Celebrating Children's Book Week's 100th Anniversary

As part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Children's Book Week, the Library of Congress sponsored a "Read Now—Read Forever" event featuring classic—and lesser known—historic children's books from the General and Rare Book Collections. All selections were published before the celebration of the first Children's Book Week more than a century ago. Sasha Dowdy, program specialist at the Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress, invited children's book authors and illustrators from the Washington, DC, Children's Book Guild to read.

The livestream is here: Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress, introduces the event.

My selection was "The Rocket Book" by Peter Newell, published in 1912. What happens when a rocket crashes through every floor of a 21-story apartment building surprising tenants at opportune (and inopportune) moments? Catsup explodes, wigs fall off, burglars escape, hair (what's left of it) stands on end. To listen go to 4:24.

Carolyn Bennett, teacher-in-residence at the Library of Congress, provides an enchanting musical interlude—singing a selection from "Our Old Nursery Rhymes," original tunes harmonized by Alfred Moffat in 1911. Go to 4:14:09 of the livestream.