Phyllis Krasilovsky, 87; author of children’s books

Mrs. Krasilovsky’s books have been translated into 14 different languages.

Mrs. Krasilovsky’s books have been translated into 14 different languages.

NEW YORK — Phyllis Krasilovsky, 87, an author of popular children’s books, died Wednesday in Redding, Conn.

The cause was complications of a stroke, her daughter Jessica said.


By her own account, Phyllis Krasilovsky made an emphatic entry into the world of children’s book publishing.

“I stormed into the office at Doubleday of editor Margaret Lesser and told her that she must read these stories,” Mrs. Krasilovsky was quoted as saying in “Something About the Author,” a series of biographies. “She was impressed.”

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Those stories were eventually published as “The Very Little Girl” (1953), a simple, reassuring tale (illustrated by Ninon) of a tiny girl — “she was smaller than a rose bush” — who finally begins to grow; and “The Man Who Didn’t Wash His Dishes” (1950, with illustrations by Barbara Cooney), about a lazy man who neglects his dirty plates for so long that he has to eat from a soap dish.

Mrs. Krasilovsky went on to write several other children’s books, which were translated into 14 languages. One, “The Cow Who Fell in the Canal” (1957), a glimpse of life in Holland, illustrated by Peter Spier, became so popular in translation in the Netherlands that the Dutch consulate in New York feted her.

While writing for children, Mrs. Krasilovsky also wrote travel articles for The New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers and magazines including Redbook and Ladies’ Home Journal.


Phyllis Louise Manning was born in New York. Besides her daughter, she leaves her husband; two other daughters; a son; and a grandson.

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