Do Books Make Us Human?
by Kristina Chew
“Books are really part of what makes us human.” So asserts Rosemary Agoglia, curator of education at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts, in a New York Times article about efforts to teach children the merits and pleasures of the “pre-web page,” of books. In New York City, the Morgan Book Project seeks to “instill in children of the digital age an appreciation for books by providing authentic materials to write, illustrate and construct their own medieval and Renaissance-inspired illuminated manuscripts.”
The NYC Department of Education developed the free program for children in grades 3 through 7, in conjunction with the world-renowned Morgan Library and Museum, which houses a rich collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts written in gorgeous flowing scripts side-by-side with multicolored, detailed illustrations, as well as a priceless collection of printed books including Gutenberg Bibles (and some of which can be viewed online).