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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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No. After a couple of years Beginner Books was getting so big, it was becoming embarrassing. We bought Beginner Books from the three of them for a pretty penny. Phyllis is still yapping that we cheated her, but actually the three of them were very happy.


Is that how she then began...?


She was co-editor. It soon developed that Phyllis was getting stronger and stronger and more opinionated as she waxed more successful and became engrossed in retarded children problems. Ted is not used to being crossed. He is a genius. They began fighting with each other over every book. Phyllis is a perfectionist. So is Ted. Neither would compromise. Finally Phyllis bowed out of Beginner Books entirely to start another series of her own called Step-Up Books, which is for kids just getting beyond Beginner Books. She and Ted remained friends, but they simply could not work together because Ted has to have his own way. Here he was out in California and they would talk for an hour on long distance and Phyllis would usually end up in tears because neither would give in. They would fight over a single word for three hours. I used to go crazy listening. When they flew east, they would come up to Mt. Kisco for the weekend; and I'd just clear out because they would argue all day over a page because they cared so desperately.

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