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The Best of Our Knowledge # 1020


Part One: TOON Books Breaking Ground -

Whether it's part of the education reform movement, or just a natural progression in education curriculum, comic books appear to be in broader use in American classrooms. Some teachers see them as another option for learning. Some academic scholars are interested for the education research possibilities.

Last year, New York City hosted an academic conference - what was called "Graphica in Education." The event attracted more than 100 teachers, scholars, artists, and publishers from across the U.S. Presentations included "Critical Literacy and Graphica Novels in the Classroom."

One of the leaders in this new industry is TOON Books. TOON Books features original stories and characters and each book is vetted by educators to ensure that the vocabulary and narratives are age-appropriate.

TBOOK Producer and Host, Glenn Busby, spoke with Francoise Mouly, Publisher and Editorial Director for TOON Books. Mouly is also the Art Editor for The New Yorker magazine.

Glenn Busby reports. (9:23)

Next Week: We discuss the psychology behind the visual and written impact comic books have on children's brains. And how these books are being used in the classroom to expand early reading experiences.

**(Attention Listeners. To read more about TOON Books online, and see their new spring releases, go to www.toon-books.com.)**


Continuing with today's theme of children's literature, most of us probably have fond memories of Golden Books. Those Little Golden Books have been part of our lives for generations. The golden and black spines of the books are recognizable anywhere. Favorites like Sailor Dog, The Shy Little Kitten, and Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever! have been captivating children for decades.

The number one Golden Book, and children's book for all time, is The Pokey Little Puppy, which was also one of the original twelve Golden Books. Since its inception, Little Golden Books have reached the hands of well over 2-billion children around the world.

So to celebrate the Little Golden Books 65th anniversary, children's book historian, Leonard Marcus, wrote Golden Legacy to explain how Golden Books won children's hearts, changed publishing, and became an American icon along the way. The Smithsonian Institution even includes Little Golden Books and artwork in its division of cultural history.

Golden Legacy reveals the groundbreaking writers and artists who created them. The clever mavericks who marketed and sold them. And the surprising cultural landscape that surrounded them.

Leonard Marcus starts our TBOOK story by telling us how Golden Books were much less expensive than other picture books of the era, costing just 25 cents.

Katie Britton reports. (8:58)

**(Attention Listeners. The website given in the show at the end of this story for those seeking more information is www.randomhouse.com/golden.)**

Postscript: Now you can see the largest public showing ever of original art from Golden Books, as the exhibition Golden Legacy continues its national tour. Now through August, the display is at the Lake County Discovery Museum in Lake County, Illinois.