Elaine Moss writes…
Long before the modish terms bibliotherapy and feminism found their way into the critique of children’s literature, Catherine Storr, who died in January at the age of 87, introduced these elements quite naturally into her stories for young children and their older siblings. In 1955 Faber published Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf and in 1958 Marianne Dreams, both of which are now classics of the period and still widely read and enjoyed. A doctor and psychotherapist (she had believed she could never earn her living as a writer) and the mother of three daughters, Catherine wrote about childhood fears and their resolution from a deep experience tinged with delicious humour; the Stupid Wolf is consistently outwitted by commonsensical, often compassionate, Polly; and Marianne’s drawings and the dreams they inspire arising from her illness as well as her fractious nature, have a ‘magic’ potential of release. A literary descendant of Mrs Molesworth and Frances Hodgson Burnett, Catherine Storr carried the torch of excellence in writing for children over into its second flowering.