Library Exhibit Includes First Children's Picture Book

Dec. 4, 2000

An exhibit of items from the Howard-Larrabee Wanda Gág Collection is on display in the foyer of Baylor University's Moody Library. The exhibit, which runs through Jan. 26, includes books, prints and original lithographs, as well as a family photograph and letter from Gág, who is credited as the author of the first children's picture book "Millions of Cats."

A native of Minnesota, Gág was born in 1893 and published her first illustrations in 1908 in "Junior Journal," a Sunday supplement to the "Minneapolis Journal." In 1928 when publisher Coward-McCann Inc. decided to establish a juvenile line, "Millions of Cats" was selected as one of the first six children's titles. In 1929, the book was named a Newbery Honor Book for best contribution to American children's literature. Gág died in 1946, but her book about an old man and woman looking for the prettiest cat remains in print today.

Baylor obtained the Gág materials from alumna Carol Spencer Howard, who received the items in 1964 from Harold R. Larrabee, a friend of the author.

"Wanda Gág's illustrations, found on the pages of children's books, are as creative and imaginative as any found in a gallery," said Bill Hair, acting dean of the libraries. "We are extremely fortunate to have been the recipients of such gracious benefactors."

Moody Library is open 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday. From Dec. 13 to Jan. 7, the library will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, call 710-2111.

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