under the Bridge was a Newbery Honor Book. In 1966 Carlson was the U. S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen International Children's Book Award.

Mrs. Carlson died September 23, 1997 in Middletown, Rhode Island.