Thursday, October 10, 2013

100 Great Kids' Books from the Past 100 Years

Authors Judy Blume and Eric Carle were on hand to celebrate New York City Public Library's list of 100 great kids'books.  

The list includes picture books for preschoolers as well as books for older readers like "The Hobbit" and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."  Others included in the list are:
"The Cat in the Hat," "Pippi Longstocking" and "Where the Wild Things Are."  The exhibit on children's literature at the library's main building in midtown Manhattan.  Blume and Carle joined librarians for a reading and panel discussion.
"Viewed over time, children's books are the collected memory of our hopes and dreams," said moderator Leonard Marcus, a book critic and the curator of the exhibit. "They are the message in a bottle that each generation tosses out to the next generation in the hope that it may wash ashore and be read and be taken to heart."
Blume, whose "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" is on the list, said that when she was in the fourth grade herself she always had stories in her head.  Of that, she said:

But I never told anybody about them because I thought if I did they would think I was weird.
Since Blume began publishing in the 1970s, many of her books dealing with subjects like racism, divorce and sexuality have been banned by authorities who considered the topics inappropriate for children.
Books that are loved by children are often the books that scare adults.
Carle made the library's list with "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," his 1969 picture book about a voracious bug that becomes a butterfly. He said he created the caterpillar by folding and manipulating paper; he first thought of the character as a bookworm, Willie the Worm.
And I had this wonderful editor and she didn't like the worm so much.
Carle read his brand-new book, "Friends," about a boy who swims across a river and climbs a mountain in search of his friend.

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