Children’s book historian Leonard Marcus presented his lecture, “A New Deal for the Nursery: Golden Books and the Democratization of American Children’s Book Publishing,” yesterday as a part of the Jones Distinguished Lecture series. The lecture was sponsored by the Jones Institute for Educational Excellence and the Emporia State Archives.
“It was interesting to hear the history behind Golden Books,” said Courtney Cohen, elementary education major said. “It’s just interesting to hear where things came from.”
The Jones Distinguished Lecture series was developed in 1986. Lucy Eusey, director of special projects for the Jones Institute, said each lecture is supposed to be paired with an academic department. She said Marcus’ lecture was associated with the university library- particularly the Emporia State archives, though Eusey said it pertained to the English and Elementary education departments as well.
“One of the interesting things about the Jones Distinguished Lecture series is that the purpose is to partner with different academic units across campus and bring in nationally recognized speakers who will have an impact campus wide, but still speak on educational topics,” Eusey said.
Marcus’ presentation was based on his book “Golden Legacy” which talks about how Golden Books democratized children’s book publishing in America by providing good books that were affordable.
“We all grew up with golden books and evidently the way they came to be changed publishing in America and really brought affordable, high quality children’s literature to the general public,” Eusey said.
Marcus will also be presenting a lecture for educators entitled “Minders of Make-Believe: or, Children’s Book History in Ten Giant Steps from the New England Primer to Harry Potter” today at 3 p.m. in Visser Hall Room 330. The additional presentation is based on Marcus’ book Minders of Make Believe, which is a history of Children’s literature from the Massachusetts colony up to Harry Potter.
“I’m going to kind of give a very selective overview of some of the high points of the history of books for children, how they’ve changed and how they do very clearly reflect changes in our society,” Marcus said.
Marcus said he became interested in the history of children’s books because he was a history major at Yale and found that children’s literature told a lot about society during a certain time period.
“I got interested in how a country or society changes over time and I realized that one way of finding that out would be to look at the children’s books that were available because each generation puts its hopes and dreams into the books that it gives to its children,” Marcus said.
Lauren Walbridge/The Bulletin