Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children

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Overview

Once upon a time, American children couldn’t borrow library books. Reading wasn’t all that important for children, many thought. Luckily Miss Anne Carroll Moore thought otherwise! This is the true story of how Miss Moore created the first children’s room at the New York Public Library, a bright, warm room filled with artwork, window seats, and most important of all, borrowing privileges to the world’s best children’s books in many different languages.

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Overview

Once upon a time, American children couldn’t borrow library books. Reading wasn’t all that important for children, many thought. Luckily Miss Anne Carroll Moore thought otherwise! This is the true story of how Miss Moore created the first children’s room at the New York Public Library, a bright, warm room filled with artwork, window seats, and most important of all, borrowing privileges to the world’s best children’s books in many different languages.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Pamela Paul
Debby Atwell's bright acrylics shine on the pages of this cheerful story, told with palpable giddy celebration. No library-loving child will want to pass this one up.
Publishers Weekly
Pinborough debuts with a biography of children’s advocate and librarian Moore (1871–1961), celebrated for her pioneering work in making libraries and library services accessible to (and fun for) kids. The author has selected highlights from Moore’s life—her belief in letting children touch and borrow books, her ascent to the head of children’s services for the New York Public Library—and streamlined them into a concise, breezy chronology. Atwell’s folk-art style acrylics capture a sense of history in the making, as well as the book’s themes of excitement and change. Information on Moore and other trailblazing librarians is included in endnotes. Ages 6–9. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"This makes an ideal addition to women's history units."
Booklist

"A must for school and public libraries and those who love them."
Kirkus

"[An] easygoing picture-book biography."
Horn Book

"A concise, breezy chronology. Atwell's folk-art style acrylics capture a sense of history in the making, as well as the book's themes of excitement and change."
Publishers Weekly

"Atwell's cheery, doll-like figures and joyful colors are a good match for the woman who insisted that children's library space should be vibrant and stimulating."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Pioneering children's librarian Anne Carroll Moore, who reigned over all thirty-six branches of the New York Public Library for decades and helped give birth to the field of children's librarianship, is the subject of this delightful picture book biography by the inspired pairing of debut author Jan Pinborough and folk artist Debby Atwell. In graceful, engaging prose, Pinborough shows how "Annie Carroll Moore" challenged received wisdom about everything from proper activities for well-bred little girls to career options for young women to the question of whether careless children should be allowed to touch precious library books. On every count, confronted with the pieties of the day, "Miss Moore thought otherwise." Atwell's vibrant paintings recreate a golden-hued New York City at the turn of the last century and invite readers into the light-filled, book-filled, cozy children's rooms that Moore envisioned. A closing author's note puts Moore's achievements in context, giving appropriate credit to other groundbreaking children's librarians of the period—"Anne Carroll Moore did not singlehandedly create the children's library"—and provides a helpful list of sources. Children who love to spend time in libraries—thanks to the lasting legacy of Anne Carroll Moore—should love to spend time in the welcoming pages of this beautiful book. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–4—From early childhood, Moore had "ideas of her own" and "preferred taking wild toboggan rides" to staying indoors and doing the quiet things expected of girls in the 1870s. Pinborough's introduction to the pioneering librarian's Maine upbringing quickly identifies her independent thinking and strong opinions for which she was known. This picture-book account then focuses on her role in designing the famous children's room during construction of New York City's historic central library, her activities in developing services there, and her influence on the promotion of children's books and the wider field of children's library services. Readers learn that some libraries had become more welcoming to children in the late 19th and early 20th centuries though many were still inhospitable to them. The enthusiastic narrative makes it seem that Moore was a singular force in developing special rooms for children. "In big cities and small towns across America, more and more libraries began to copy Miss Moore's Central Children's Room. So did libraries in England, France, Belgium, Sweden, Russia, India and Japan." A concluding author's note does explain that other librarians were actually forerunners of Moore. Atwell's sunny, naive paintings and vignettes vary nicely in layout with many filling the page and a few set in frames or sweeping in circular lines. The flat figures in cheerful countryside, city, and library settings convey a long-ago time. The text is wooden at times but competent in telling its story. As a lesson in library history it will be most interesting to adults, who may also find enjoyable items in the bibliography of adult sources. It might also find readers among children who enjoy reading about earlier times —Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
Any library school student or librarian who doesn't know the name of Anne Carroll Moore is greatly remiss; this book will set them right. "Miss Moore" was the primary force in establishing library service for children in 1906 at the New York Public Library. And a force she was. Beginning with her childhood, the story relays how her strong-willed nature and independence led her to challenge the societal taboos of the times and demand the rights of children to books and library services. To counter the argument that children would damage or forget to return books, she instituted a pledge for children to sign: "When I write my name in this book I promise to take good care of the book I use at home and in the library and to obey the rules of the library." Pinborough's affectionate portrait paints her hero as larger than life, an indomitable promoter of books and reading, and an inspiration for improved library service to children around the world. Atwell's acrylic illustrations have a folk-art look, befitting the time period and conveying the spirit of this doyenne. The image of Miss Moore taking down a giant "SILENCE" sign in the children's room speaks volumes. A must for school and public libraries and those who love them. (author's note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547471051
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 150,022
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: AD1060L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Pinborough is the managing editor of a children’s magazine called “Friend.” This is her first children’s book. She lives in Utah.

Debby Atwell is a well-known landscape painter and the author and illustrator of River, Barn, and Pearl. Barn earned a starred review from School Library Journal and was named a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year in 1996. Pearl also received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Ms. Atwell lives in Maine.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2013

    Recommended for age 10 and over

    Had purchased for a five year old. She was not interested

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

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