They Were Strong and Good

written and illustrated by Robert Lawson

The story of the author's mother and father and their mothers and fathers that won the 1940 Caldecott Medal.

"Let us be proud (of them) and guard well the heritage (they have left to us)." The author tells about his mother's parents--a Scotch sea captain and a little Dutch girl who lived on a NJ farm--and those of his father--an English preacher in Alabama who was always fighting the devil and a young girl who thought he fought Satan well. He also tells briefly about his father's adventures during the Civil War and his gentle mother being educated by nuns.

The wonderfully detailed pen and ink drawings won the Caldecott Medal in 1940. Recent editions have had the text somewhat altered to remove what are now considered racially insensitive comments but the illustrations remain as the originals.