Marianne Carus, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Marianne Carus

Marianne Carus at her desk, circa 1960

Marianne Carus foundedĀ Cricket magazine after working with her husband Milton Blouke Carus to develop Open Court Textbooks during the 1960s. While there were many children's magazines, she found that none of them provided literary content. Marianne imagined a magazine that would be The New Yorker for children. Drawing inspiration from Walter de la Mare's assertion that "only the rarest kind of best in anything can be good enough for the young," Marianne sourced stories and illustrations from the most talented children's authors and illustrators, aided by an editorial advisory board composed of influential children's publishers, authors, and librarians.

On May 29, 2018, Marianne and Blouke Carus recalled the origins and growth of Cricket in an oral history interview conducted at their home in Peru, Illinois.

Marianne Sondermann was born in Germany in 1928. Her parents, a nurse and an eye surgeon, hoped she would become a scientist. However, Marianne's passion for books led her to study philosophy and English, American, and German literature at the University of Freiburg, where she met Blouke in 1949. She later studied French literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. After moving to the United States in 1951, she studied art history and German literature at the University of Chicago.

"Globe trotter" letter to Marianne Carus from illustrator Jean Gralley

In a letter to Marianne Carus, Jean Gralley illustrated her hectic schedule traveling around the world to promoteĀ Cricket.


Carus, Marianne. 2003. Celebrate Cricket: 30 years of stories and art. Chicago: Cricket Books.

Cricket Media records, 1960-2018, Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Marianne Carus