Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Weekday Wanderings: The ABC of It

Four-year-old Kristin has never been happier.

Yesterday evening, I met up with my friend Katie and went to an excellent exhibit at the NYPL, called The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter.  Ask almost anyone my age where in publishing they want to work, and they'll say children's books (at least if they work with me).  I've long thought this is because the first books we read stay with us.  It's easier to fall into books as children, and most of us writers, editors and literati grow up inside of them.  It makes sense that a deep love for them stays with us throughout our lives.

One of the many magical displays

The exhibit was wonderful - it combined interesting facts and insightful theories on children's literature with beautiful displays of the books and artwork surrounding them.  The NYPL never ceases to amaze me with their exhibits, and this one was no exception.  My favorite nook, of course, was the lifesize diorama of Goodnight, Moon, my very first favorite book.  A close second, though, was the section on banned books, which looked quite a lot like exhibits I saw in at the Holocaust Museum in DC, with the offending books set into the display so that children couldn't accidentally see them.  It sent a truly poignant message about the power of books, particularly those aimed at children.

Pretty much everything CS has ever said makes me tear up.

If you have a chance to visit the library before the exhibit closes on March 23rd, please do.  I'm even planning to head back again so I can really read all of the display labels.  It's really an exquisite exhibition and if you loved books as a child, I'm sure it will stir you as deeply as it did me.

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