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!