Sydney Taylor’s famous and beloved All-of-a-Kind Family series of children’s books were almost left unpublished and forgotten. Taylor graduated from NYU and began performing first as an actress with the Lenox Hill Players from 1925–1929 and then as a dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company from 1930–1935. After giving birth to her daughter, Jo, she retired from the stage, though she became a dance and dramatics counselor at Cejwin Camps seven years later, writing, choreographing, and directing skits. She began telling stories of her childhood to entertain her daughter, then wrote the stories down and left them forgotten in a drawer. Unbeknownst to her, her husband submitted them to the Charles W. Follet Award for Writing, winning the award (and publication) in 1951, and a National Jewish Book Award the following year. Four more books followed, the last published posthumously in 1978, each celebrating sisterhood and traditional Jewish family life at the turn of the century with stories about the mishaps and adventures of five sisters (and an eventual brother). In 1979 the Association of Jewish Libraries established the Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work award in her honor.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Sydney Taylor." (Viewed on April 20, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/taylor-sydney>.