A Step into the Boxcar

By Josalyn Moran

Putnam, Connecticut is home to the Gertrude Warner Museum — a town of sorts — replete with the buildings in which Gertrude Chandler Warner led her life…the houses in which she lived, the church she attended, and of, course, the school in which she taught for decades.


School where Gertrude taught first grade


A step into the boxcar is like a step into the first boxcar book itself.


Exterior of the boxcar (before it's recent paint job)


One end of the car is devoted to reproductions of items that were used by Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny.  Whether it is Benny’s wagon, his teddy, or his pink cup with the crack, one is transported back into the setting of the story that started it all.  On one wall there is a silhouette of Jessie watering her garden.  There is an old railroad light hanging from the ceiling; their pine bough beds are recreated (using hay this time of the year). It is such a charming spot.


Recreation from Book 1 Scene


Another nook is filled with memorabilia from the author’s teaching days.  She taught first grade for most of her career.  There are classroom pictures, report cards, as well as samples of the silhouettes and birthday cards that she made for each of her students.


GCW with class of 1945

A real highlight of the collection, however, is the desk and typewriter at which the stories were written.



GCW desk and typewriter



A Step into the Boxcar

Larger than life at the Frankfurt Fair

By Josalyn Moran

When I think of the book fair, I think of everything larger than life…the sculptures around the fairgrounds…

like the Hammering Man, a large kinetic sculpture created by Jonathan Borofsky that stands at the foot of the Messeturm. The black sculpture, which seems to be hammering at a constant pace, symbolizes the working man. It is made of steel and stands 21.5 meter (71 ft) tall. The Hammering Man was erected here in 1991 at the occasion of the completion of the Messeturm. The sculpture is part of a series; other Hammering Man sculptures can be found in cities such as Seattle, New York and Seoul.


Inside the fair jumbo-sized items were also evident if it was the Darth Vader made out of Legos at the DK booth,or the largest book of all time, At the Millennium House booth one could view the world’s largest book, the platinum edition of Earth.  Opened it measures 6 by 9 feet.  It showcases the craftsmanship of more than 100 international cartographers, geographers, and photographers.  Only 31 copies will be produced, so one should place one’s order quickly.  The retail?  Only $100,000…

…Or the weighty marble and stone bookends for sale at the market on the grounds.  The one I brought home weighed four pounds and  was sculpted from beautiful blue Brazilian granite (azul bahia).

Larger than life at the Frankfurt Fair

Uncle Albert’s Got a Brand New Blog

Welcome to the new Albert Whitman & Company blog.  We are dedicated to serving the interests of the children’s book publishing community, including librarians, teachers, parents, publishers, authors, and illustrators.  In addition to news and updates, every week we will feature the following series.    

AWCo Author Podcasts
Audio interviews with our authors and illustrators

From the Archives
A nostalgic look back into the vault of AWCo classics

Classroom Connection (Beginning August 2010)
Educational resources, news, and information especially for educators

Today we leave you with a photo of our new VP of Publishing, Josalyn Moran, and a few of our authors at this year’s ALA conference.    

(Left to right) Alison Formento (This Tree Counts), Josalyn Moran, Margaret Read MacDonald (How Many Donkeys?), Dori Butler (Buddy Files), Margaret Coffee, Catherine Stier (If I Ran for President)



Uncle Albert’s Got a Brand New Blog