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Monday, May 20, 2013

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise, written by Jan Pinborough and illustrated by Debby Atwell. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Thomas Allen & Son. 2013. $19.99 ages 6 and up

"Some libraries were beginning to let children come inside, but Annie's library had something brand new - a library room planned just for children. Children could come and take books off the shelves. And in the evenings Annie read aloud to them - just as her father had read to her."

Even retired teacher librarians love to read books about those who paved the way for others to follow! This picture biography about Anne Carroll Moore, an early advocate for children and their reading allows readers to see the many real accomplishments that are attributed to her during her ninety years. She was an innovator at a time when there seemed to be no real concern for the needs of children in terms of library services. 

Miss Moore believed that children had the right, and the need, to touch the books that were written for them. She also felt that it was their right to borrow them and to enjoy them in the comfort of their own homes. These beliefs eventually led to her position as head of children's services at the New York Public Library. There, she continued to work her magic. 

The author uses sincere and coherent language to share Miss Moore's story. She was educated at the Pratt Institute and got her first job the children's room. Her path was always clear:

"She saw that many librarians did not let children touch the books, for fear that they would smudge their pages or break their spines. They thought if children were allowed to take books home, they would surely forget to bring them back. But Miss Moore thought otherwise."

She encouraged her librarians to talk with children and to listen to their stories, and then to share their own. Her legacy lingers today in every children's room in every library where children are welcomed and encouraged to borrow books, to talk about them, to hear real authors and illustrators share their work and their book lives.

Debby Atwell’s acrylic artwork gives readers a sense of the excitement garnered and the changes that were made by Anne Carroll Moore and those who followed in her footsteps. The bold colors capture the beauty of the children's room and the sense of wonder that found a home within its walls. 

An author's note adds pertinent information and Jan Pinborough adds a good listing of other books that aspiring librarians might find worthy of their attention. Miss Moore not only thought otherwise, she knew better. Thanks to her, we do, too!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I have to read this one! And there are now about a dozen picture books I want to buy for my library when I really should be buying nonfiction on appropriate lexile levels for grades 6-8...