The Free Library of Philadelphia is excited to celebrate iconic children’s book author and illustrator Lloyd Alexander, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Book of Three, the inaugural volume in Alexander’s renowned Chronicles of Prydain series. The Free Library’s Children’s Literature Research Collection, located at the Parkway Central Library, is home to the papers of Philadelphia native Alexander, which includes a treasure trove of pieces related to the Chronicles of Prydain, such as research notes, planning documents, outlines, early drafts, printers’ proofs, and even a hand-drawn map of Prydain and a family tree of the nobility in the story. The six-book series was loosely inspired by the mythology the author became interested in during his World War II training in Wales.
To commemorate the anniversary and celebrate this acclaimed children’s author and his fascinating collection, the Free Library is presenting an exhibition of highlights from its Lloyd Alexander collection in the Rare Book Department at Parkway Central Library. The exhibition is free and open to the public during regular operating hours, Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. now through February. In addition, the Library’s award-winning Author Events Series will host a free discussion with bestselling fantasy writer Tamora Pierce and Alexander’s goddaughter Sharyn November, senior editor at Viking Children’s Books and Editorial Director at Firebird Books, on Saturday, October 11 at 1:00 p.m. Following the discussion, there will be a screening of The Black Cauldron, which is loosely based on the first two books of the Chronicles of Prydain.
If you haven't yet explored Lloyd Alexander's masterful, fantastical world of Prydain, check out The Book of Three from your neighborhood library and get reading!