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100 Years of Children's Book Week Posters

Review

100 Years of Children's Book Week Posters

When I pulled 100 YEARS OF CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK POSTERS from its package I was smitten. First I couldn’t stop flipping through the pages to study the posters. It was an amazing visual journey through history and art styles. The artists captured the essence of the social fabric of the time the poster came out. For example, the fonts, colors and art from World War II posters are war like in tones and the posters from the 1970s reflected a lighter time featuring brighter colors and animals.

"100 YEARS OF CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK POSTERS will appeal to the young and old, to history buffs and art enthusiasts to book lovers and everyone in between."

The Children’s Book week began in 1919 with a national push to promote literacy and reading. Soon a grassroots movement gained momentum as local communities joined in the cause. The first poster by Jessie Willcox Smith, a famous woman illustrator, encouraged bringing more books into the home and making reading more accessible. Many felt that reading was a hallmark of a thoughtful society. As the literacy program grew so did libraries featuring children’s reading rooms and children’s publishing became a growing trend in the U.S. Each Children’s Book Week poster was accompanied by a brief overview of the illustrator’s career and books, as well as a brief look at history of that time period.

This book sparked lively conversation about books. My family and friends spent many hours reminiscing about our favorite childhood books and what books captivated us. We all enjoyed looking at the posters and immediately recognized illustrators’ artistic style. I saw posters from illustrators of popular books that my parents read to me and that I read to my children. Of course, I turned to the year I was born to see what illustrator and poster came out that year. It didn’t let me down --- so sixties. 100 YEARS OF CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK POSTERS will appeal to the young and old, to history buffs and art enthusiasts to book lovers and everyone in between.

Leonard S. Marcus is a renowned historian, author and critic of children’s books. He is an award-winning author of MARGARET WISE BROWN: Awakened by the Moon, DEAR GENIUS: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom and SHOW ME A STORY! Why Picture Books Matter. Currently he teaches at New York University and the School of Visual Arts. To learn more about him, visit leonardmarcus.com or @leonardsmarcus.

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell on March 20, 2019

100 Years of Children's Book Week Posters
by Leonard S. Marcus

  • Publication Date: March 5, 2019
  • Genres: Art, Children's, Children's 10+
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 052564508X
  • ISBN-13: 9780525645085