Staff Picks: Enjoying Children’s Literature
All of us who are readers have favorite children’s books – either that we remember fondly from our own childhood or discovered through our children. As you’ll see, the ladies who work in library administration are no different.
My son and I read Math Curse by Jon Scieszka together many times when he was young. It is an amusing story of how anything can be thought of as a math problem. The main character in this book winds up having a lot of anxiety over this thought. It made math less scary and even a little amusing. I still attribute this to my son’s love of math today.
∼Kim, Accounting Clerk, Warrenton central library
I came by the children’s book The Big House by Carolyn Coman late in life but enjoyed it just the same. When their parents are sent “up the river” for embezzlement, Ray and Ivy are left to live in the lap of luxury with Marietta Noland and her ancient husband, Lionel. But life at the big house is not all it is cracked up to be. What follows is a hilarious lark as Ray and Ivy, chips off the old block, case the joint, get the skinny, and show Marietta she has met her match. Part Crime and Punishment, part “The Sting,” “The Big House” is a delightful romp for young and old alike.
∼Maria, Director, Warrenton central library
I really enjoy reading non-fiction, and as I looked back to the books I loved as a child, I discovered that has always been the case. Two of books that come to mind from my childhood were loaned to me by my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Smith. They were a book of Greek myths and a book of stories from Shakespeare’s plays – Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths and Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare. I devoured them!
When as I was going through elementary school in the 1970’s, open classrooms, classroom mailboxes for students and teachers, and the freedom to pick up a bathroom pass and leave the room whenever we wanted (and yes, our student teacher did the two latter under Mr. Smith’s careful gaze) were in vogue. Mr. Smith was an “old-school” teacher who really didn’t care for some of those new ways, but he recognized that I was a reader and guided me toward two classic works that fed my interests. I owe him – and a lot of other truly wonderful teachers – a debt of gratitude for guiding me to some really awesome books. Years later I rediscovered these books when I was working as a library page shelving books and enjoyed them again!
∼Dawn, Public Services Manager, Warrenton central library