Children's Book Week is April 30 - May 6, 2018.
This year, Kansas City Public Library staffers were asked to complete the thought, "If I could be a children's book character, I'd be ... ." We narrowed their options to 21 iconic children's book characters, and participating staffers are wearing special lanyards throughout the week showing off the characters they selected.
Why did they choose their particular characters? We'll let them explain, in their own words.
"I love Ada's curiosity as she explores the scientific process, and I like encouraging girls to consider science as a career."
- Connie Jones, Central Library
"I love that she loves stories. I love her creativity. I love the way that she knows exactly what she wants and what she can do and who she is, and I love that no one can dissuade her. I want to be just like her when I get over growing up."
- Jamie Mayo, Youth and Family Engagement at Central Library
"I have great memories of reading this series with my son when he was young."
- Elizabeth Eddings, Library administration
"I loved the adventures Curious George went on."
- Chante Thompson, OneNorth Technology Center at Central Library
"I love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books! I have read all of them, and look forward to a new one coming out. The books are so funny, and have great illustrations."
- Cindy Mitchell, Trails West Branch
"When I read the question, I immediately thought of Harry Potter. He can do all sorts of things with his magic. Then I thought of all the troubles he has and realized I wasn't interested in that part. Harold, with his magical purple crayon, was my next and final choice. He has so many wonderful adventures! I have no idea where my imagination would take me if I had my own purple crayon, but I would love to find out."
- Vicky Patterson, Annex offices
"Imagination, and black and white character!"
- Bernard Norcott-Mahany, Bluford Branch
"I love how Harry Potter is a champion of tolerance and inclusion and good."
- Jane Lee, Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment
"I have loved Harry Potter for as long as I can remember, and I couldn't imagine choosing another character!"
- Tiffany Weyant, North-East Branch
"I chose Harry because he brings magic into the world✨"
- Karla Dee Mullis, Ruiz Branch
"Reading is such magic, and the places you can go are amazing."
- Kathy, Central Library
"I always wanted to live in Harry's world when I was a kid. I wanted to go to Hogwarts and be special, too. It seemed so much more exciting than reality."
- Lauren, Sugar Creek Branch
"Matilda uses her intelligence as essentially a superpower to put bullies in their places."
- Lauren Olson, Bluford Branch
"My brother and I loved this book so much. We fought over it. We drew in it. We ripped out the pages. To this day, neither of us agrees on whom the book belongs to, even without the cover and parts completely obscured by orange and purple crayon. The two of us identified heavily with Max, and I feel bad for our poor mom having to share a house with us. We got sent to our rooms a lot."
- Emily Altman, Central Library
"Because Max is always up for an adventure, and usually in trouble! And he has no problem with the faint edges of the maps that read 'There be dragons here.' :D "
- Mary Batson, Annex offices
"Ms. Frizzle takes children to fantastic and exciting places. I feel like I do that as a children's librarian through book talks and programs."
- Donna Newell, Waldo Branch
"I chose Ms. Frizzle because she's brilliant, confident, fun, patient, and calm under pressure. Plus, her bus is basically a TARDIS ... or maybe the TARDIS is basically a magic school bus."
- Kate Hill, Missouri Valley Special Collections
"I love that she doesn't give answers but instead provides real-life experiences for her students to find their own answers. She is a little eccentric and fun. I hope that I am as cool as Ms. Frizzle."
- Anna Francesca Garcia, Central Youth Services
"Because I am quirky and really enjoy teaching environmental education, which is what I do part-time."
- Patrice Gonzalez, Central Library
"Ms Frizzle's method of immersion learning and making it fun is something I aspire to for all of us at the Library, and especially for those of us dedicated to working with youth. And it is really easy to be her for Halloween -- great costume possibilities. :)"
- Crystal Faris, Youth & Family Engagement
Ezra Jack Keats
"I, too, can find pleasure in dragging a stick through the snow."
- Ron Freeman, Plaza Branch
"The Pigeon is like my internal ego trying to rationalize impulses and impetuousness. We both have no ability to delay gratification, and we love hot dogs and cookies."
- Samantha Edwards, Central Library
"Mo Willems' Pigeon is one of my favorites. He is so sassy and stubborn, just like me! I loved doing storytimes with Pigeon. His reactions are so much fun to act out while you're reading about his adventures. And I always want to eat a hot dog afterward."
- Kim Gile, Central Library
"My grandkids love Mo Willems' books. I like the persistence of Pigeon."
- Debbie Wachs, Trails West Branch
"Ramona was who I always wanted to be when I was a kid. I identified with her sister Beezus, being an older sister myself, but I wanted to have Ramona's zest."
- Erica, Central Library's Collection Development
"As the oldest of five children, Ramona's noteworthy quote, 'Share, share, share. That's all grownups ever talk about,' resonated with me. Also her undebatable observation on apples: 'The first bite always tastes best.' "
- Kaite Stover, Reader's Services
"We share the same name."
- Ramona, substitute
The Stinky Cheese Man
"I chose this character because, like The Stinky Cheese Man, there are days when I smell so bad people must run away."
- Mick, Central Library
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
"I'm always hungry ... I'm not me when I'm hungry!"
- Sara Escandon, Trails West Branch
"I've always loved Tigger's joy, and think we'd all be better off if we felt that good about ourselves. He's right. Tiggers are wonderful things!"
- Julia, Plaza Branch
"Tigger is pretty annoying but still lovable, which I hope I am. He has a lot of energy and bounce, but he can get sad on occasion."
- Sophie French, Waldo Branch