A guide to art in NYC, with families in mind.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer reading, Summer magic at The New York Public Library

A mother and daughter reading from Faith Ringgold's story quilt
"Tar Beach",on view now at the New York Public Library.
Some of my favorite memories of summer are of visiting my local library with my siblings. We each got to pick out a stack of books for summer reading.  The quiet cool of the library was the perfect counterpart to  the endless heat and, crazy playground games that also filled our days.   While many New Yorkers leave the city for summer homes in August, many others stay and call the city their own.  Less crowded side walks, playgrounds, museum and libraries make for a more enjoyable time all around.  So now is the time to  plan a visit to the New York Public library's Fifth Avenue branch and enjoy the

exhibition " The ABC of it: Why Children's Books Matter."  This exhibition is curated with children of all ages in mind.   Little children can hurry through a small passageway and feel  like  Alice of "Alice and Wonderland"  might have while chasing the white rabbit.  A parent  and child can read "Good Night Moon" in a magical space that looks as if was right out of the book.   Funny things happen like watching a wall sculpture of Alice, start to  stretch and stretch to the ceiling.  Walls suddenly get furry as Max would have seen and felt his monsters to be in  "Where the Wild things Are."   The surprises are go on and on. See a parrot handled umbrella that looks like the one Mary Poppins would have carried and find out that it belonged to the books author, P.L. Travers.  An incredible story quilt made by Faith Ringgold entitled by the same as her Caldecott Honor Book "Tar Beach," The quilt tells of African American leaders and their commitment to literacy throughout history.
Book after book and  item after item is so pleasingly displayed that you and your family will find it easy to absorb all the information put before you.  Even your teens will  feel included as there is a section devoted to books and comic books that have been read under the covers after "lights -out!", for generations.   The exhibit is up until March 23rd 2014,  and thankfully so, as you'll want to keep bringing friends.  
The New York Public Library  Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Gottesman Exhibition Hall Fifth Ave at 42nd street