Welcome to the online presence of the Butler Children's Literature Center, housed in Dominican's SOIS and generously supported by the Butler Family Foundation. Here, we run Butler Book Banter (B3), a book discussion group; host an annual lecture; and invite anyone interested in books for youth to visit us during our open hours (Summer 2019 hours: Monday through Thursday 12-5 p.m.) or contact us for an appointment.
The Butler Center opened in its permanent space two years ago today on September 11th, 2011, the tenth anniversary of that infamous day in world history. To commemorate that occasion we curated an exhibit called the Kinship Project, a collection of books for children and teens that speak to our human kinship. We created a catalog with notes that speak to each of the 29 books connection to the idea of kinship. I link here to the online version. We have some print copies as well (beautiful, actually) and I’d be happy to send some along to you, too. Just fill out the form below with your name and address and I’ll get them in the mail.
How about you? What do you remember of that day? What do your memories have to say to your work with books and young people? Where do you see kinship among the collections we keep?
Lion is the king, and something of a bully. He steals Hyena’s lunch monkey. He gives Buffalo a wedgie. Baboon puts an ad in the paper, looking for someone to put lion in his place. Bear and Moose and Tiger arrive on a plane, ready to challenge Lion, one by one. Lion wins, every time. Then comes Rabbit. Rabbit chooses his own contests (marshmallow eating, painting, trivia) and wins each one. Lion relents, agreeing to bully no more, and rabbit takes his leave. As his ship departs we learn that he is in fact a bunch of rabbits, chosen specifically for the individual contests. And, indeed, looking back through the book we see evidence of the subterfuge. For every rabbit competing there are other rabbits hiding, their ears or tails peeking out from behind rocks or hills or tall grasses. Droll details and comic characterizations add wild panache. The story’s skewed humor and buoyant charm delight on their own, but the regular opportunities for the listener to know just a little more than the protagonist elevate this outing from mere felicity to full-on fun.