Located in Children's Place on the first floor of Burton Barr Central Library, the Center for Children's Literature is a special collection devoted to the words and pictures that bring children's literature to life
The Center includes several display areas for rotating exhibits of original art from picture books, as well as displays of rare or fragile books, such as an 1870 edition of Little Women and the intricate Robert Sabuda pop up book, America the Beautiful.
Original works by award-winning artists such as David Wiesner, Eric Carle and Arnold Lobel are included in the collection. Special effort is made to collect works by noted Arizona illustrators such as Ron Himler, Sylvia Long, Lynne Avril, Amanda Shepherd and Michael Lacapa.
The main literature collection includes over 3,800 classics of children's literature based on A Critical History of Children's Literature by Cornelia Meigs. An extensive collection of folk and fairy tales is also included in the Center.
In addition, there are several smaller collections designed to inspire children to create their own literature and to fuel their natural curiosity about books. The Children as Authors collection includes books written by children which have been professionally published. Pop Up Books is another popular collection.
Special donations and memorial gifts to the Phoenix Public Library Foundation have supported the purchase of rare books and original art. The Jack Brown Memorial Fund, for example, was used to procure over a dozen pieces of artwork, including three charcoal sketches by David Wiesner, the 2007 Caldecott Award winner. Wiesner has been awarded more Caldecott Medals and Honors than any other artist since the award was originated in 1938. The Center also is supported by annual contributions from the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library.
The Center for Children's Literature is available on an appointment basis and for special tours. For information, call 602-262-6625.
Art, Exhibits & Events