Coda: From the Kerlan, A Few More Words from 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

Click on image to enlarge

Click on title for more information

Red Rubber Boot Day

Written by Mary Lynn Ray

Illustrated by Lauren Stringer


A Chair For My Mother

Written and illustrated by Vera B. Williams


I Stink

Written by Kate McMullan

Illustrated by Jim McMullan



Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert


Waiting For Wings

Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert



Written by Bill T. Jones and Susan Kuklin

Illustrated by Susan Kuklin


José! Born to Dance

Written by Susanna Reich

Illustrated by Raúl Colón


Dark Day, Light Night

Written by Jan Carr

Illustrated by James Ransome


These Hands

Written by Margaret H. Mason

Illustrated by Floyd Cooper


Amelia Bedelia

Written by Peggy Parish

Illustrated by Fritz Seibel


Ivy and Bean

Written by Annie Barrows

Illustrated by Sophie Blackall


The Stupids Die

Written by Harry Allard

Illustrated by James Marshall


Bad Kitty Meets the Baby

Written and illustrated by Nick Bruel


What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings

Written by Joyce Sidman

Illustrated by Pamela Zagarensk


Before Morning

Written by Joyce Sidman

Illustrated by Beth Krommes


Antler, Bear, Canoe: A Northwoods Alphabet Year

Written and illustrated by Betsy Bowen


A Fabulous Fair Alphabet

Written and illustrated by Debra Frasier


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