Now – March 23, 2014
New York Public Library
I hated to read as a child. Now, that’s an unpopular SLC opinion if ever there was one. Instead of trying to make out the words, I threw up my hands and proceeded to focus on the illustrations. Some ran through the page as the character runs across the field. Others consisted of primary colors that were easily identified by a three year old. The best ones, though, revolved around a character or two that possessed all of the things that I looked forward to in life. Whether it was Amelia Bedelia, Madeline, or Arthur, each one influenced me, both as a child and a twenty-something, in their own unexpected way. When I was five, I peeked into every tulip I saw hoping to find Thumbelina. And throughout my life I’ve always wanted to get a dog, though not necessarily one as big as Madeline’s, and call it Genevieve.
Isn’t it suspicious how the things we associated with as part of our childhood run through our lives even though years have gone by? Sometimes I do find myself nostalgically searching through the little book collection I own for that one book that I so wanted to read again. Luckily, one of the most brilliant parts of New York City is its bookstores and exhibitions.
The New York Public Library, at Bryant Park, is currently showing an exhibit entitled The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter. Running till March 23, 2014, the exhibition allows us to pick up where we left off in our childhood. Equipped with surprises and its own forbidden book section, the event is not one to miss for those children’s books lovers. The best part is that it is free and not as crowded, as one would think. For me, the exhibition clearly signified why children’s books matter to children, students, and even “grown-ups” like you and me.