Coda: From the Kerlan, A Few More Words from Lisa Von Drasek

Archives boxes at the University of Minnesota Lisa Von Drasek

When I first entered The ABC of It at The New York Public Library, I was wonderstruck. The phrase that came to mind was "we stand on the shoulders of giants." First as a bookseller, then as a publishing assistant, then as a public librarian, a school librarian, an instructor of teachers, and now the curator of the Children's Literature Research Collections, I have had a lifetime exploring children's books. I have read widely about children's books and story. I could fill these pages with the names of those who have mentored me in how to read, see, and critically think about children's books and their creators.

Yet it was The ABC of It, an adventure park experience of children's literature, that placed all that I knew in fresh context: the Why. Why these volumes, these stories, these creators all mattered in my education, my teaching, and my living. Many who read this volume might not know two important facts about the Archives and Special Collections of the University of Minnesota Libraries. First, the majority of the materials held in the Children's Literature Research Collections are generously donated by the writers and artists for research and education. Second, the University of Minnesota is an open access institution that welcomes all visitors to our collections.

This coda contains a small selection of contemporary works from the Kerlan Collection that continue to express themes of The ABC of It. Children's literature is an art form that educates, entertains, challenges, and inspires.

-Lisa Von Drasek, Curator

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Red Rubber Boot Day by  Mary Lynn Ray cover, a child splashing in a large puddle

Red Rubber Boot Day

Written by Mary Lynn Ray

Illustrated by Lauren Stringer


A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams cover, a young girl standing outside a diner

A Chair For My Mother

Written and illustrated by Vera B. Williams


I Stink by Kate McMullan cover, a garbage truck with a smiling face

I Stink

Written by Kate McMullan

Illustrated by Jim McMullan


Hands by Lois Ehlert cover, a work glove with text on it


Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert


Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert cover, a collage of a butterfly with flowers

Waiting For Wings

Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert


Dance by Bill T Jones cover, a man dancing against a white background


Written by Bill T. Jones and Susan Kuklin

Illustrated by Susan Kuklin


José Born to Dance by Susanna Reich cover, a man in a dancing pose against a blank background

José! Born to Dance

Written by Susanna Reich

Illustrated by Raúl Colón


Dark Day, Light Night by Jan Carr cover, a woman and girl sitting on a bed

Dark Day, Light Night

Written by Jan Carr

Illustrated by James Ransome


These Hands by Margaret H. Mason cover, a man and a young boy tying shoes

These Hands

Written by Margaret H. Mason

Illustrated by Floyd Cooper


Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish cover, a woman in a blue overcoat standing in an open doorway

Amelia Bedelia

Written by Peggy Parish

Illustrated by Fritz Seibel


Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows cover, two young girls standing back to back

Ivy and Bean

Written by Annie Barrows

Illustrated by Sophie Blackall


The Stupids Die by Harry Allard cover, a man, a woman, two children  posing for a family portrait

The Stupids Die

Written by Harry Allard

Illustrated by James Marshall


Bad Kitty Meets the Baby by Nick Bruel cover, a black cat watching a baby crawl

Bad Kitty Meets the Baby

Written and illustrated by Nick Bruel


What the Heart Knows by Joyce Sidman cover, a collage of a human figure

What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings

Written by Joyce Sidman

Illustrated by Pamela Zagarensk


Before Morning by Joyce Sidman cover, a child sleeping in bed viewed from outside a window

Before Morning

Written by Joyce Sidman

Illustrated by Beth Krommes


Antler Bear Canoe Cover

Antler, Bear, Canoe: A Northwoods Alphabet Year

Written and illustrated by Betsy Bowen


Fabulous Fair Alphabet  by Debra Frasier cover, a ferris wheel full of alphabet letters

A Fabulous Fair Alphabet

Written and illustrated by Debra Frasier


Coda: From the Kerlan, A Few More Words from Lisa Von Drasek