Miss Moore Thought Otherwise by Jan Pinborough


True Story: A few weeks ago, I received a call from my sister who told me she had purchased a children’s book for me. Admittedly, my two sisters don’t do this very often. I work in a library!  If there’s a terrific new children’s book, I am lucky enough to order it for our students and have access to it as part of my day.  My sister was calling to confirm that I didn’t already own this one. She gave me the title – Miss Moore Thought Otherwise and the author – Jan Pinborough. I assured her that I did not know the book but looked forward to seeing it, and then promptly forgot about it.

A few days later, visiting a public library to talk with a friend, I saw a display of new picture books. One of them jumped right out at me: Miss Moore Thought Otherwise.  But now I could see the subtitle: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children.  Anne Carroll Moore!  Anyone who has studied libraries and children’s literature knows the name of the woman behind the creation of the New York Public Library Children’s Room.  Forgetting that this was the same title my sister told me about, I wrote down the name of the book so I would remember to order a copy. On the next day, my sister’s package arrived – and there it was! 

Pinborough’s affectionate picture book is one to share with enthusiastic young readers, but honestly, I think it’s a great book for school librarians to have in their toolbox. I’m looking forward to telling my students about the “old days,” when kids couldn’t check books out at all and….they had to be quiet!  My favorite picture is one of Moore taking down a sign reading “Silence” in the children’s room of the New York Public Library.  Anyone who works in a children’s library knows that a silent children’s library would be pretty dull.

A word about the illustrations by Debby Atwell.  Her bright and folkloric-style pictures were familiar to me from one of our Thanksgiving favorites, The Thanksgiving Door.  I look forward to seeing more of her cheery work!


3 thoughts on “Miss Moore Thought Otherwise by Jan Pinborough

  1. I just love this one! I read it to the first and second grades I visited, where time permitted, during my school visits this year. I loved asking the kids about the SILENCE illustration. I asked if they thought that Miss Moore was putting the sign up or taking it down and we had wonderful discussions about whether or not their public library is more like Miss Moore’s libraries or old-fashioned libraries. I’m happy to report they view their town library as a vibrant, engaging place of fun and discovery.

    • Hi Ann,
      I love the idea of asking the kids about the direction of the Silence sign! I will ask our students the same question in the fall….
      Thanks for your comment – see you soon.

  2. I love your blog, Ann! Thank you for spreading the word about Anne Carroll Moore. I hope it will help children and adults realize the treasure libraries are and do their part to support them!

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