PHILADELPHIA — Marguerite Lofft de Angeli, an award-winning author who wrote or illustrated nearly 60 children's books, many of them praised for their down-to-earth portrayals of young people from varied ethnic and racial backgrounds, has died at the age of 98.
Mrs. De Angeli died Tuesday at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia.
In 1950, she received the highest honor awarded to children's authors, the Newbery Medal, for "A Door in the Wall," a poignant tale of a crippled child in plague-ridden London. The boy is befriended by a medieval monk who tells him "we must teach thy hands to be skilled in many ways, and we must teach thy mind to go about whether thy legs will carry thee or not. For reading is another door in the wall."
She received a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award for the book in 1961.
Mrs. De Angeli won Caldecott Honor awards for her illustrations in "The Book of Nursery and Mother Goose Rhymes" in 1955 and "Yonnie Wonder Nose" in 1946.
After studying art, music and writing at Philadelphia's Girls High School, she considered pursuing a music career but instead married John de Angeli.