Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Library Lions and Edward Bear: Exploring the New York City Public Library

As I mentioned in my last post, today I'm giving you a little tour of NYCPL's Steven A. Schwarzman Building. Despite the fact that the Rose Main Reading Room was closed for renovation (after a scary plaster collapse in the ceiling a few months back), the New York City Public Library did not disappoint!

All was well with Patience and Fortitude, the Library's majestic sentinels (they have been immortalized in several excellent children's books - go to my post here).

It's been on my "bucket list" for quite a while to meet them.  They were festive, all dressed up with new Christmas garlands...
Fortitude is to the right of the library's wide steps - on north/uptown side

Patience is on the left/south/downtown side of the library's wide front steps

Once inside the library, my husband and I were greeted by a breathtaking Christmas tree!  The entryway and staircases were the backdrop for the final "bowler hat scene" in the film, The Thomas Crown Affair (1999).  The Metropolitan Museum of Art refused permission for their interior be used in the film, so several of the scenes were shot in the NYCPL.

By the way, how many films and television shows do you think have been shot on location at this library?  Go here for the list!

We made our way downstairs to the children's area, and once again came face-to-face with the Library Lions - this time in Lego form!

But the main attraction downstairs for adults and kids alike is a small enclosed glass case, where we came face to face with the original inspiration for A.A. Milne's Pooh books: Christopher Robin's Edward Bear and four of his friends...

The REAL Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga (Roo was lost in an orchard in 1930s), Piglet, and Winnie-thePooh 
Thanks to Milne's American publisher, the stuffed toys ended up in New York.  Go here to see more pictures of these beloved animals on display.  It would be unbearable to lose them, but I do feel kind of bad they're not in England!  You can read my past post "Origins of Winnie-the-Pooh" here.

The Children's Center in the NYCPL is very welcoming - though it doesn't have the intake-of-breath-effect that I experienced at the Los Angeles Central Library Children's Literature Department. But there are lots of fun murals and artwork all around the ceiling, as well as this display of books by native New Yorker Ezra Jack Keats, who created one of my grandson's favorite characters, "Peter" - take time to read about Keats' inspiration for this endearing boy here.

Upward and onward...my husband and I enjoyed roaming the rest of this beautiful institution's public rooms and halls (minus the Rose Main Reading Room, as I mentioned - they wouldn't even let us peek inside)...

Isn't it gorgeous?  You can see more pictures of all the various library rooms here (my camera just couldn't do them justice and I didn't want to bother all the quiet readers).  I could have spent hours in the Local History and Genealogy Room.

Oh, and the library bookstore was fantastic.  So you can shop, if you must!

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