Biographical Information:

Dates: 1925-2001Dates in Ridgefield: 1965-1980s
children’s books illustrator, cartoonist, publisher
Robert Kraus, who studied at the Art Students League in New York in 1945, edited and illustrated over 100 children’s books and contributed approximately 450 cartoons for The New Yorker, as well as 21 New Yorker covers. In 1966 he founded Windmill Books, which published many of his own children’s books, in addition to those by numerous other authors. He is perhaps best known for his book, Leo the Late Bloomer, which Barbara Bush, then first lady and mounting her literacy campaign, read on television to a young audience. Famous for his sense of humor, he wrote 101 Reasons Not to Have Sex Tonight under the name I.M. Potent, who Simon & Schuster called “one of the leading authorities in the world today on not having sex.” Kraus strove to make his books appealing to readers of any age. “I never slant my books to children,” he said in 1979. “My books are not sickening, cloyingly sweet, and they have a point.” Although he and his wife moved from Ridgefield to New York in the late 1980s, “He always considered Ridgefield his home,” said his sons after his death in 2001.
Titles (partial):Whitney Darrow, Jr.’s Unidentified Lying Elephant, 1968Animal Etiquette, 1969Leo the Late Bloomer, 1971How Spider Saved Easter, 1988Whose Mouse Are You, 2000
--Sources: Literature Resource Center: The New York Times obit, August 18, 2001; Ridgefield Press obituary August 7, 2001; Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale, 2007