In my last posting I mentioned the work of Anita Silvey and recommended her resources for those “stories behind the stories” of great children’s books. You can read that posting here. Just a few weeks ago, Anita began publishing a blog entitled “Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac. In my humble opinion, Anita’s almanac will become the children’s literary counterpart to The Writer’s Almanac of Garrison Keillor. This blog will introduce readers to countless classic as well as contemporary books that, as Anita notes, are on their way to becoming classics. And just like The Writer’s Almanac, the book postings will be connected to important historic milestones, author’s birthdays, or other events related to the history of children’s literature.
On that note, today, November 19th, is the anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address of 1863. To honor Lincoln, Anita kindly posted the story of our reissue of Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire. You can read her lovely post here. If you’ve been touched by this book, post a comment on Anita’s site and tell her how this book has enlarged, enhanced or impacted your view of America’s 16th President.
As Anita notes, Ingri D’Aulaire’s family was living under Nazi occupation in Norway at the time she and Edgar were working on their biography of Lincoln’s life. As European immigrants in America, the character of Lincoln so captured their imagination, that they saw in him and his remarkable story an antidote to the madness and insanity of Hitler‘s rise in Europe. That was a key reason they were so drawn to his story at this tumultuous and trying time in history. An in an ironic twist, the very day the D’Aulaire’s received the Caldecott Medal for this book, the famous Dunkirk evacuation was taking place. So today, the anniversary of one of the world’s greatest speeches, pick up your copy of this remarkable book and remember the man behind the legend. Happy reading!