Public Library of Catasauqua: Musing on the power of children’s books
In hoping that we are all enjoying the change of seasons and that we got past April Fools’ Day unscathed, I’d like to focus on a little-known — but to a librarian, very important — holiday known as International Children’s Book Day, celebrated April 2 each year.
Danish author and beloved writer of fairy tales, Hans Christian Anderson was born April 2, 1805.
Anderson’s tales are examples of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity. While to many, the name Hans Christian Anderson is synonymous with fairy tales, it is important to remember that Anderson’s tales can be edgy and even scary.
It is believed by some child development professionals that fairy tales give children the opportunity to conquer their fears vicariously in order to mature into well-adjusted adults. They do so because, in fairy tales, children are often depicted as problem solvers and even heroes. Most of us remember the lessons of “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
Fairy tales are a safe place for children to work out the complexities of personality and character development. They are timeless stories.
Anderson’s works have inspired ballets, plays and films, both animated and live-action. While International Children’s Book Day honors Anderson, the day is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books in general.
I invite all of you who have children in your lives to visit our children’s room and to browse our children’s book collections, especially section 398.2, the Dewey call number for fairy tales.
In closing, April brings the solemnities of Passover, Palm Sunday and Good Friday, followed by the joy of Easter Sunday. All of us at the Public Library of Catasauqua, trustees and staff, wish all of you the blessings of this season.
In celebration of International Children’s Book Day, the library has purchased the following titles from the Penworthy Company, a children’s books publisher for ages prekindergarten to fifth grade: “Curious George Discovers Plants,” H.A. Rey; “Curious George Discovers the Seasons,” H.A. Rey; “Curious George Harvest Hoedown,” H.A. Rey; “Dino Park,” Lauren Forte; “Library Day,” Anne and Lizzy Rockwell; “Mr. Moon Wakes Up,” Jemima Sharpe; “Real Life Heroes,” James Buckley Jr.; “Rocket Science,” Deborah Lock; “Spiders and Other Deadly Animals,” James Buckley Jr.; “The Story of Coding,” James Floyd Kelly; “Wendy Saves the Day,” Elizabeth Milton; “Women Who Launched the Computer Age,” Laurie Calkhoven and Alyssa Petersen
A patron also donated 64 volumes of Nancy Drew mysteries by Carolyn Keene.
Adult fiction: “The Big Kahuna,” Janet and Peter Evanovich; “The Night Window,” Dean Koontz; “The 18th Seduction,” James Peterson and Maxine Paetro; “The Fall of Crazy House,” James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet; “Blessing in Disguise,” Danielle Steel
Nonfiction: “The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West,” David McCullough; “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View,’” Ramin Setoodeh; “First: Sandra Day O’Connor,” Evan Thomas
Juvenile fiction: “Training Camp (The Wizenard Series #1),” Wesley King