The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter at the New York Public Library

On this glorious Saturday, I had the afternoon free, and what better way to spend it than at the New York Public Library?


The ABC of It exhibit draws from 250 items in the New York Public Library collection, spanning a period of 300 years, as it shows us in a particularly powerful way “Why Children’s Books Matter.”

abc of it

It looks at some of the earliest books for children, including the New England-Primer, first published in 1690, to Aesop’s Fables and selections from Songs of Innocence by William Blake, as it works its way to the present day.


The New England-Primer

Of particular interest to me was how the development of child psychology in 1900 helped inspire progressive educators, such as Lucy Sprague Mitchell at the Bank Street School, and writers, such as Margaret Wise Brown, Maurice Sendak and Crockett Johnson, to write “stories about the world [preschoolers] knew, as well as books that invited their playful, collaborative participation.” (Source: Exhibit Poster, The Work of Play: The Progressive Child.)


During my tour, the guide mentioned that Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon, first published in 1947, was not included New York Public Library’s collection until 1972 because it was not considered literature. Isn’t that unbelievable?


The exhibit delved into topics of censorship, the influence of children’s literature on film, theatre and merchandising, the artistry of the picture book, and the exhibit concluded with a look at New York stories.



The New York Public Library offers free 45-minute tours. For information about tours and the exhibit, please click here.



On my tour, we had a lovely 10 month old, Abigail. Although she didn’t say much about the exhibit, she grabbed a copy of Goodnight Moon and started to chew on the book. I’m assuming that was her way of saying she liked it.


I highly recommend the exhibit. The exhibit runs through Sunday, September 7, 2014.



Three Cheers for Tori Corn and Nancy Cote’s, Dixie Wants an Allergy!

Yesterday The Corner Bookstore was buzzing with excitement, as eager fans came out in droves to celebrate the launch of Tori Corn and Nancy Cote’s picture book, Dixie Wants an Allergy.


Nancy Cote and Tori Corn

Nancy Cote and Tori Corn


“Dixie Wants an Allergy provides a comical and engaging approach for children who are beginning to learn about and who are coping with allergies—and who also have trouble finding what makes them unique. Corn’s playful text and Cote’s inviting illustrations encourage children to accept those with differences while learning that wanting what others have is not always a good idea.” (Source: Sky Pony Press)


Julie Matysik, Nancy Cote, Liza Fleissig, Tori Corn, Ginger Harris 


And check out these adorable, not to mention delicious, cookies!

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Dixie Wants an Allergy, please stop by The Corner Bookstore, 1313 Madison Avenue, at the corner of 93rd Street, New York, New York. (If you stop by, I promise you’ll have a hard time leaving! 🙂 ) You may also contact The Corner Bookstore at (212) 831-3554, or via email at

Dixie is also available online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Congratulations Tori and Nancy! What an amazing evening!