Thank you to everyone who participated in our very first Imagination Library Contest! We received many excellent submissions and wished we could have awarded every single family with a prize.
The Eugene Public Library Foundation is pleased to congratulate the Abbe family for submitting the winning entry, and to our runners up, the Kempe, Hughes, and Williams-McMahon families, who received honorable mentions.The Abbe family received an invitation to attend the 2017 Imagination Library Luncheon, which was held at the Valley River Inn on April 6th, in addition to a Kindle Paperwhite eReader. Our runners up received a luncheon invitation and each was awarded a $20 Gift Certificate donated by Smith Family Bookstore.
Thank you again for your participation and for your support of the Imagination Library. We are so honored to bring this amazing program to our city, in partnership with the Eugene Public Library.
Winner: Lily, the Little Blue Engine
This is Lily, my two-year-old daughter, reading The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, her first Imagination Library book. Here she sits with the book, flipping through the colorful pages, and retelling the story, which is a mashup of what she remembers from being read to and what she creates based on the pictures.
She reminds me of the Little Blue Engine when I see her reading. She is small, she has never been over the mountain of proficient literacy, and by most standards she is unqualified to read a book because she doesn’t even recognize her alphabet yet. But that does not stop her. She thinks she can read, and so approaches books with self-confidence, curiosity, and most of all, joy.
She is on the railway to literacy and a new book each month moves her farther up that mountain. Thank you, Dolly Parton and the Imagination Library for believing in my daughter and for supporting families like ours who value early literacy.
Runner Up: The Kempe Family
We’ve been recipients of books from the Imagination Library since the beginning when it was first offered in Eugene. We love the program and our oldest son has really enjoyed reading all of the books. We read them together all the time and often times, he ends up choosing one of the Imagination Library books for his bedtime story. He has learned his letters this way (ABCers was a great book for this), memorized several of the stories (some of them before he was even two!) and is developing a strong love for reading. This program is amazing.
Even though we love reading ourselves and promote reading in our house, there’s not always money to purchase books; the fact that each child gets their own special book each month is such an incredible blessing. We are lucky to live in a community that supports a program like this. We also really appreciate the book choices: the themes are relevant and inclusive and have consistently featured diverse characters. Diversity is so important in children’s literature and we really appreciate that these books help familiarize children with people of different backgrounds, race, language (bilingual books), etc. Thank you.
Runner Up: Nate the Fireman
This is Nate (or, “Nate The Fireman,” as he dresses in this outfit 90 percent of the time). He is three-and-a-half years old. We have been enjoying books from The Imagination Library since Nate was a baby. We always enjoy the new books and it is fun to have something new to add to our rotation each month. Nate is always excited to get a new book in the mail. Unfortunately, Nate does not know to give credit to the Library. 😉 He thinks that since the mailman delivers the books, they must be from him. And so, over time, they have developed a very sweet relationship. Nate is quite shy and hardly says hi to anyone but he loves our mailman. On the mornings we are home together, Nate runs to say hi to our mailman when he hears the mail truck. Last week when this book came, we missed the mailman but I caught a couple of photos of Nate excitedly getting the mail with our monthly gift from The Imagination Library project. Thank you so much for the generous gift of a new book each month. We have really enjoyed the books! And we have really enjoyed getting to know our mailman.
Runner Up: Brenner
Oh, the Imagination Library! A monthly book, in the mail, addressed to my two-year-old son, Brenner.
Thanks to the Eugene Public Library Foundation and legendary performer, Dolly Parton, my son gets the gift of a new adventure every month. This is truly an amazing program, especially in a time where children are exposed to advanced technology everywhere–a book still reaches you how a screen cannot. Reading a book gives you the ability to create the ideas and descriptions in your head–in your imagination.
Dolly Parton came to Eugene in 1972, and that night she was here, feeling ill and tired, she still performed for our community. She was so touched by the love and support from the crowd that night that she wrote a song entitled, “Eugene, Oregon.” Among the lyrics is “Oh, Eugene, Oregon, I have been trying to find a way to say thanks again.” Forty-five years later, a two-year-old sits in his room, holding the monthly thank you card from Dolly and the Eugene Public Library!