Children’s Book Week Celebration: Afternoon Session

>>Carla Hayden: Hi. I’m Carla Hayden, the
Librarian of Congress, and it is my pleasure to wish
you a very happy Children’s Book Week. This year marks its 100th
anniversary, and the Library of Congress is excited
to join the celebration. We are especially excited
about the 2019 theme, Read Now, Read Forever, because it
looks to the past, present, and the future of
children’s books and our celebration
aims to do the same. Today, the Library of Congress
is launching a new digital collection of Children’s
Book Selections. This new collection is
made up of full color, digitized versions of dozens of specially selected children’s
books from our General and Rare Book Collections. Our hope is that these books
will be enjoyed equally by children, their
parents, and teachers. We’ve organized the collection
into three main categories: Learning to Read, Reading to
Learn, and Reading for Fun. To help us connect
young readers of today with these historic
children’s books, we’ve teamed up with the voices of
contemporary creators of children’s literature. Local authors, who are members
of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C.,
will be reading 20 of these special books
to you right here, from the Young Reader’s Center
in the Jefferson Building of the Library of
Congress starting right now and continuing for
the next few hours. As you listen, do keep in mind
that every one of these stories that we have selected existed when the first Children’s
Book Week was celebrated 100 years ago. So, get comfortable, and
put your listening ears on. Here we go. [ Silence ]>>Katherine Marsh: Hello. My name is Katherine Marsh. I am the author, most
recently, of Nowhere Boy. And today, I’m delighted
to be reading Mother Goose in Hieroglyphics, which
is not quite as old as you’d think, with
hieroglyphics. And so, it was published
in 1855. Mother Goose nursery
rhymes have been enjoyed by children for centuries. One early claim to the author’s
actual identity had the rhyme starting with Dame Goose,
printer Thomas Fleet, Mother-in-law, who
loved to sing songs and tell stories to children. Mr. Fleet supposedly
gathered the rhymes together and printed them in 1792. But no copy of that
work has been found, and that claim has been
discounted, with many others. Mother Goose remains
a fictitious, but no less beloved
character today. This collection of 26 nursery
rhymes was printed in 1855. It is a rebis, inviting
the young reader to interpret the many pictures that replaced nouns
throughout the text. Mother Goose in Hieroglyphics. It is often said that folks
nowadays are a deal wiser than their fathers
and grandfathers; but I don’t think so; for
who has ever written books like Mother Goose,
Mother Hubbard, and Mother What’s-her-name,
that lived a great while ago? And books for children
too, little dears. How many of them owe their
lives to the influence of their soothing
songs and lullabies? The world would not
have been half peopled, had not these old
sages once lived and written their
invaluable books for children. When the doctor sends for physic
for a nervous little chick, make a mistake, and
go to the booksellers and buy Mother Goose
in Hieroglyphics. That’s what is wanted — a pretty book, written with
pictures, as they wrote in Egypt a long while ago,
when folks knew something, about the time when Mother Goose
herself was a little gosling. Yes, buy one of these little
books, and when it is torn up, buy another and another, until
the wee ones are old enough to read Robinson
Crusoe and the like. My word for it, there is nothing
like books with pictures, to keep children quiet. And this is the best
that was ever written, as everybody knows. Mother Goose in Hieroglyphics. Little Jack Horner sat in a
corner eating a Christmas pie. He put in his thumb and pulled
out a plum and said, “Oh, what a great boy am I.” Pussy cat, pussy cat,
where have you been? I’ve been to London,
to see the queen. Pussy cat, pussy cat,
what did you there? I frightened a little mouse
hiding under her chair. Ride a horse to Charing Cross to see a lady jump
on a white horse. With rings on her fingers
and bells on her toes, and she shall have
music wherever she goes. Hush a bye baby,
upon the tree top. When the wind blows,
the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks,
the cradle will fall and down tumble cradle,
baby and all. Hey, diddle, diddle,
the cat and the fiddle. The cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed
to see the sport, and the dish ran
away with the spoon. 1, 2, buckle my shoe. 3, 4, shut the door. 5, 6, pick up sticks. 7, 8, hang the gate. 9, 10, a good fat hen. 11, 12, ring the bell. 13, 14, draw the curtain. 15, 16, go to meeting. 17, 18, to hear the preaching. 19, 20, that’s a plenty. Little Boy Blue,
come blow your horn. The sheep are in the
meadows, the cows in the corn. Is this the way you
mind your sheep, under the haystack, fast asleep? Tom, Tom, the piper’s son,
stole a pig and away he run. The pig was eat,
and Tom was beat, and Tom ran crying
down the street. There was an old woman
who lived in a shoe. She had so many children,
she didn’t know what to do. She gave them some
broth, without any bread. She whipped them all
soundly, and put them to bed. Sing a song of sixpence,
a pocket full of rye. Four and 20 blackbirds,
baked in a pie. When the pie was opened,
the birds began to sing, and wasn’t this a dainty
dish to set before the king? The king was in the parlor,
counting out his money. The queen was in the kitchen,
eating bread and honey. The maid was in the garden,
hanging out the clothes. There along came
a little blackbird and nipped off her nose. Baa, baa, black sheep,
have you any wool? Yes, Marry, have
I, three bags full. One for my master,
and one for my dame. And one for the little boy
that lives in the lane. So I want to thank you for
joining me today, and I wanted to say a brief word about
Children’s Book Week, which I feel so fortunate
to celebrate here, at the Young Reader’s Center
of the Library of Congress. This year, the Center is
celebrating enduring children’s books, as well as new ones. And when I write books for
children, I want to make sure that I’m writing for
the children of today and also the children
of tomorrow. And I think all children’s
book writers hope that their books will live
on in the hearts of children and in the hearts of grown-ups, who have children always inside
them, their childhood selves. So, thank you very much
for joining me today. [ Silence ]>>Shadra Strickland:
Shadra Strickland. Today, I’ll be reading to you Kate Greenaway’s
A Apple Pie book. Kate Greenaway’s ABC book
teaches the alphabet, as she tells the story
of eating an apple pie. Her illustrations here,
of happy, well-fed, and scrubbed clean
children, are good examples of idealization of childhood. A Apple Pie, by Kate Greenaway. A Apple Pie. B Bit it. C Cut it. D Dealt it. E Eat it. F Fought for it. G Got it. H Had it. J Jumped for it. K Knelt for it. L Longed for it. M Mourned for it. N Nodded for it. O Opened it. P Peeped in it. Q Quartered it. R Ran for it. S Sang for it. T Took it. U, V, W, X, Y, and Z, All had a
large slice and went off to bed. The End. Now, if I were
illustrating this book, we wouldn’t have any fighting. There would also be a
party, at some point, where everyone gets
to share the pie. I hope you enjoyed
today’s reading of Kate Greenaway’s A Apple Pie. Once again, I’m Shadra
Strickland. Thank you very much. [ Silence ]>>Debbie Levy: Hello. My name is Debbie Levy. I’m the author of 25 books
for young people, including, I Dissent: Ruth Bader
Ginsburg Makes Her Mark. And my latest book,
This Promise of Change, with co-author Jo Ann Boyce, cover art by the
superb Ekua Holmes. Today I will be reading
Humpty-Dumpty, by W.W. Denslow,
published in 1903. W.W. Denslow, most famous
for his illustrations of the Wonderful Wizard
of Oz by L. Frank Baum, writes and illustrates this book
about the son of Humpty-Dumpty, who frets over his
fragile state and wants to avoid his father’s fate. He takes the advice of a wise
hen, asks the farmer’s wife for help, and turns
his future into one of resilience and fearlessness. Without further ado,
Denslow’s Humpty-Dumpty. Humpty-Dumpty as a
smooth, round little chap, with a winning smile
and a great golden heart in this broad breast. Only one thing troubled Humpty,
and that was that he might fall and crack his thin, white skin. He wished to be hard,
all the way through, for he felt his heart wobble
when he walked or ran about, so off he went to he
Black Hen for advice. This Hen was kind and wise,
so we was just the one for him to go to with his trouble. “Your father, Old Humpty,”
said the Hen, “was very foolish and would take warning
from on one. You know what the poet said
of him: Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty-Dumpty
had a great fall; All the king’s horses and all
the king’s men cannot put Humpty together again. So, you see he came
to a very bad end, just because he was reckless, and would not take
a hint from any one. He was much worse
than a scrambled egg. The king, his horses and his men
did all they could do for him, but his case was
hopeless,” said the Hen, and shook her head sadly. “What you must do,” continued
the Hen, as she wiped a tear from her bright blue eye, “is
to go to the Farmer’s Wife, next door and tell
her to put you in a pot of boiling hot water. Your skin is so hard and
smooth, it will not hurt you, and when you come out,
you may do as you wish, nothing can break you. You can tumble about
to your heart’s content and you will not break,
nor even dent yourself.” So Humpty rolled in next door,
and told the Farmer’s Wife that he wanted to be
put in boiling hot water as he was too brittle
to be of any use to himself or to anyone else. “Indeed you shall,” said the
Farmer’s Wife, “what is more, I shall wrap you up in a
piece of spotted calico, so that you will have
a nice-colored dress. You will come out looking
as bright as an Easter egg.” So, she tied him up in a
gay new rag, and dropped him into the copper kettle
of boiling water that was on the hearth. It was pretty hot for Humpty
at first, but he soon got used to it and was happy, for he
felt himself getting harder every minute. He did not have to
stay in the water long, before he was quite
well done and as hard as a brick, all the way through. So, untying the rag, he dropped
out of the kettle as tough and as bright as
any hard-boiled egg. The calico had marked him
from head to foot with big, bright red spots, and he
was gaudy as a circus clown and as nimble and merry as one. The Farmer’s Wife shook with
laughter to see the pranks of the little fellow, for
he frolicked and frisked about from table to
chair, and mantlepiece. He would fall from the
shelf to the floor, just to show how hard he was. And after thanking the
good woman politely for the service she
had done him, he walked out into the
sunshine, on the clothes line, like a rope dancer, to
see the wide, wide world. Of the travels of Humpty-Dumpty
much could be said. He went East, West,
North, and South. He sailed the seas. He walked and rode on the
land through all the countries of the earth, and all his life
long, he was happy and content. Sometimes, as a clown
in a circus, he would make fun
for old and young. Again, as a wandering
musician, he twanged the strings of his banjo and
sung a merry song, and so on through
all his travels, he would lighten
the cares of others and make them forget
their sorrows, and fill every heart with joy. But wherever he went,
in sunshine or rain, he never forgot to
sing the praises of the wise Blank Hen nor
the good, kind Farmer’s Wife, who had started him in life,
hardened against sorrow, with a big heart in the
right place, for the cheer and comfort of others. I hope you liked this surprising and perhaps a little odd
version of Humpty-Dumpty. I did. You never know what
you’ll find in a book. I’m enjoying being here
at the Library of Congress for Children’s Book Week. The theme for this 100th
anniversary is Read Now, Read Forever, which I love. Why do I love this theme? Because reading and books
are things that we have for our entire lives, forever. We may change schools, we
may change where we live, we may change our favorite
foods, we may change our minds, but once we’re reading,
we’ve got that forever and that doesn’t
ever have to change. Again, I’m Debbie Levy, and I
hope you enjoyed Humpty-Dumpty. [ Silence ]>>Leslie Long: I’m Leslie Long,
and I’m going to read The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle
by Beatrix Potter. Beatrix Potter had a lot
of little animal friends that she liked to draw pictures
of and write stories about. And one of them was her little
pet hedgehog, Ms. Tiggy-winkle. My friend here is a hedgehog. Right? And he’s soft, but real
hedgehogs are kind of prickly, so they can avoid being
some bigger animal’s lunch. In the story, there’s a
little girl named Lucy and she’s wearing a pinafore. She calls it her pinny. That was a kind of a little
apron, sort of a smock thing, that little girls wore
over their dresses to keep them clean,
when they glade. There’s also a stile, and
a stile is a set of steps on either side of a stone fence
or a wall, so that it’s easy to get from one side
to the other. Let’s read. The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle,
and we’ll see a picture of this stile and the
picture of Lucie in her pinny. Once upon a time, there was
a little girl named Lucie, who lived at a farm
called Little-town. She was a good little girl — only she was always losing
her pocket-handkerchiefs. One day, little Lucie came into the farm yard crying
— oh, she did cry so. “I’ve lost my pocket-handkin! Three handkins and a pinny! Have you seen then,
Tabby Kitten?” The kitten went on
washing her white paws. So Lucie asked a speckled
hen, “Sally Henny-penny, have you found three
pocket-handkins?” But the speckled hen ran
into the barn clucking, “I go barefoot, barefoot,
barefoot.” And then Lucie asked Cock
Robin sitting on a twig. Cock Robin looked sideways at
Lucie with his bright black eye, and he flew over
a stile and away. Lucie climbed upon
the stile and looked up the hill behind Little-town
— a hill that goes up, up, into the clouds as
though it had no top. And a great way up the hillside, she thought she saw some white
things spread upon the ground. Lucie scrambled up
the hill as fast as her stout legs
would carry her. She ran along a steep
pathway, up and up, until Little-town was
right away down below. She could have dropped a
pebble down the chimney. Presently she came to a spring,
bubbling out from the hillside. Someone had stood a tin can
upon a stone to catch the water, but the water was
already running over, for the can was no
bigger than an egg cup. And where the sand upon the path
was wet, there were footmarks of a very small person. Lucie ran on and on. The path ended under a big rock. The grass was short and green,
and there were clothes-props cut from bracken stems, with lines
of plaited rushes and a heap of tiny clothes-pins, but
no pocket handkerchiefs. And there was something else —
a door, straight into the hill and inside it, someone
was singing, “Lilly white and clean, oh! With little frills between, oh! Smooth and hot —
red rusty spot. Never here be seen, oh!” Lucie knocked — once, twice,
and interrupted the song. A little frightened voice
called out, “Who’s that?” Lucie opened the door. And what do you think
there was inside the hill? A nice clean kitchen
with a flagged floor and wooden beams — just
like any other farm kitchen. Only the ceiling was so low that
Lucie’s head nearly touched it, and the pots and
pans were small, and so was everything there. There was a nice hot singey
smell and at the table with an iron in her hand, stood a very stout short person
staring anxiously at Lucie. Her print gown was tucked up and
she was wearing a large apron over her striped petticoat. Her little black nose went
sniffle, sniffle, snuffle, and her eyes went
twinkle, twinkle. And underneath her cap,
where Lucie had yellow curls, that little person had prickles. “Who are you?” said Lucie. “Have you seen my
pocket-handkins?” The little person
made a bob-curtsey, “Oh, yes, if you please’m. My name is Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. Oh, yes, if you please’m, I’m
an excellent clear-starcher.” And she took something out of
the clothesbasket and spread it on the ironing blanket. “What’s that thing?” said Lucie, “that’s
not my pocket handkin?” “Oh, no, if you please’m. That’s a little scarlet waist
coat belonging to Cock Robin.” And she ironed it and folded
it and put it on one side. Then she took something
lese off the clothes-horse. “That isn’t my pinny,”
said Lucie. “Oh, no, if you please’m, that’s a damask tablecloth
belonging to Jenny Wren. Look how it’s stained
with currant wine. It’s vary bad to wash,”
said Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle’s nose
went sniffle sniffle snuffle and her eyes went
twinkle twinkle, and she fetched another
hot iron from the fire. “There’s one of my
pocket-handkins,” cried Lucie, “and there’s my pinny.” Mrs. Tiggy-winkle
ironed it and goffered it and shook out the frills. “Oh, that is lovely,”
said Lucie. “And what are those
long yellow things with fingers like gloves?” “Oh, that’s a pair or stockings
belonging to Sally Henny-penny. Look how she’s worn the heels
out with scratching in the yard. She’ll very soon go barefoot,”
said Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. “Why, there’s another
handkersniff, but it’s isn’t mine. It’s red?” “Oh, no, if you please’m. That one belongs
to old Mrs. Rabbit. And it did so smell of onions. I’d have to wash it separately,
I can’t get out the smell.” “There’s another one
of mine,” said Lucie. “What are those funny
little white things?” “That’s a pair of mittens
belonging to Tabby Kitten. I only have to iron them. She washes them herself.” “There’s my last
pocket-handkin,” said Lucie. “And what are you dipping
into the basin of starch?” “They’re little dicky
shirtfronts belonging to Tom Titmouse, most
terrible particular. Now I’ve finished my ironing. I’m going to air some clothes.” “What are these dear,
soft fluffy things?” said Lucie. “Oh, those are wooly
coats belonging to the little lambs
at Skelghyl.” “”Will their jackets take off?” asked Lucie. “Oh, yes, if you please’m. Look at the sheep
mark on the shoulder. And here’s one marked
for Gatesgarth and three that come from Little-town. They’re always marked
at washing,” said Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. And she hung up all sorts
and sizes of clothes — small brown coats of mice, and one velvety black moleskin
waist coat and a red tailcoat with no tail belonging
to Squirrel Nutkin, and a very much shrunk
blue jacket belonging to Peter Rabbit, and a
petticoat, not marked, that had gone lost
in the washing. And at last, the
basket was empty. Then Mrs. Tiggy-winkle
made tea — a cup for herself
and a cup for Lucie. They sat before the
fire on a bench and looked sideways
at one another. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle’s hand,
holding the tea cup, was very, very brown and very, very
wrinkly with the soap suds. And all through her
gown and her cap, there were hairpins
sticking wrong end out, so that Lucie didn’t
like to sit too near her. When they had finished tea,
they tied up clothes in bundles, and Lucie’s pocket-handkerchiefs
were folded up inside her clean
pinny, and fastened with a silver safety pin. And then they made up the
fire with turf, and came out and locked the door and hid
the key under the door sill. Then away down the hill trotted
Lucie and Mrs. Tiggy-winkle and the bundles of clothes. All the way down the
path, little animals came out of the fern to meet them. The very first that they
met were Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny. And she gave them their
nice clean clothes and all the little animals and
birds were so very much obliged to dear Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. So, that at the bottom of
the hill, when they came to the stile, there
was nothing left to carry except Lucie’s
one little bundle. Lucie scrambled up the stile
with a bundle in her hand, and then she turned
to say, “Good night,” and to thank the washer woman. But what a very odd thing. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle had not
waited either for thanks or for the washing bill. She was running, running,
running up the hill, and where was her white
frilled cap, and her shawl and her gown and her petticoat? And how small she had
grown and how brown and covered with prickles. Why, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle was
nothing but a hedgehog. Not many people say that little
Lucie had been asleep upon the stile, but then how could
she have found three clean pocket-handkins and a pinny,
pinned with a silver safety pin? And besides, I have seen
that door into the back of the hill called
Cat Bells and besides, I am very well acquainted
with dear Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. The end. Thank you. [ Silence ]>>J.H. Diehl: Hi. I’m Jean Diehl and I’m going
to be reading the Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning. I guess we’re going a
little bit out of order. So, the Pied Piper
is our next book. Here, a Kate Greenaway
illustrates Robert Browning’s telling of the tale of
the Pied Piper of Hamelin. The legend of the Pied Piper — “pied” describes the Piper’s
multicolored clothing — dates back to the Middle Ages. The Piper is hired to
rid Hamelin of its rats. And when he is not
paid for his labors, he leads off the town’s children
with the very same pipe. The Pied Piper of Hamelin,
by Robert Browning, illustrated by Kate Greenaway. The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Hamelin Town’s in Brunswick,
by famous Hanover City; The river Weser, deep
and wide, washes its wall on the southern side; A
pleasanter spot you never spied; But, when begins my ditty,
Almost 500 years ago, To see the townsfolk suffer
so From vermin, was a pity. Rats. The fought the
dogs and killed the cats, And ate the cheeses out of
the vat And licked the soup from the cook’s own
ladles, Split open the kegs of salted sprats, Made nests
inside men’s Sunday hats, And even spoiled the women’s
chats By drowning their speaking With shrieking and squeaking In
50 different sharps and flats. At last the people in a body
To the Town Hall came flocking; “Tis clear,” cried they,
“our Mayor’s a noddy; And as for our Corporation
— shocking.” An hour they sat in council, At
length the Mayor broke silence: “I wish I were a mile hence,
Oh, for a trap, a trap, a trap.” Just as he said this,
what should hap At the chamber door
but a gentle tap? “Bless us,” cried the
Mayor, “What’s that? “Only a scraping of
shoes on the mat? Anything like the
sound of a rat? Makes my heart go pit-a-pat.” “Come in,” the Mayor
cried, looking bigger And in did come the
strangest figure. His queer long coat from heel to
head Was half of yellow and half of red, And he himself was tall
and thin, With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin, There was
no guessing his kith and kin And nobody could enough
admire The tall man and his quaint attire. He advanced to the
council-table; And “Please your honors”
said he, “I’m able By means of a secret charm, to draw All
creatures living beneath the sun That creep or swim
or fly or run, After me so as you never saw. And I chiefly use my
charm On creatures that do people harm The mole
and toad and newt and viper And people call me
the Pied Piper.” And here they noticed round
his neck A scarf of red and yellow stripe, To
match with his coast of the selfsame cheque. And at the scarf’s
end hung a pipe; And his fingers they
noticed were ever straying As if impatient to be
playing Upon this pipe, as low it dangled Over his
vesture so old-fangled. And as for what your
brain bewilders, “If I can rid your town
of rats Will you give me a thousand guilders?” “One? 50,000,” was
the exclamation Of the astonished
Mayor and Corporation. Into the street the
Piper stepped, Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept In his quiet pipe the while;
Then, like a musical adept, To blow the pipe his lips
he wrinkled, And green and blue his sharp eyes
twinkled, Like a candle flame where salt is sprinkled; And
ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered You heard as if an army
muttered; And the muttering grew to a grumbling; And
the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling; And out of the houses the
rats came tumbling. Brown rats, black rats,
grey rats, tawny rats, Grave old plodders, gay young
friskers, Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins, Cocking
tails and pricking whiskers, Families by tens and dozens,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, Followed the
Piper for their lives. From street to street
he piped advancing, And step for step they followed
dancing, Until they came to the river Weser Wherein
all plunged and perished. You should have heard the
Hamelin people Ringing the bells until they rocked the steeple. “Go,” cried the Mayor, “and get
long poles, Poke out your nests and block up the holes. Consult with carpenters
and builders, And leave in our town not
even a trace Of the rats,” when suddenly, up the
face Of the Piper perked in the market place With
a, “First, if you please, my thousand guilders.” A thousand guilders. The Mayor looked blue; So
did the Corporation too. Quote the Mayor with
a knowing wink. “Our business was done
at the river’s brink; We saw with our eyes
the vermin sink, And what’s dead can’t
come to life, I think. But as for the guilders,
what we spoke Of them, as you very well
know, was in joke. Besides, our losses
have made us thrifty. A thousand guilders. Come, take 50.” The Piper’s face fell, and
he cried, “No trifling. I can’t wait, beside,
And folks who put me in a passion May find me
pipe after another fashion.” “How?” cried the Mayor, “do
you think I brook Being worse treated than a cook? You threaten us, fellow. Do your worst Blow your
pipe there till you burst.” Once more he stepped
into the street, And his lips again Laid his long
pipe of smooth straight cane. And ere he blew three notes,
Such sweet Soft notes as yet musician’s cunning Never
gave the enraptured air There was a rustling, That
seemed like a bustling Of merry crowds jostling
At pitching and hustling. Small feet were pattering,
wooden shoes clattering, Little hands clapping and
little tongues chattering, And like fowls in a farm yard
when barley is scattering, Out came the children running. All the little boys and
girls, With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls, And sparkling
eyes and teeth like pearls. Tripping And skipping, Ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter. The Mayor was dumb,
and the Council stood As if they were changed
into blocks of wood, Unable to move a step, or cry To the children merrily
skipping by. Could only follow with the eye That joyous crowd
at the Piper’s back. But how the Mayor
was on the rack, And the wretched Council’s
bosom’s beat As the Piper turned from the High Street To where
the Weser rolled its waters Right in the way of
their sons and daughters. When, lo, they reached the
mountainside A wondrous portal opened wide, As if a cavern
was suddenly hallowed, And the Piper advanced
and the children followed, And when all were
in to the very last, The door in the mountainside
shut fast. Alas, alas, for Hamelin. They wrote the story
on a column, And on the great church
window painted The same, to make the world acquainted How
their children were stolen away, And there it stands
to this very day. Well, thank you for listening
to the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Like many old tales, this
one includes some vocabulary and story elements
that can be challenging for modern audiences. And it also contains
some enduring themes. The theme of this year’s
Children’s Book Week, Read Now, Read Forever, celebrates the
past and the important future of children’s literature and the
importance of making reading, being read to, or reading to
others, a part of your life, now and in the future. As we celebrate the centennial
of Children’s Book Week, we celebrate that reach back
through history and also forward to the present day, to get books
into the hands of every child and for every child in our
wonderfully diverse nation, that is our nation’s strength, to be able to see
themselves in a book. On the one hand, the old tale of
the Pied Piper is about a time and a world that no longer
exists, and the outcome, in Robert Browning’s telling, only one of many versions,
is stark and harsh. This tale is also an example of
the timeless, universal ideas that can be found in
stories from the past and also in the present. Just to cite one, the idea
that if a person goes back on a promise, they may
unexpectedly hurt others whom they care about. Many themes of old and
new books are shared. For instance, the theme of how
a young teen finds resilience to cope with troubles at home, which is a subject I
explored in Tiny Infinities. Thank you again, for listening. [ Silence ]>>Salihah “Sasa” Aakil: Hello. My name is Salihah Aakil. Salihah Aakil or Sasa. And I am a co-author in a
book called I Am the Night Sky and Other Reflections by
Muslim American Youth. Soon to be published
by Shout Mouse Press. Unfortunately, I don’t
have it here with me. But it will be coming
out this June. So, today, I’m going to be
reading Little Red Riding Hood, from the Grimm’s Animal
Stories, published in 1909. Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm
collected German folk tales of a scholarly endeavor and
first published them in 1812 for an adult audience. This collection of 13 tales,
translated into English for children, was
illustrated with the fanciful and engaging work of John Rae. Rae’s depiction of Little
Red Riding Hood’s nemesis is particularly satisfying, as she watches the wolf
tumble into the trough. Little Red Riding Hood. There was once a sweet maid
named Little Riding Hood, much beloved by everybody, but
most of all by her grandmother, who never knew how to
make enough of her. Once she sent her a little
riding hood of red velvet; and as it was very
becoming to her, and she never wore
anything else, people called her
Little Red Riding Hood. One day her mother said to her,
“Come, Little Red Riding Hood, here are some cakes and a
flask of wine for you to take to your grandmother;
she is weak and ill, and they will do her good. Make haste and start before it
grows hot, and walk properly and nicely, and don’t
run, or you might fall and break the flask of wine, and there would be none
left for your grandmother. And when you go into
her room, don’t forget to say ‘Good Morning,’
instead of staring about you.” “I will be sure to take care,”
said Little Red Riding Hood to her mother and
gave her hand upon it. Now, the grandmother lived
far away in the wood, half an hour’s walk
from the village, and when Little Red Riding
Hood had reached the wood, she met the wolf; but as she
did not know what a bad sort of animal he was, she
did not feel frightened. “Good day, Little Red
Riding Hood,” said he. “Thank you kindly,
Wolf,” answered she. “Where are you going so early,
Little Red Riding Hood?” “To my grandmother’s.” “What are you carrying
under your apron?” “Cakes and wine;
we baked yesterday; and my grandmother
is very weak and ill, so they will do her good,
and strengthen her.” “Where does your grandmother
live, Little Red Riding Hood?” “A quarter of an
hour’s walk from here; her house stands beneath the
three oaks, and you may know it by the hazel bushes,” said
Little Red Riding Hood. The wolf thought to himself. “That tender young thing
would be a delicious morsel, and would taste better
than the old one; I must manage somehow
to get both of them.” Then he walked by Little Red
Riding Hood a little while and said, “Little
Red Riding Hood, just look at the pretty flowers
that are growing all around you, and don’t you think you are — and I don’t think
you are listening to the song of the birds. You are posting along just as
if you were going to school, and it is so delightful
out here in the wood.” Little Red Riding
Hood glanced round her and when she saw the sunbeams
darting here and there through the trees, and
lovely flowers everywhere, she thought to herself, “If I
were to take a fresh nosegay to my grandmother, she would be
very pleased, and it is early in the day that I shall
reach her in planet of time,” and so she ran about in the
wood, looking for flowers. And as she picked one, she saw
a still prettier one a little farther off, and
so she went farther and farther into the wood. But the wolf went straight
to the grandmother’s house and knocked at the door. “Who’s there?” cried the grandmother. “Little Red Riding
Hood,” he answered, “and I have brought
you some cake and wine. Please open the door.” “Lift the latch,”
cried the grandmother, “I am too feeble to get up.” So the wolf lifted the latch,
and the door flew open. And he fell upon the
grandmother and ate her up without saying one word. Then he drew on her clothes, put
on her cap, lay down in her bed, and drew the curtains. Little Red Riding Hood
was all this time running about among the flowers; and
when she had gathered as many as she could hold, she
remembered her grandmother, and set off to go to her. She was surprised to find
the door standing open, and when she came inside,
she felt very strange, and thought to herself, “Oh,
dear, how uncomfortable I feel. And I was so glad this morning
to go to my grandmother.” And when she said, “Good
morning,” there was no answer. Then she went up to the bed
and drew back the curtains. There lay the grandmother with
her cap pulled over her eyes, so that she looked very odd. “O, grandmother, what
large ears you have.” “The better to hear with.” “O, grandmother, what
great eyes you have got.” “The better to see with.” “O, grandmother, what
large hands you have got.” “The better to take
hold of you with.” “But, grandmother, what a terrible large
mouth you have got.” “The better to devour you.” And no sooner had the wolf
said it than he made one bound from the bed, and swallowed up
poor Little Red Riding Hood. Then the wolf, having satisfied
his hunger, lay down again in the bed, went to sleep,
and began to snore loudly. The huntsman heard him as
he was passing by the house, and thought, “How
the old woman snores. I had better see if there is
anything the matter with her.” Then he went into the room
and walked up to the bed, and saw the wolf lying there. “At last I find you, you
old sinner,” he said, “I have been looking
for you a long time.” And he made up his mind that
the wolf had swallowed the grandmother whole, and that
she might yet be saved. So, he did not fire, but took
a pair of shears and began to slit up the wolf’s belly. When he made a few snips,
Little Red Riding Hood appeared, and after a few more snips, she
jumped out and cried, “Oh, dear, how frightened I have been. It is so dark inside the wolf.” And then out came
the old grandmother, still living and breathing. But Little Red Riding Hood went and quickly fetched
some large stones, with which she filled the wolf’s
belly, so that when he waked up, and was going to rush away,
the stones were so heavy that he sank down and fell dead. They were all three
very pleased. The huntsman took off the wolf’s
skin, and carried it home. The grandmother ate the
cakes, and drank the wine, and held up her head again and
Little Red Riding Hood said to herself that she
would never more stay about in the wood alone but would mind what her
mother had told her. It must also be related
how a few days after, when Little Red Riding
Hood was again taking cakes to her grandmother,
another wolf spoke to her, and wanted to tempt
her to leave the path. But she was on her guard,
and went straight on her way, and told her grandmother how
that the wolf had met her and wished her a good day,
but had looked so wicked about the eye that she thought
if it had been on the high road, he would have devoured her. “Come,” said grandmother,
“we will shut the door, so that he may not get in.” Soon after, the wolf came
knocking at the door, calling out, “Open
the door, grandmother. I am Little Red Riding
Hood, bringing you cakes.” But they remained still,
and did not open the door. After that the wolf slunk
by the house and got at last upon the roof, to wait until Little Red Riding
Hood should return home in the evening. Then, he meant to
spring down on her and devour her in the darkness. But the grandmother
discovered his plot. Now there stood before the
house, a great stone trough. And the grandmother said to the
child, “Little Red Riding Hood, I was boiling sausages
yesterday. So, take the bucket and carry
away the water they were boiled in and pour it in the trough.” And Little Red Riding Hood did so until the great
trough was quite full. When the smell of the sausages
reached the nose of the wolf, he snuffed it up, and
looked round, and stretched out his neck so far that he
lost balance and began to slip. And he slipped down
off the roof, straight into the great
trough and was drowned. Then Little Red Riding
Hood went cheerfully home, and came to no harm. The end. So, the theme of this
year’s Children’s Book Fest is Read Now, Read Forever, and I
believe that that is important because it encourages us to
not only look to the past for context but look to the
future for new and bright ideas. And hopefully we can provide
some of those for all readers, including me and
yourselves, with books to come and books coming
— that have come. Thank you. [ Silence ]>>Katy Kelly: The Slant
Book was first done in 1910, and is pretty amazing. It starts like this: Where
Bobby lives, there is a hill, A hill so steep and high, It
would fill the bill for Jack and Jill, their famous
act to try. Once Bobby’s go-cart broke away,
And down this hill it kited, The careless nurse screamed in
dismay, But Bobby was delighted. He clapped his hands
in a manner rude, And laughed with high
elation, While close behind, the nurse pursued, In
hopeless consternation. An officer slid off the
lid, As Bobby hove in sight, And bellowed out,
“You’re scorching, kid. I’ll run you in, all right.” But down, the go-cart
swiftly sped, And smashed that cop completely,
As he sailed over Bobby’s head, Bob snipped a button neatly. A funny son of sunny Greece,
Was standing near the curb. Beside his pushcart,
wrapped in peace, That naught could well disturb. But all at once, he got a shock
The go-cart speeding down, Collided with his fancy stock,
And littered up the town. The runaway then swerved a bit
And snapped the hydrant short, Which accident proved, quite
a hit, Of rather novel sort. The water spouted in a jet,
As much as 10 feet high, And all were soaked
and nearly choked, Who chanced to be nearby? A farmer’s wife,
Miss Angy Moore, Was trudging up the grade. A basketful of eggs she
bore To barter in the trade. The go-cart and the lady
met, Informally no doubt, And made a sort of omelette,
And spread it all about. A painter on a ladder perched,
Was working at his calling, Against its foot,
the go-cart lurched, And sent the fellow sprawling. His pot of paint tumbled down,
All wrong side up, it settled. About a Chappie’s flaxen crown,
Oh my, but he was nettled. A German band across the street,
Its way was slowly winding, Which was a moment in discrete, The way that things
were tending. The go-cart struck
the bass drum square, And passed completely
through it. The drummer madly tore his hair
and said, “Vy did you do it?” Some working men were putting
in A heavy glass plate front, The go-cart then came rushing
in, And did a little stunt. It smashed to bits its crystal
pane Two sweating men were bearing, And sped on
down the slanting plane, and left them mad and swearing. An automobile, big and brown,
Was chugging up the hill, And met the go-cart plunging
down, With speed that boded ill. At once, there rose a noise
and din, Of people in dismay, A sandwich man then butted
in, And opened up the way. A lad was rushing with a hat
Some lady had been buying. The go-cart caught
and laid him flat, And sent that hat box flying. The hat fell out and settled
down Upon our Bobby’s crown — head, Say, “I’m the
swellest kid in town,” That precious rascal said. A newsboy, next, was somehow
hit, The go-cart swift and dexterous, Contrived
to muss him up a bit, And fill the air with extras. One copy, Bobby scooped,
And saw this wild display, In type so bold,
it fairly whooped, “A go-cart breaks away.” Then, as the go-cart speeded
by, A bull dog quite pugnacious, Seized on the handle on the fly,
And clung with grip tenacious. The go-cart’s speed was so
increased, The dog streamed out behind it, And Bobby
turned, to pet the beast, Which didn’t seem to mind it. Perambulating down the street,
Was Miss Lucille O’Grady. The go-cart knocked
her off her feet, And took on-board the lady. “Your fare?” Bobby said with a shout,
One chubby hand extending, But Miss O’Grady tumbled out, With shrieks, the
heavens rending. A herder up the weary grade,
A yearling calf was leading. The creature was
a stubborn jade, He lunged about, unheeding. The go-cart caught between the
rope, midway between the calf and herder, And both
fell in behind the shay, With cries of “baah”
and “murder.” Two chappies, two
chappies at the tennis met, Were battling fast and hard. The go-cart skidded off the
street And shot across the yard. The game was 40-all, but
then, It didn’t end that day. The go-cart dashed into the
net, And carried it away. On came the go-cart,
the down degrade, The town was now behind it. And ran into orchid shade,
Where providence resigned it. But then, it only raised a
tree, And set it all a’shiver. The ripened fruit fell merrily,
And likewise Sammy Slither. Then, through a watermelon
patch, That awful cart descended, And
split the melons by the batch, The farmer was offended. And tried to stop
its wild career, which was a silly notion, It
passed him promptly to the rear, With quite a rapid motion. A picture party on the green,
Were seated at their lunch, The go-cart dashed
upon the scene, And threw the happy brunch. Sardines and pickles, ham and
cake, Were jumbled in a mess. Then straight away,
rose these picnickers, And shouted for redress. An artist sketching on the
slope, A lively air was humming, And so absorbed was he, He failed to note the
go-cart was coming. A crash, the circumambient air
Was filled with miscellany, And damaged quite beyond repair,
Was Cremnitz White Mulvaney. A damsel milked a brindled
cow, Out in the pasture green, The birdies sang from bush and
bough, All nature was serene. When suddenly, a thunderbolt,
Dispelled the sweet illusion, The go-cart gave
the twain a jolt, And all was wild confusion. Upon a rustic bridge, a chap,
Cast out the bait inviting, And presently he took a nap, And
dreamed the fish were biting. Then came the go-cart like a
gale, And rudely him awakened, At first, he thought
he’d caught a whale, But found he was mistaken. The longest night must have to
end, As well as a beginning, And so this cart,
you may depend, Was bound to cease its spinning. It crashed into a hemlock stump,
That chanced to block its way, And Bobby made a flying
jump, And landed in the hay. As I said, I’m Katy Kelly,
and I am mad for books. When I was a kid, we
had some books hanging around that had belonged
to my dad, and I saved my books
for my children. And now, my granddaughter, when
she gets a little bit bigger, will be reading their
books and mine and their great-grandfather’s. So, I think the key is,
even when it doesn’t make so much sense, like in
this poem we just read, some of the words
are really outdated, and nothing we ever use anymore,
but it’s kind of interesting to find out what words meant at
the time and what was popular and how they said things. We never say twas
or twaint anymore. But anyway, I hope you
guys enjoy reading and look for things that are
older than you. [ Silence ]>>Susan Stockdale: Hello. My name is Susan Stockdale, and
I’m the author and illustrator of picture books about
nature for young children. Today, I will be reading
The Emperor’s New Clothes, from Stories by Hans Andersen, by Hans Christian
Andersen, published in 1911. Hans Christian Andersen’s works
are probably the most often read told stories in children’s
literature. In all, he wrote 156
tales and stories, seven of which are
included here, illustrated with 28 color
plates by Edmund Dulac. The Emperor’s New Clothes is
one of his most delightful. Many years ago, there
was an Emperor, who was so excessively
fond of new clothes that he spent all
his money on them. He cared nothing about his
soldiers, nor for the theatre, nor for driving in the
woods expect for the sake of showing off his new clothes. He had a costume for
every hour in the day, and instead of saying, as
one does about any other King or Emperor, “He is in
his council chamber.” Here one always said,
“The Emperor is in his dressing room.” Life was very gay in the
great town where he lived. Hosts of strangers came in to
visit every day and among them, one day, two swindlers. They gave themselves
out as weavers and said that they knew how to
weave the most beautiful stuffs imaginable. Not only were the colors
and patterns unusually fine, but the clothes that were made of the stuffs had the particular
quality of becoming invisible to every person who was not
fit for the office he held, or if he was impossibly dull. “Those must be splendid
clothes,” thought the Emperor, “By wearing them, I should
be able to discover which men in my kingdom are
unfitted for their posts. I shall distinguish the
wise men from the fools. Yes, I certainly must order some of that stuff to
be woven for me.” He paid the two swindlers
a lot of money in advance, so that they might begin
their work at once. They did put up two looms
and pretended to weave, but they had nothing
whatever upon their shuttles. At the outset, they asked for
a quantity of the finest silk and the purest gold thread,
all of which they put into their own bags,
while they worked away at the empty looms
far into the night. “I should like to know how
those weavers are getting on with the stuff,”
thought the Emperor, but he felt a little queer
when he reflected that anyone who was stupid or unfit for
his post would not be able to see it. He certainly thought that he
need have no fears for himself, but still he thought he would
send somebody else first to see how it was getting on. Everybody in the town knew
what wonderful power the stuff possessed, and everyone
was anxious to see how stupid
his neighbor was. “I will send my faithful
old minister to the weavers,”
thought the Emperor. “He will be best able to
see how the stuff looks, for he is a clever man, and no one fulfills his
duties better than he does.” So, the good old minister
went into the room where the two swindlers were
working at the empty loom. “Heaven preserve us,”
thought the old minister, opening his eyes very wide. “Why, I can’t see a thing.” But he took care not to say so. Both the swindlers begged
him to be good enough to step a little nearer, and asked if he did not
think it a good pattern and beautiful coloring. They pointed to the empty loom,
and the poor old minister stared as hard as he could, but he
could not see anything, for, of course, there
was nothing to see. “Good heavens,” thought he, “is
it possible that I’m a fool? I have never thought so,
and nobody must know it. Am I not fit for my post? It will never do to say that
I cannot see the stuffs.” “Well, sir, you don’t say
anything about the stuff?” said the one who was
pretending to weave. “Oh, it is beautiful. Quite charming,” said
the old minister, looking through his spectacles,
“this pattern and these colors. I will certainly
tell the Emperor that the stuff pleases
me very much.” “We are delighted to hear you
say so,” said the swindlers, and then, they named
all the colors and described the
peculiar pattern. The old minister paid great
attention to what they said, so as to be able to repeat it
when he got home to the Emperor. Then the swindlers went on to
demand more money, more silk and more gold, to be able
to proceed with the weaving, but they put it all
into their own pockets, not a single strand was ever
put into the loom, but they went on as before, weaving
at the empty loom. The Emperor soon sent
another faithful official to see how the stuff
was getting on, and if it would soon be ready. The same thing happened
to him as to the minister. He looked and looked, but as
there was only an empty loom, he could not see nothing at all. “Is not this a beautiful
piece of stuff?” said both the swindlers, showing and explaining the
beautiful pattern and colors which were not there to be seen. “I know I am not a fool,”
thought the man, “so it must be that I am unfit for
my good post. It is very strange, though. However, one must
not let it appear.” So he praised the stuff he
did not see, and assured them of his delight in
the beautiful colors and the originality
of the design. “Is is absolutely charming,”
he said to the Emperor. Everybody in the
town was talking about this splendid stuff. Now the Emperor thought he would like to see it while it
was still on the loom. So, accompanied by a number
of selected courtiers, among whom were the
two faithful officials who had already seen
the imaginary stuff, he went to visit the crafty
impostors, who were working away as hard as ever as they
could, at the empty loom. “It is magnificent,” said both
the honest officials, “Only see, your Majesty, what design,
what colors,” and they pointed to the empty loom, for
they thought, no doubt, the others could see the stuff. “What?” thought the Emperor,
“I see nothing at all. This is terrible. Am I a fool? Am I not fit to be Emperor? Why, nothing worse
can happen to me.” “Oh, it is beautiful,”
said the Emperor, “it has my highest approval,”
and he nodded his satisfaction as he gazed at the empty loom. Nothing would induce him to say
that he could not see anything. The whole suite gazed and gazed but saw nothing more
than all the others. However, they all
exclaimed with his Majesty, “It is very beautiful,” and they
advised him to wear a suit made of this wonderful cloth on the
occasion of a great procession which was just about
to take place. “It is magnificent,
gorgeous, excellent,” went from mouth to mouth. They were all equally
delighted with it. The Emperor gave each of the
rogues an order of knighthood to be worn in their buttonholes and the title of
Gentlemen Weavers. The swindlers sat up the
whole night, before the day on which the procession was to
take place, burning 16 candles, so that people might see
how anxious they were to get the Emperor’s
new clothes ready. They pretended to take
the stuff off the loom. They cut it out in the air
with a huge pair of scissors, and they stitched
away with needles, without any thread in them. At last, they said, “Now
the Emperor’s new clothes are ready.” The Emperor, with his grandest
courtiers, went to them himself, and both the swindlers
raised one arm in the air, as if they were holding
something, and said, “See, these are the trousers. This is the coat. Here is the mantle,” and so on. “It is as light as
a spider’s web. One might think one
had nothing on, but that is the very
beauty of it.” “Yes,” said all the courtiers,
but they could not see anything, for there was nothing to see. “Will your Imperial Majesty
be graciously pleased to take off your clothes,”
said the impostors, “so that we may put
on the new ones, along here before
the great mirror?” The Emperor took
off all his clothes and the impostors pretended to
give him one article of dress after the other,
of the new ones, which they pretended to make. They pretended to
fasten something around his waist,
and tie on something. This was the train. And the Emperor turned round and
round in front of the mirror. “How well his Majesty
looks in the new clothes. How becoming they are,”
cried all the people around, “What a design and what colors. They are the most
gorgeous robes.” “The canopy is waiting
outside which is to be carried over your Majesty
in the procession,” said the master of
the ceremonies. “Well, I’m quite
ready,” said the Emperor, “don’t the clothes fit well?” and then he turned round
and round again in front of the mirror, so
that he should seem to be looking at
his grand things. The chamberlains who were
to carry the train stooped and pretended to lift it from
the ground with both hands, and they walked along,
their hands in the air — with their hands in the air. They dared not let it appear that they could not
see anything. Then the Emperor walked
along in the procession under the gorgeous canopy,
and everybody in the streets and at the windows exclaimed, “How beautiful the
Emperor’s new clothes are. What a splendid train. And they fit to perfection.” Nobody would let it appear
that he could see nothing, for then he would not be fit for
his post, or else he was a fool. None of the Emperor’s clothes
had been so successful before. “But he has got nothing
on,” said a little child. “Oh, listen to the
innocent,” said its father, and one person whispered to the
other what the child had said. “He has nothing on. A child said he has nothing on.” “But he has nothing on,” at
last cried all the people. The Emperor writhed, for he knew
it was true, but he thought, “The procession must go on
now,” so he held himself stiffer than ever, and the chamberlains
held up the invisible train. [ Silence ]>>Carolyn Bennett: Hello. My name is Carolyn Bennett. I’m a music educator, and I’m
this year’s Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress. Today, I will be
singing a few songs from Our Old Nursery Rhymes,
with Original Tunes Harmonized by Alfred Moffat,
published in 1911. Thirty nursery rhymes are
presented by Alfred Moffat with notated music, in
this large format book, encouraging signing,
as well as reading. The softly colored
illustrations of children and their surroundings by
Henriette Willebeek le Mair, were met with critical acclaim when the book was
first published and are still enjoyed today. [ Silence ] [ Music ] Mary had a little lamb, Its
fleece was white as snow. And everywhere that Mary
went, The lamb was sure to go. He followed her to school one
day, But was against the rule. It made the children laugh and
play, To see a lamb at school. So, the teacher turned him out,
but still he lingered near. And waited patiently,
Till Mary did appear. And then, he ran to her and
laid His head upon her arm, As if to say, “I’m not afraid,
You’ll keep me from all harm.” “What makes the lamb love Mary
so,” The eager children cry, “Oh, Mary loves the lamb you
know,” The teacher did reply. “And you each gentle animal
In confidence may bind, And make them follow at your
call, If you are always kind.” Did you notice that Mary Had a
Little Lamb sounded different than what you may
have heard before? That’s one of the things I love
about this collection of music. Next, I’d like to
sing you Pat-A-Cake. But there’s a little
clapping pattern that goes along with this song. And I’d like you
all to help me out. And if you’re listening
to this at home, I’d like you to try
this out, too. The pattern is going
to go like this. [clapping]. Try that with me. [clapping]. Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake,
baker’s man. That I will master,
as quick as I can. Prick it and nick it
and mark it with T, And there will be
plenty for baby and me. For baby and me,
for baby and me. And there will be
plenty for baby and me. Thank you. I’d like you to think
about the song Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Can you hear it, in
your imagination? The tune that you’re probably
imagining came from France. But in this book, Mr. Moffat
uses a different melody. It came from either Spain or
England, we’re not quite sure. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky. When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon, Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle all the night. Then the traveler in the dark, Thanks you for your
little spark. He could not see which way to
go, If you did not twinkle so. In the dark blue sky you keep, And often through
my curtains peek, For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky. Now, I’m going to need a little
bit of help on this next song. So, I’m going to sing
one phrase of music that I want you to learn. When you think you’ve got it,
can you join me in singing? Three blind mice,
three blind mice. Three blind mice,
three blind mice. Three blind mice. Very nice. Now, I would like
you to keep singing that while I sing
the rest of the song. And I think they’ll
come together and make a really
nice harmony together. Ready? Three blind mice, three
blind mice, See how they run. They all run after
the farmer’s wife, Who cut off their tails
with a carving knife. If you ever hear such a tale in
your life, As three blind mice. This next song has some hand
motions that goes along with it. So, I’m going to try them
out, and if you’re watching, either in the room or
at home, I challenge you to try them out, as well. This is the Mulberry Bush. Here we go round
the mulberry bush, The mulberry bush,
the mulberry bush. Here we go round
the mulberry bush, On a cold and frosty morning. This is the way we
wash our hands, We wash our hands,
we wash our hands. This is the way we
wash our hands, On a cold and frosty morning. This is the way we
dry our hands, We dry our hands,
we dry our hands. This is the way we
dry our hands, On a cold and frosty morning. This is the way we
clap our hands, We clap our hands,
we clap our hands. This is the way we
clap our hands, On a cold and frosty morning. This is the way we
warm our hands, We warm our hands,
we warm our hands. This is the way we
warm our hands, On a cold and frosty morning. Now, for our last song today, I bet many of you already know
the tune to Yankee Doodle. I’d like to sing
you the refrain, because this one’s just
a little different. Yankee doodle doodle-doo,
Yankee doodle dandy. All the lassies are so smart,
And sweet as sugar candy. I’m going to sing three
verses, and it would be lovely if you could join
me on the refrain. My page is blowing away. Okay. Yankee doodle came to
town, Upon a little pony. He stuck a feather in his
hat, And called it Macaroni. Yankee doodle doodle-doo,
Yankee doodle dandy. All the lassies are so smart,
And sweet as sugar candy. Marching in and marching out,
And marching around the town, o. Here there comes a regiment,
With Captain Thomas Brown, o. Yankee doodle doodle-doo,
Yankee doodle dandy. All the lassies are so smart,
And sweet as sugar candy. Yankee doodle is a tune,
That comes in mighty handy. The enemy all runs away. At Yankee doodle dandy. Yankee Doodle doodle-doo,
Yankee Doodle dandy. All the lassies are so smart,
And sweet as sugar candy. [ Silence ]>>Kem Sawyer: Hello. My name is Kem Knapp Sawyer. I’m the author of biographies
of Anne Frank, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt,
and Lucretia Mott. Today, I will be
reading The Rocket Book, by Peter Newell,
published in 1912. Peter Newell’s innovative
and offbeat approach to book making is on
full display here. The Rocket Book has a rocket
go off in the basement of an apartment building and
travel through each floor, leaving chaos in its wake and a
hole in the center of each page. The basement. When Fritz, the janitor’s
bad kid, Went snooping in the basement, He found a
rocket snugly hid Beneath the window casement. He struck a match with
one fell swoop, Then, on the concrete kneeling, He
lit the rock and she — oop. It shot up through the ceiling. First flat. The Steiners on the floor above,
Of breakfast were partaking. Crash came the rocket,
unannounced And set them all a-quaking. It smote a catsup bottle, fair,
And bang, the thing exploded. And now these people all declare
The catsup flask was loaded. Second flat. Before the fire, old Grandpa
Hopp Dozed in his armchair big, When from a trunk the rocket
burst And carried off his wig. It passed so near his ancient
head He roused up with a start, And turning to his
grandsons, said, “You fellows think
you’re smart.” Third flat. Algernon Bracket, somewhat rash,
Had blown a monster bubble. When, oh, there came a blinding
flash, Precipitating trouble. But Algy turned in mild disgust,
And called to Mama Bracket, “Say, did you hear
that bubble burst? It made an awful racket.” Fourth flat. Jo Budd, who bought
a potted plant, Was dousing it with water. He fancied this would
make it grow, And Joseph loved to potter. Then through the
pot, the rocket shot, And made the scene look sickly. “Well, now,” said
Jo, “I never thought, That plant would
shoot so quickly.” Fifth flat. Right here ’tis needful
to remark, That Dick and “Little Son,” Were
playing with a Noah’s Ark And having loads of fun. When, all at once,
that rocket, stout, Up through the ark came blazing. The animals were tossed about,
And did some stunts amazing. Sixth flat. A burglar on the next floor up,
The sideboard was exploring. The family, with
the brindled pup, Were still asleep and snoring. Just then, up through
the silverware, The rocket thundered, flaring. The burglar got a
dreadful scare, Then out the door went tearing. Seventh flat. Miss Mamie Briggs with
no mean skill Was playing “Casey’s Fling,” To please
her cousin, Amos Gill, Who liked that sort of thing. When suddenly, the rocket,
hot, The old piano jumbled. It stopped that rag-time
like a shot, Then through the
ceiling rumbled. Eighth flat. Up through the next
floor on it way, That rocket, dread,
went tearing. Where Winkle stood in bathrobe,
gay, A tepid bath preparing. The tub, it punctured
like a shot, And made a mighty splashing. The man was rooted to the spot,
Then out the door went dashing. Ninth flat, Bob Brooks was
puffing very hard, His football to inflate, While round him,
stood his faithful guard, And they could hardly wait. Then came the rocket,
fierce and bright, And through the football
rumbled. “You got a pair of
lungs, all right,” His staring playmates grumbled. Tenth flat. The family dog, with frenzied
mien, Was chasing Fluff, the mouser, When poof, the
rocket flashed between, And quite astonished Towser. Now, if this dog had wit enough,
The English tongue to torture, He might have growled such
silly stuff, As “Whew. That cat’s a scorcher.” Eleventh flat. While Carrie Cook
sat with a book, The phonograph played sweetly. Then came the rocket
and it smashed That instrument completely. Fair Carrie promptly turned her
head, Attracted by the roar. “Dear me, I never
heard,” she said, “That record played before.” Twelfth flat. De Vere was searching for a
match To light a cigarette, But failed to find
one with dispatch, Which threw him in a pet. Just then, the rocket flared
up bright Before his face and crackled, Supplying
him the needed light “Thanks, awfully,” he cackled. Thirteenth flat. Home from the shop
came Maud’s new hat, A hat of monstrous size. It almost filled the tiny
flat, Before her ravished eyes. When, schuu, up through the
box so proud, the rocket flared and spluttered, “I said
that hat was all too loud,” Her peevish husband muttered. Fourteenth flat. Tom’s pap had helped
him start his train, And all would have been
fine, Had not the rocket, raising Cain, Blocked
traffic on the line. It blew the engine into
scrap, As in a fit of passion. “Who would have thought
that toy,” said Pap, “Would blow up in such fashion.” Fifteenth flat. Orlando Pease, quite
at his ease, The Morning Star was reading. “My dear,” said he
to Mrs. Pease, “Here’s a report worth heeding.” The rocket then in
wanton sport Flashed through the printed pages. The lady gasped,
“A wild report,” Then swooned by easy stages. Sixteenth flat. Doc Danby was a stupid guy,
So, lest he sleep too late, He placed a tattoo clock near
by, To waken him at eight. But ah, the rocket
smote that clock, And smashed its way
clean through it. “You have a fine alarm,” said
Doc, “But, say, you over do it.” Seventeenth flat. A penny liner, Abram Stout,
Was writing a description “The flame shot up,”
he pounded out, Then threw a mild conniption. For through his Flemington there
shied A rocket, hot and mystic. “I didn’t mean to be,” he
cried, “So deuced realistic.” Eighteenth flat. Gus Gummer long had
set his head, Upon some strange invention. “Be careful, Gus,” his good
wife said, “It might explode. I mention — ” Just then,
the pesky rocket flared And wrecked that Yankee notion. “I feared as much,”
his wife declared, Then fainted from emotion. Nineteenth flat. While Burt was on his hobby
horse, And riding it like mad, The rocket on its fiery
course, Upset the startled lad. The frightened pony plunged
a lot, Like Fury playing tag. “Whoa, Spot,” said Burt, “who would have thought
You such a fiery nag.” Twentieth flat. A taxidermist plied his
trade, Upon a walrus’ head. It really made him quite afraid,
To meet its stare so dread. When suddenly the
rocket, bright, Flared up and then was off. “Oh, Minnie,” cried
the man in fright, “Just hear that walrus cough.” Top flat. Oh, it was
just a splendid flight, That rocket’s wild career. But to an end, it
came, all right, As you shall straightway hear. It plunged into a can of cream,
That Billy Bunk was freezing, And froze quite stiff,
as it would seem, And so subsided, wheezing. Children’s Book Week, Read Now,
Read Forever, celebrates books that entertain, ones that make
us smile or laugh, really hard. And some that make us cry. Books that introduce
us to characters, who become our very
best friends. Books that help us imagine the
future or remember the past. Many of my own books are about
the women and men who stand for social justice and have
made a difference in the world. This is a week to
celebrate books that inspire. Thank you. [ Silence ]>>Sasha Dowdy: Hi, everyone. My name is Sasha Dowdy. I work right here,
in the Library of Congress Young
Readers Center. Thank you so much for joining us and hearing authors read the
twenty historic children’s books, now available online, in the Historic Children’s
Selection Collection. Thank you for celebrating
with us, and I hope you enjoy many more
programs to come your way.

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