All the talk in the press and the news recently has concentrated on New York Public Library’s current children’s literary exhibit The ABC of It, as curated by Leonard Marcus. It is, justifiably, remarkable. But exit the exhibit and you’ll find that it’s not the only children’s literary piece going on in the library at this time.
When you leave the exhibit and look to your immediate left you’ll see the bookstore. And should you choose to not to enter but, instead, to walk around it, you’ll find a window display to beat all window displays. A window display for the ages. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the The Best Books on Writing, NYC, Animals and More. The “more” refers to “Timeless Treats for Young Readers”.
Created by Brain Pickings author Maria Popova, the exhibit was created after NYPL asked Maria to curate a selection of books for the bookstore. Maria chose the books. Then she collaborated with artist Kelli Anderson to make the book jackets come to life. In the end, Kelli decided to turn a number of book covers into 3-D paper sculptures that pop out at the viewer as you look at them.
I think what struck me about the exhibit the most was the choice of children’s books included. Because as much as I love Blexbolex, I don’t often see his book prominently displayed (or even remembered half the time). Yet there he is, alongside a ton of other heavyweights. Here’s a quick glimpse of some of the inclusions:
All became much clearer to me when I headed over to Brain Pickings and looked at their list of The best children’s books of 2012. Maria is massively fond of the more artsy and artistic children’s books out there and it shows. At the same time, though, she pays tribute to classic artists like the Provensens and the more recent titles like And Tango Makes Three.
To hear about the project from Maria’s point of view go here.
To hear about the project from Kelli’s point of view go here. Both posts include videos of the exhibit as well.