This summer, the Free Library of Philadelphia is excited to celebrate The Summer of Lauren Castillo! Okay, technically, it’s The Summer of Wonder—our annual Summer Reading program for Pre-K, School-age Children, Teens, and Adults. To me, however, this is the Summer of Lauren Castillo©®™ because of the absolutely gorgeous artwork she created for the Free Library’s Summer Reading program this year. I love Lauren’s vision of Summer Reading because it reflects the vibrancy, the warmth, and the fun of Philadelphia perfectly. Walk down any street in Philadelphia. from Cottman Ave. and South Street to Germantown and West Philly, and you’ll see people just like the ones featured on our poster. Okay, maybe not the llama, but he’s important too. Give me a moment—I’ll get there.
Before we talk about llamas, let’s talk about Lauren. She’s kind of a big deal. Lauren Castillo has illustrated over fifteen books and is a Caldecott honoree for her 2014 book Nana in the City. The Caldecott award is one of the biggest awards in the library community. The medal and honors are presented annually by the American Library Association and recognize the preceding year's most distinguished American picture books for children. One medal is awarded, while honors are given to a small handful of books that are also distinguished. Receiving a Caldecott medal or an honor is one of the highest compliments librarians can pay to an illustrator. In this year's Free Library Summer Reading poster, you can see references to Lauren’s previous book and character illustrations.
View Larger Image
The citizens depicted here (yes, even the llama!) are from books Lauren has illustrated. Sometimes they’re main characters and sometimes they appear in the background of a book. You can click on the above image to go to a special booklist in our catalog that includes all the books referenced in Lauren's Summer of Wonder poster!