Yesterday my grandsons and I went to the library to pick up a few books I had on hold. To my surprise and delight, the library was open. Operations were not back up to usual. There were few people inside and no computers for personal use in operation. Ian, age three, was disappointed that all the toys and games were put away. But that caused us to search around for books and we came away with a big batch. Twenty-five books in all:
Two Dr. Seuss books: If I Ran the Zoo and What Pet Should I Get? The library had an oddly small collection of Dr. Seuss books making me wonder if they had them in another section of the library with other 'I Can Read' books. But we didn't go looking for others. Ian loves the easy to read books by Seuss but was underwhelmed by these two. In fact, he snapped If I Ran the Zoo shut mid-book announcing he was done. It was fine with me. Is If I Ran the Zoo one of the books that the publisher has decided to retire? If not, it should be. The racist pictures of Asians/Africans really shocked me. It has been a long time since I've read one of Dr. Seuss's longer books and it reminded me of how much I used to love looking at his fantastical illustrations. I hope Ian and Jamie, my grandsons, enjoy that some day themselves.
|Do you agree with me that these illustrations are not acceptable any longer?|
Two tiny beginning reader books published by Scholastic. I didn't inspect these at the library, was just interested in them due to size. I will return them on my next trip. They are too advanced and too unattractive for Ian. (Titles: The Visit by Bobby Maslen and What is That? by Lynn Kertell)
Two information books, plus one: Emily Writes: Emily Dickinson and Her Poetic Beginnings by Jane Yolen and Build, Beaver, Build! Life at the Longest Beaver Dam by Sandra Markle. Ian picked out the Emily Dickinson book. I picked out the beaver book. Not sure either of them will work with a three-year-old. The 'plus one' is a book I requested and the reason we went to the library in the first place, to pick it up: It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear. It is an children's illustrated biography of the famous artist Gyo Fujikawa who broke many barriers in publishing insisting the children of other races could be drawn and printed on the same page, and in the same book. Many would be familiar with her book Babies (published in 1963) which was one of the earliest children's books to use multiracial characters. The same list that suggested Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy suggested this title about inclusivity in art and in culture. If I were a children's librarian, I'd make sure to purchase this book for my library and I'd highlight for young readers.
Four children's illustrated books: The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli; Dragons Love Tacos 2 by Adam Rubin; What Do Wheels Do All Day? by April Jones Prince; and Who Eats Orange? by Dianne White. After quick look-throughs I think Ian will enjoy all of these. I will set them aside for his next visit. We didn't have enough time to read all twenty-five of the books yesterday.
And last of all...
One Spanish book: Las Plantas by Sagrario Pinto. Ian insisted that we check this book out. I told him I don't speak Spanish but I supposed that was gibberish to him. We brought it home and looked at the pictures and made up the words. It was fun and we laughed. We will do it again.
Now I am sorting the books into piles: those we need to read for the first time, those we'd like to reread, and those that can be returned to the library first.