Current Exhibition | Play by Design

Play By Design: The Physical World of Children's Books

On View Through December 2016
Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Bentley Rare Book Gallery
Athenaeum Gallery, Sturgis Library (2nd Floor) | Google Maps

385 Cobb Avenue, Kennesaw, GA 30144

Free + Open to the public | No reservations required

Featuring rare children’s books from the Bentley Rare Book Gallery, Play by Design: The World of Children's Books invites visitors to explore illustration styles and techniques, intriguing formats, and the interplay of text and images on the printed page.

From the Enlightenment to today, the children’s book has evolved dramatically. Initially, books were meant to be instructive tools used to impart moral lessons. As time progressed, children’s books were refashioned to combine both learning and amusement. The manipulation of the size, materials, illustrations, layout, and typography of books have worked to create unique worlds for their readers and helped shape individual experiences with various books. The interplay of physical elements highlighted in children’s books makes this medium especially relevant to today’s world in which electronic interactivity informs our daily lives.

Books have many purposes: they teach, entertain, broaden our horizons, and introduce us to new ideas. In no genre is the interplay of various literary elements more evident than in children’s literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Today’s digital world is providing even more opportunities for readers to engage in traditional elements of children’s books (typography, story, and illustration), while introducing new realms of interactivity. Print books may be converted to electronic books to be read on a computer screen, and authors and publishers are producing new books written specifically for the digital format, including games, music, and other features. In this exhibit, we see authors, illustrators, and publishers continually innovating to enhance readers’ interactions with books.
The exhibition is appropriate for all ages.

Featured authors include:

Opening Reception
April 21, 2016

The opening reception featured a live reading and musical performance inspired by Jean de Brunhoff's The Story of Babar the Little Elephant. The Bentley Rare Book Gallery also invited event attendees to bring their favorite children’s book for donation to the Big Shanty Elementary Media Center.

Thank you to our sponsors!

XOCOLATL logo      Barnes and Noble     
Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters logo      The Homestead logo

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