This historic Inauguration Day has inspired me to gather up a few of the best children’s books on American history. Check them out (the library’s open today) and share them with your family while you watch the festivities on television.
Which book will win the prestigious Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book of the year? Join librarians and other interested folks at the Headquarters Library downtown to discuss five of the contenders. Our library’s Mock Awards program, a discussion of books eligible for the American Library Association’s Caldecott and Newbery Awards, runs from 3:00-5:00 in the library theater, and all are welcome.
The spirit of the season shines through several beautifully illustrated picture books. Stephen Krensky’s Hanukkah at Valley Forge retells the story of a documented encounter between George Washington and a Jewish soldier during the harrowing winter of 1777. Washington notices a man lighting a candle and praying in his tent and stops to ask what he’s doing. As the soldier explains the meaning of Hanukkah, the general sees the parallel between the Jews battling the Maccabees and the Americans battling the British. The story is fluidly told, while Greg Harlin’s luminous watercolors offer quietly dramatic portraits bathed in candlelight.