Monday, April 11, 2011

The old in with the new

For the past week or so, I've been organizing a local preschool's library. The books are obviously replenished fairly often, and there a plenty of recent titles. (Every picture book library needs a Knuffle Bunny.) But many of the books - not just the titles, but the physical copies - are much older. There are Eric Carle books so old-school that I'd never seen them (My Apron, anyone?) and was compelled to declare them salvageable even if their condition was, well, loosely so.

Curiosity always leads me to check the publication dates on the books I read, and I think that's been true since about third grade, but when I try to check as I read to kids, the kids don't get it. Thinking back, I realize I had no clue how old the Ramona books were, or Goodnight Moon, or The Cat in the Hat.

Just look at those '80s haircuts on the cover of this book, which is found in the library. Think the preschoolers care?


  1. I volunteered at one program where a little girl (maybe 5?) got really into checking publication dates and finding which book was the oldest.

  2. @Johanna, that's awesome. Maybe I'll try to get kids into it the next time I just have to know a book's pub date.

  3. I think you'd get a kick out of the Cotsen Children's Library at Princeton. Now they have old books (and games and tiny little globes and who knows what else).

  4. @Nicole, I'm sure I would! And yes, I realize my work with brand-new children's books gives me a skewed perspective on what constitutes "old."