Busse, Sarah Martin

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Busse, Sarah Martin


Born in Mt. Vernon, IA; daughter of Richard (a professor) and Jacqueline Briggs Martin (a writer); married Reed Busse, 1998; children: one child.


Home—Madison, WI.


Children's author and poet.


(With mother, Jacqueline Briggs Martin) Banjo Granny, illustrated by Barry Root, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2006.

Also author of poetry chapbook A Blue like Milk, 2003.


Sarah Martin Busse grew up in a family that loves words. Her mother is a picture-book author, and her father is an emeritus professor of English at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Such a literary upbringing led Busse to collaborate with her mother on Banjo Granny, a folk-tale story featuring artwork by Barry Root. The story follows baby Owen's loving Granny as she treks across the country on foot to visit Owen, after hearing that the youngster loves the high-lonesome twang of bluegrass music. Owen is updated on his Granny's trip by birds, as Granny overcomes obstacles through the use of her banjo. Hazel Rochman noted in Booklist that, "part lullaby and part tall tale, this warm picture book is both cozy and exciting." Tamara E. Richman described the book in School Library Journal as "an up-to-date story" in which "the narrative's cadence and traditional structure make the tale feel timeless." A Kirkus Reviews critic noted of children's reaction to Granny's musical and magical mode of transportation that while some "will be left wondering why Granny didn't hop a plane … most will find her modes of transportation delightful and inspirational." In Publishers Weekly a critic concluded of Banjo Granny that, "with its heartwarming message and visuals," Busse and Martin's tale "is a celebration of the bond between grandparent and child."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, November 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Banjo Granny, p. 58.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January, 2007, Deborah Stevenson, review of Banjo Granny, p. 205.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2006, review of Banjo Granny, p. 1121.

Publishers Weekly, October 30, 2006, review of Banjo Granny, p. 60.

School Library Journal, December, 2006, Tamara E. Richman, review of Banjo Granny, p. 95.


Houghton Mifflin Web site,http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/ (October 27, 2008), "Sarah Martin Busse."