The New York Times published a letter to the editor last Thursday from a Shaker Heights woman who had held onto books from when her children were little. She was thankful for that as she is now reading them with her mother, who suffered a stroke, in what is probably good as both brain and speech therapy. Although this is a good reason to bring out the picture books, I think there many others. Like the fact that they can evoke more innocent times, the artwork is so varied and marvelous, and just try not to laugh when reading Traction Man Meets Turbodog by Mini Grey. Anything by Peter Sis is amazing and some, like his picture book The Three Golden Keys and his autobiography, The Wall, are enlightening as well. Many adults leave children’s books in childhood, but imagine what might be gained from revisiting those shelves filled with treasures.
How happy, how lucky, how wonderful! A whole bunch of children’s book awards were recently announced at the American Library Association midwinter conference, and I do mean a whole bunch. The John Newbery Medal, Newbery Honor Books, Randolph Caldecott Medal, Caldecott Honor Books, Coretta Scott King Book Award, Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, are just a few of the twenty-eight total categories. See? Whole bunch! Take at the whole list and see what you think. I know what I think already, I’m thinking this feels like a mini-reading challenge… Are you in?
Do you remember reading The Poky Little Puppy? Me too! I still have some of my childhood books (okay, many of my childhood books) and there some choice Golden Books in that stack. There’s something about those golden spines and the thick cardboard covers that gets me every time I see them. I love to see spinner racks of them at the bookstores, too. It’s such a pleasant feeling of continuity to know today’s small people can read Scruffy the Tugboat or Saggy Baggy Elephant, just like I did. Sigh… good memories.
To celebrate the 65th anniversary of the creation of Golden Books, they published their own story Golden Legacy by Leonard Marcus. I can’t wait to read this book about some of my favorite books! And it will be okay if I’m then inspired to reread all my Golden books! That will be one happy afternoon!