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If We Ran the Zoo: Animals in Children's Book Illustration

October 6, 2018 - January 13, 2019

Arnold Lobel, untitled drawing from A Zoo for Mister Muster, 1962, watercolor and ink on paper, 8 x 10 ¼ inches, on loan from the Zerzanek Collection of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, L2009.0486.
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If We Ran the Zoo: Animals in Children’s Book Illustration



October 6, 2018 – January 13, 2019







Stories about animals have always been a staple of children’s literature. One of the earliest known books aimed at children, the 17th century publication Orbis sensualium pictus, taught children the alphabet by mimicking animal noises. This trope continued in the early- and mid-20th century, called the Golden Age of children’s book illustration. Drawn from the Zerzanek Collection of Original Art from Children's Literature on loan to the CRMA from the Cedar Rapids Public Library, If We Ran the Zoo looks at the various ways animals have shaped children’s literature, from simple science books to loyal pets to fantastical, talking companions.

*upcoming exhibitions are subject to change








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