Much too excited about my next display project, I wasn’t able to sleep in any longer this morning–so I decided to blog about it! Last week, a colleague from Youth Services emailed my supervisor with a great idea to put up a display in the adult area featuring children’s books that adults love, and I volunteered to put it up in January. And how appreciative I am of her suggestion, because I was having a little bit of trouble thinking outside of the “January is National [insert random noun] Month!” box for next month’s display. As a lay in bed, futilely trying to fall back to sleep, I started thinking about a clever title and imagining the sign and props. Now, I won’t go in to great detail, but I’m thinking big–like, The Very Hungry Caterpillar or Where the Wild Things Are big! Reflecting back on my undergrad years again and a bulletin board display one of my classmates made for a children’s literature course, I may borrow her idea and even pull out some papier-mâché if I find the time and resources to do so! As for the books that will be featured on the display, I’m hoping my YS colleague, who volunteered to put together the list, will include some of my favorites:
This first title I love and adore so much, I decided to have the cover illustration tattooed on my arm! I was in college when I first read Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince, and I can’t think of a better time to have read it. The story is about a disenchanted pilot who has an enlightening encounter with a little prince after his plane crashes, leaving him stranded in the Sahara. On a journey to experience the universe, the little prince comes to Earth from a tiny, far away planet. On the verge of becoming a full-fledged adult, I learned from this book the value of holding on to a childlike imagination and appreciation of the world. I related well to the journeys of both the pilot and the the prince, and appreciated the several lessons like one the prince learns from a fox while traveling the universe: “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” Every time someone notices the tattoo on my forearm, I always take the opportunity to tell them about this great read!
I’ve thought about getting a tattoo inspired by this next title too. This book brought to my attention that there can be two types of people in the world: those who give and those who take. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, which chronicles the relationship between a boy and a tree, has been considered by some to be controversial because of its depiction of a compulsive giver and a predatory taker. As the boy grows, the tree is constantly providing for him branches to swing on, shade to sit in and fruit from its branches. Though the story has caused me to reflect on how much I have given or taken in some of my relationships, I do think that may be taking it a little too far. The unconditional, self-sacrificing love the tree has for the boy, which continues into his adulthood and elderly years, has always inspired me to be better in my own interactions with the people around me, whether I’m giving (gifting) or taking (receiving), and I don’t think that’s a bad lesson to learn.
This last title is often given as a graduation present, and I’ve even witnessed it being read at a wedding. “Will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed. (98 3/4% guaranteed.)” Filled with encouragement and sound advice, Dr. Seuss’s Oh the Places You’ll Go! is perfect for anyone who’s about to take their next big step in life’s journey. The narrator relates the decisions and paths of an unnamed protagonist, generally understood to represent the reader, as he travels through colorful, geometrical landscapes. All throughout the book, the narrator offers such adages as “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” and “Things may happen and often do to people as brainy and footsy as you.” I received the book myself after graduating from high school, and I’ve treasured it since.
There are many other children’s titles that I enjoy, and I’m sure many feel the same way, so I’m pretty sure this display’s going to be popular. Now that I’ve got it all planned out, part of me can’t wait for the next three weeks to be over so I can start working on it!