The New York Public Library Extends Popular Exhibition: ‘The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter’

Exhibition open until September 7, features updated items that highlight the world of children’s literature 

The New York Public Library has extended its popular children’s literature exhibition, The ABC Of It: Why Children’s Books Matter. The exhibition will run until September 7 at the Library’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

Featuring nearly 250 items curated by children’s book expert Leonard S. Marcus, The ABC Of It shares original artwork, correspondence, books and materials that explore the impact of children’s literature in society and culture over time. Updates to the exhibition have been made as a result of the extension and include: a new letter from Lewis Carroll to his muse Alice Liddell, a different set of hand-colored plates depicting William Blake’s Songs of Innocence, an alternative set of The Wizard of Oz drawings, a new letter from Beatrix Potter to NYPL Librarian Anne Carroll Moore, another series of Ashley Bryan collages, a new letter from Edward Stratemeyer to Nancy Drew author Mildred Wirt, new Little Toot drawings and more.

In honor of the exhibition’s extension the Library has also released a video with Mr. Marcus that discusses the seminal work of Lewis Carroll – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - and his muse Alice Liddell, which are both featured in The ABC Of It. The 3-minute short is available to view at

Support for The New York Public Library’s Exhibitions Program has been provided by Celeste Bartos, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos Exhibitions Fund, and Jonathan Altman. Additional support for The ABC of It has been provided by the Bertha and Isaac Liberman Foundation, Inc., in memory of Ruth and Seymour Klein 

About The Curator

Leonard S. Marcus is one of the world’s leading authorities on children’s books and their illustration. He is the author of Minders of Make-Believe; Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom; Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon, The Wand in the Word; Golden Legacy; and Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing. In addition, he is the editor of Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Work. A frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review, Mr. Marcus lectures throughout the world and is currently on the faculty of New York University and the School of Visual Arts.

About The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at