In Memoriam

We are a little over halfway through 2014, but already we have lost several remarkable figures in the children’s literature community. These prolific authors and illustrators leave behind powerful legacies of unforgettable works through which we are able to celebrate their lives and dazzling contributions to the world of children’s literature.

Erik Blegvad (March 3, 1923 – January 14, 2014)

Erik Blegvad was a children’s book artist, known for his whimsical illustrations of over 100 books. A native to Denmark, Blegvad studied at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts and worked as a commercial illustrator before developing a refined pen-and-ink style that was perfectly suited to children’s books. He collaborated with his wife, Lenore Blegvad, who wrote numerous children’s books that he illustrated until her death in 2008.

Among Blegvad’s best known works are the illustrations for Bed-Knob and Broomstick, Mud Pies and Other Recipes (J W738m), and Anna Banana & Me, along with his own translation of Hans Christian Andersen.

twelve tales    mudpies for dolls    anna banana


Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

Christened “The People’s Poet” and celebrated author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (920.7 An4i 2009), Dr. Maya Angelou was a renaissance woman and cultural pioneer, known for…well, just about everything from poems and lectures to stage performance and social activism to Hallmark cards and keynote speeches!  A little less well-known but no less poignant are Dr. Angelou’s children’s books that all capture the imagination of a child’s world and Dr. Angelou’s love of language and sound.

Written in the 1990s, Dr. Angelou’s children’s books include Life Doesn’t Frighten Me (J 811 An4l), My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me (J 704.042 An4m), and Kofi and His Magic. In 2004, she also published the Maya’s World series, which introduces a child from a different country with each installment.

kofi and magic    my painted house my friendly chicken and me     life doesn't frighten me


Eric Hill (September 7, 1927 – June 6, 2014)

While freelancing as a creative marketing designer, Eric Hill made a simple drawing of a puppy and began to tell stories about the pup’s mischievous antics to his three-year-old son. Today, that little dog is better known as Spot, and his stories have flourished into a popular series of children’s books that have sold more than 60 million copies. Hill’s first book, Where’s Spot? was an instant favorite of preschool children, who loved the bright colors and whimsical characters. Hill is also credited with one of the earliest uses of interactive flaps and pop-ups in his books that now are commonplace in books for young children today.

wheres spot    spots birthday      spot at home


Walter Dean Myers (August 12, 1937 – July 1, 2014)

Walter Dean Myers was a bestselling and terrifically prolific children’s author, who was a three-time National Book Award nominee and received five Coretta Scott King awards for African-American fiction. Widely respected in the literary community and a tireless advocate for diversity in children’s literature, Myers served as a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in 2012-13, a position created in part by the Library of Congress.

Myers completed more than 100 books in his lifetime—two notable works being Lockdown and Monster (J M99mon). Myers’ books are usually narrated by teenagers trying to make difficult right choices in the face of easy wrong ones, and he was the “rare author” to have a large following of middle-grade boys. His new, futuristic novel, On a Clear Day is scheduled to be released in September 2014.

lookinglike-me    jazz    monster

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Using library content in your course

When getting ready to teach a class, have you ever found yourself scanning an article or book chapter, saving it in a giant file, then uploading it to your Moodle site?  There is an easier way!  You can simply share a link to the library’s vast collection of e-books, journals, and streaming video.

Linking to library resources has several benefits:

  • Linking to library content is copyright-compliant.  It also complies with licensing terms set by database providers and publishers.
  • Library content is paid for by the institution, so there is no fee to the user.
  • Online library content is available anytime, anywhere.  Your students can access our e-books, streaming videos and journal articles, from Boston, Worcester, or Singapore… even if it’s 3 a.m.

Find out how to do it in this quick tutorial:

Still not convinced?  Here are a few more reasons to link to library content:

  • We collect usage statistics for making subscription decisions, so every click is like a vote that a particular journal or database is important to the Wheelock community.
  • Linking to library content, rather than uploading your own PDFs, may give students access to versions of articles and e-books compatible with screen-reading software.

We understand that generating links to library content is not always the easiest process, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.  And if you’re revising your reading list or creating a new syllabus, we’d love to help you find the right content for your course.  If you’d like to consult with a librarian, please get in touch!

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Style by the Book: Divergent

My summer reading includes finishing up the Divergent series. I loved the first book but sort of lost momentum with the second. As I plunge back into the world of factions, I thought it would be fun to imagine what each faction would wear if they existed today. Abnegation was the hardest and Candor was the most fun simply because I found panda shoes and when confronted with panda shoes, the answer is always yes.

Abnegation – The Selfless

The Selfless


Amity – The Peaceful

The Peaceful


Dauntless – The Brave

The Brave


Erudite – The Intelligent

The Intelligent


Candor – The Honest

The Honest


Which would you choose? I think I’m more of an Amity but Dauntless has cake and it’s pretty hard to compete with that.

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FYI: Welcome First Years!

You can probably hear the buzz and feel the energy mounting on the Wheelock campus.  It’s that time of year when we welcome the incoming freshman class to Wheelock College.  The Wheelock College Library would like to say, “Welcome First Years!”libheartyou

The most important thing for you to know about the Wheelock Library is that the library staff is here to help you.  That’s right.  We are here for you.  Ask us anything!  We’re here to help.  Never looked up a book in the library catalog before?  Ask us.  Need to find articles for your research paper?  Ask us.  Wondering where in the library the Writing Center is?  Ask us.

This is your library.  From open until close every day, this is your space to study, meet with friends, relax, learn, grow, and create.  Want to study quietly while listening to your best study music on your headphones?  We welcome you.  Want to work on a group project in one of the library’s group study rooms?  We welcome you.  Want to take a nap on a library couch?  We welcome you.

In the library you’ll find:

  • Studying Space, including Quiet areas, Collaborative areas, and Study rooms
  • Resources, including books (and e-books), children’s books, articles, course readings, and movies
  • AV equipment, including digital camcorders, audio recorders, digital cameras, voice recorders, and headphones
  • Computers and printers
  • Staff who are ready to help you

You may be asking, “Okay, but what if I’m a second year (or third year, or fourth year)?”  We welcome you too!  It’s never too late (or too early) to visit the library.

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What’s on Your Summer Reading List?

Back in May, we asked our Library visitors, “What’s on your ‘summer reading’ list? (for school or for fun)”?  And we had a lot of suggestions (and suggestions about those suggestions)!

summerreadsI’ve found several of the titles available at the Library.  If you’re around for the summer, come check them out.  And if you’re not around, then stop by during the fall.  Reading for fun is a great way to relieve stress!

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (813 C64a) :  This book serves as both a story of a young shepherd boy who travels the Egypt in search of the treasure in his dreams, and a philosophy on how one could live one’s life by following dreams and watching out for signs.  It’s about dreaming big and enjoying the journey, not the destination.  It is often on people’s list of books that changed their lives.

bookrow1 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain (available on ebook and in print): A 19th century man awakens in 6th Century England and proceeds to use his knowledge of history and technological inventions to improve and modern the lives around him.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (J G817f): The story of 16 year old cancer patient Hazel, and how she meets and falls in love with a boy named, Augustus Waters.  It is a surprisingly simple premise that has won the hearts and tears of its readers with its intelligent and vibrant characters.  The movie is now in theaters!

The Giver (J L95g): Jonas becomes the Receiver of Memories, taking in all the memories of his community’s past.  He realizes that the Sameness adopted by his community needs to end in order to restore happiness and the power of choice, and, with the Giver’s help, plots his escape.  The movie adaptation of this novel is coming out this summer.  Read the book before you watch it.


The Great Gatsby (available on ebook and in print):  While the main narrative is about a wealthy and enigmatic man named Jay Gatsby and his love for his former flame, socialite Daisy Buchanan, the book is really about the sense of possibility and the display of decadence of the early 1920s.  It’s a lot more enjoyable when you’re not reading it for school.

The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (J P28h): After a plane crash, Brian is stranded in the wilderness and must survive on his own with nothing but his hatchet.

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein(823 T57zg): The titular hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who loves staying at home and staying out of trouble, finds himself on a quest with a band of dwarves to sneak into the Lonely Mountain and retrieve a royal jewel from the dragon, Smaug.

Hop on Pop by Dr.Seuss(J-P Se9ho): There isn’t much of a story here (or maybe I’m just not seeing it), but the rhymes are fun.


Orange it the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman (365.43 K47o):  Piper recounts the 15 months she had spent in prison  – the codes of behavior, the failures of the prison system, and the incredible lives of the women around her.  The second season of the TV adaptation of the memoir is now available on Netflix for binge-watching.

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom (378.12 AL1t): A memoir chronicling 14 Tuesdays Mitch Albom spent with his former sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, and the life lessons the older man imparted to his former pupil.  It is another one of those books that can change people’s outlook on life.

There were a few that weren’t in the Library, so we ordered them.  In the coming months, be on the lookout for Paper Towns by John Green, Divergent by Veronica Roth, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, along with other popular reading titles.

So what’s on your summer reading list?  Personally, I’m planning to tackle Insurgent by Veronica Roth this coming week and thinking about revisiting Crime and Punishment (891.73 D74ca) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.


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