Peanuts and Reading: A Match Made in Comics HeavenSep 18, 2013
As the PEANUTS kids grew up (albeit not very much) they, like all children, yearned to do “grown-up” things. Notice how proud Linus is in the strip above from April, 1960.
As Charlie brown’s little sister, Sally, matures (although “matures” juxtaposed with Sally may strike many as ludicrous) she, too, learn the joys of using the library.
It seemed natural then that the American Library Association would ask Snoopy to join forces with them in their September “Library Card sign-up month.” There are a lot of strips in Peanuts about various aspects of reading because Sparky loved to read and it was not unusual for him to present a new acquaintance with a book he thought he or she would enjoy.
The elements of the ALA campaign include a READ poster, and I LOVE TO READ bookmark and reward stickers for kids, encouraging them to sign up for a library card and check out books.
To support the efforts of the ALA, I spent a recent Thursday morning speaking over satellite with TV anchors in 16 markets (many of which distribute the interview to other stations.)
The stations were as close as Bakersfield and Las Vegas, and as far away as Rochester, NY and Miami.
Some of the anchors spoke of their own children and reading; others asked about library cutbacks. I was happy to report that although many libraries have had to reduce their hours and staff, attendance at children’s programs and circulation of children’s materials have increased in recent years. I pointed out that librarians LOVE to help visitors, and can often singlehandedly draw children into books; and that libraries are a lifeline for many adults. When I was talking to the TV anchors, I felt that Sparky would have been pleased that Snoopy and I were a part of this effort.