Silver Birch Press, under the umbrella of its new children’s book imprint Silver Starlight Books, is pleased to announce the May 2014 release of Honey Bear by Dixie Willson with full-color illustrations by Maginel Wright Barney, a reissue of the 1923 classic. This is the book that made Tom Wolfe decide to become a writer! This is the book that Joan Didion read to her daughter Quintana Roo Dunne.

“My mother used to read it to me at bedtime long before I knew one letter of the alphabet from another . . . Honey Bear’s main attraction was Dixie Willson’s rollicking, rolling rhythm . . . the Willson beat made me think writing must be not only magical but fun . . . I resolved then and there, lying illiterate on a little pillow in a tiny bed, to be a writer. In homage to Dixie Willson, I’ve slipped a phrase or two from Honey Bear into every book I’ve written.” TOM WOLFE , author of The Right Stuff


Long out of print, used copies of the 1923 edition of the book are selling high prices on ebay and Amazon – some at over $100, even for a badly worn copy. For the first time in decades, Honey Bear by Dixie Willson is available at a reasonable price. If you want to help foster a love of language in the young children in your life, Honey Bear is the answer!


Dixie Willson (1890-1974) was a poet, screenwriter, and author children’s books, novels, and short stories. She liked to gain first-hand experience when researching her stories, and performed as an elephant rider in the Ringling Bros. Circus and a chorus girl in the Ziegfeld Folliies, attended TWA Stewardess School, and worked as a taste tester at Betty Crocker. A prolific author, she wrote over 300 magazine stories, books, and screenplays, four of which were made into films.

Maginel Wright Barney (1881–1966) was a children’s book illustrator and graphic artist, younger sister of Frank Lloyd Wright. She illustrated 63 children’s books, sometimes working alone and sometimes with other artists. Her first job as book illustrator was on The Twinkle Tales, a set of six booklets for young children published by Reilly & Britton in 1906, and written by L. Frank Baum under the pseudonym Laura Bancroft. The books were successful, selling 40,000 copies the first year. Wright Barney also illustrated Baum’s Policeman Bluejay (1907), Johanna Spyri‘s Heidi (1921), and Mary Mapes Dodge‘s Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates (1918).

Depending on where you like to shop, Honey Bear by Dixie Willson is available at or