A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday to Sandra Louise Woodward Darling who, under the pen name Alexandra Day, created Good Dog, Carl and its sequels. Birthday greetings, also, to Eric Hill (Whereâ€™s Spot?).
- Itâ€™s the birthdate of C. B. Colby (1904-1977) author of Strangely Enough and Worldâ€™s Best â€śTrueâ€ť Ghost Stories, and Elmer Hader (1889â€“1973) who wrote and illustrated The Big Snow with spouse Berta Hader.
- Teeny tiny newborn Edith Eleanor McLean is the first baby placed in an incubator, called a â€śhatching cradle,â€ť in 1888. Read Hatching Magic by Ann Downer.
- Philo Farnsworth transmitted the first TV image, a straight line, at his laboratory in San Francisco, with his image dissector camera tube, in 1927. Read The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Greg Couch.
- Itâ€™s Neither Rain Nor Snow Day. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett or Tuesday by David Wiesner are good reads for today.
- Itâ€™s also Salami Day. Read How I Got a â€śDâ€ť in Salami(Hank Zipzer series) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, and Go Hang A Salami! Iâ€™m a Lasagna Hog!: And More Palindromes by Jon Agee.
Over the years I have collected a list of titles, shared by teachers and librarians, to use for the beginning of school. Many, of course, started classes in August, but some schools still begin after Labor Day. So Iâ€™m going to focus on two more crowd pleasers that adults love to share. Iâ€™d be happy for Almanac readers to weigh in today with their own favorites.
Let me begin with a title often chosen by school and public librarians: Sarah Stewartâ€™s The Library, illustrated by David Small. We have already looked at the magic these two can weave in The Gardener. Published in 1995, The Library begins with endpapers showing, appropriately, a library. Even before the first line, a young redheaded girl can be seen with her face behind a book, sitting on a park bench and walking through the rain. Elizabeth Brown doesnâ€™t like to skate or play with dollsâ€”but she loves to read. â€śShe always took a book to bed,/With a flashlight under the sheet./Sheâ€™d make a tent of covers/And read herself to sleep.â€ť And so we follow our heroine through school and through her early attempts to lend out her books to friends. She settles down, tutors students, and buys any book that she can locate. She even reads while practicing yoga. In a house that becomes increasingly chaotic because of books, Elizabeth uses them as furniture and keeps them in piles stacked up to the ceiling.
In a wonderful end to the saga, readers see Elizabeth donate all her books to the Elizabeth Brown Free Library, move in with a friend, and read her way to the last page. Never has the joie de livre (joy of books) been captured so well. My own study, where I write, bears an uncanny resemblance to some of the pictures in the text. David Smallâ€™s watercolors perfectly capture the library as it grows. He also moves a series of cats across that landscape, a detail that delights children. One of those great picture book texts with a pleasing beginning, middle, and end, The Library allows all of us who love books to acknowledge that we have a kindred spirit in Elizabeth Brown.
So whether you use David Wiesnerâ€™s Tuesday, on the first Tuesday of school, or Jim Marshallâ€™s Miss Nelson Is Missing!, or The Library, I hope you get the school year off to a good start by letting your students, or your children, know that they are going to find a lot of books that they will love this year. Just like Elizabeth Brown.
Enough of this writingâ€”I need to go read a book!
Hereâ€™s a page from The Library:
Originally posted September 7, 2011. Updated for .