Natalia Maree Belting

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General Information

Name: Natalia Maree Belting

Pen Name: Natalia Belting, Natalia M. Belting

Genre: Non-Fiction & Fiction

Born: July 11, 1915 in Oskaloosa, Iowa

Died: December 17, 1997

Illinois Connection

Belting lived in Urbana most of her life, living there until her death in 1997.

Biographical and Professional Information

Natalia Belting was a history professor, a writer, a lay minister, and an environmentalist. She drew upon her extensive knowledge of folklore in writing books for children. A professor of history at the University of Illinois for 43 years, she was particularly interested in the history of early French colonization of North America and the history of Native Americans in Illinois.

This research formed the basis of her first children's book, Pierre of Kaskaskia, as well as her third book, In Enemy Hands. Indy and Mr. Lincoln, and Verity Mullens and the Indian were also based on historical incidents. For the most part though, Belting adapted myths and folktales for young readers. Natalia wrote more than twenty works for children as well as the weekly column Illinois Past for the Champaign News-Gazette and other central Illinois newspapers.

Belting received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1936, and went on to earn a master's degree and Ph.D. in American history (1940) from the same institution. She taught history at her alma mater from 1942 until her retirement in 1985. She became an associate professor in 1973, retired as a full professor and was a professor emerita from 1996 through 1997. Throughout her adult life, Belting was also active in community affairs.

The Papers of Natalia Maree Belting are housed at University of Illinois Archives.

Published Works

  • Pierre of Kaskaskia: Pioneer Boy of New France, reprinted 2017
  • Kaskaskia Under the French Regime, 1940 - reprinted 2013
  • The Moon is a Crystal Ball: Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars, Bobs-Merrill, 1952
  • In Enemy Hands, Bobs Merrill-1953
  • Three Apples Fell from Heaven: Unfamiliar Legends of the Trees, Bobs-Merrill, 1953
  • King Solomon's Cat: Folk Tales Around the World, Rap, 1959 - reprinted 1968
  • Cat Tales, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1959
  • Indy and Mr. Lincoln, Dutton, 1960
  • Verity Mullens and the Indian, Holt, 1960
  • The Beginnings: Champaign (Illinois) in the 1850's and 1860's, 1960
  • Elves and Ellefolk; Tales of the Little People, Holt, 1961
  • The Long Tailed Bear, Bobbs, 1961
  • The Sun is a Golden Earring, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1962 - reprinted 2016
  • The Calendar Moon, Holf, Rinehart & Winston, 1964
  • The Earth Is On A Fish`s Back, Holf, Rinehart & Winston, 1965
  • The Stars are Silver Reindeer, Holf, Rinehart & Winston, 1966
  • Christmas Folk, Holf, Rinehart & Winston, 1969
  • Winter`s Eve, Holf, Rinehart & Winston, 1969
  • Summer`s Coming In, Holf, Rinehart & Winston, 1970
  • The Land of Taffeta Dawn, Dutton, 1973
  • Our Fathers Had Powerful Songs, Dutton, 1974
  • Whirlwind is a Ghost Dancing, Dutton, 1974
  • Sidney, Holt, 1974
  • Moon Was Tired of Walking on Air, Houghton/Mifflin, 1992
  • Why There Are Shooting Stars, Pacific Learning, 1997

Titles for Purchase and at Your Library

Kaskaskia Under the French Regime (Shawnee Classics)

ISBN: 0809325365
Release Date: 2003-08-07

Find on World Cat

Verity Mullens and the Indian

Release Date: 1960

The Beginnings: Champaign (Illinois) in the 1850's and 1860's

Release Date: 1960

The Long Tailed Bear (Signed)

Release Date: 1961

Christmas Folk

ISBN: 0030723752
Release Date: 1969-06-01

Find on World Cat

Moon Was Tired of Walking on Air

ISBN: 0395538068
Release Date: 1992-09-24

Find on World Cat

Literary Awards

The Sun Is a Golden Earring

  • Caldecott Medal honor book, 1962

Other Awards:

  • Illinois Author of the Year, Illinois Association of Teachers of English, 1979

External Links

Natalia Maree Belting on WorldCat


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