By Jan Pease
Children are curious. They ask questions. A few weeks ago a little girl asked me about the “crack” in my chest: the scar from heart valve surgery in 2010. Sometimes it’s difficult to know how to answer those innocent questions. I just said that it was from when my doctor fixed my heart. She didn’t need to hear about wired ribs and tubes being pulled out!
Child’s World has just published a set of books that show children and adults coping with daily life while dealing with issues like autism, arthritis, diabetes, spina bifida, cancer, food allergies, and other difficulties. Jeanne Marie Ford, who writes for television and teaches college English, wrotethese books, which are brightly illustrated and give just enough information.
As I look back at our summer, I remember instances dealing with young people that turned into confrontation, basically problems respecting library staff, the library building, and other library patrons. A new nonfiction series from Child’s World, “Respect,” was written by T.M. Merk, an elementary educator. This series, with titles like “Being Bella,” and “Journey to Joy’s House,” looks at topics such as respecting authority, respecting property, and respecting yourself.
I finally have a drawing book at my level! We purchased several books in a new drawing series by Susan Kesselring, “Five Steps to Drawing …” The pictures are broken down into five steps; steps one through four establish the outline, and step five is always to add color. You basically copy each step and see what happens. I managed to draw a lion using the ideas from “Five Steps to Drawing Zoo Animals.” My lion is smiling and doesn’t look like a penguin, so it must be successful. I think the most popular item in the series will be the book about drawing “Machines at Work.”
When I started working here in 1991 (insert surprised emoji) I remember that our juvenile nonfiction was dated and not very attractive. Illustrations were often black and white. A lot of books sat on the shelf for years without being checked out. Our juvenile nonfiction today is attractive, up to date, and books seem to fly off the shelves. Many children get impatient with fiction and like to learn about real places, people, and animals. Many books now include information for further reading. Websites are suggested for further exploration and full-color photographs are now the norm. It’s a good time to be alive and reading!