(1932- ) US poet, writer and illustrator whose first book was Dicke Foote and the Shark (coll 1967), poetry, and whose first novel, The Search for Delicious (1969), describes the adventures of a young man in search of a food that might properly represent the term "delicious" in the kingdom's new dictionary (> True Name). The Quest in Kneeknock Rise (1970) has a similarly didactic tinge, though the stories in The Devil's Storybook (coll 1974) and The Devil's Other Storybook (coll 1987) are more straightforwardly humorous Supernatural Fictions, featuring a rather thick-witted Devil who tries to make trouble. NB's most impressive single work is Tuck Everlasting (1975), an eloquently subtle tale in which the human consequences of Immortality are examined through the eyes of a young girl as she gets to know the Tuck family, four people who drank at a magic spring and are now everlasting (> Fountain of Youth). NB's work is ostensibly for children, but appeals strongly to adults. [JC]
other works: The Something (1970); Goody Hall (1974); The Eyes of the Amaryllis (1977).
Natalie Moore Babbitt