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“The ABC of it: Why Children’s Books Matter”

Posted on April 04, 2014 by Liz Blake | 0 comments
“Children’s books are our gateways to a lifelong love of literature and art,”
-Leonard Marcus, Curator of NYPL’s “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter.”

This post is inspired by a recent trip to the New York Public Library’s temporary exhibit “The ABC of it: Why Children’s Books Matter.” Try to imagine a world where your favorite children’s books are brought to life so you can literally walk through the pages..actually you don’t have to because this exhibit has done just that! Starting from the beginning of children’s literature before the 1600’s & also covering more modern classics, the exhibit takes you inside of the genre. It features nearly 250 items from across the Library’s collections that help us think about how children’s literature impacts and shapes the world around us.

I had visited the exhibit once before, but this time around I went with Nadia & we had a blast running from room to room. Some highlights for me were the Goodnight Moon room/window, the Where the Wild Things Are wild thing cutout, and also the Alice in Wonderland section. Nadia loved the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals that are displayed in a glass case, & also the superhero section (her current dream is to be a superhero who saves the planet from litter). Not only was it fun, but I think we both learned a lot.


It is no secret that literature is often a great reflection of life & children’s literature is no exception. This exhibit brings to light the importance of kids’ literature & all that kids can learn from it. These books teach lessons about life, about art, and most importantly, they teach kids about themselves & the world around them. For the same reasons, adults remember & love certain children’s books usually because of what these works instilled in them when they were younger.


Whether you're a book lover or are just looking for something fun & free to do in the city, I highly recommend a visit to "The ABC of it: Why Children's Books Matter." The exhibit is in residence at the Central branch of the New York Public Library until September 7th, so if you haven’t already, be sure to check it out! 

“Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.” 
-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland 


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