Boston Public Library, Copley Branch
February through October 2015
As you may know, Ms. Hen loves to read. She loves imagining places that don’t exist anywhere except the pages of a book. Sometimes, it’s difficult to get situated exactly where we’re supposed to be when we’re reading. But she found an exhibit that helps her do that.
LITERARY LANDSCAPES is an exhibit at the Boston Public Library, which is a display of maps taken from literature. If you have a hard time figuring out where the Pequod from MOBY DICK sailed, or where The Shire is located in Middle Earth, go see this exhibit in the Leventhal Map Room, a tiny sanctuary filled with maps. As well as the exhibit, there are interactive kiosks, puzzles and other educational items for people who love to learn of all ages.
Ms. Hen travelled to Nantucket and around the Pacific Ocean to chase Moby Dick with Captain Ahab. This map was different from the others since it was based in the so-called real world. Ms. Hen loves the poetry within MOBY DICK, and this map reflects that.
Ms. Hen then flew to Neverland with Peter Pan. She loves the idea of a magic world where a child could fly away and never come home and stay young forever. She likes the island and the drawings of the pirates.
Oz had to be Ms. Hen’s favorite land where she travelled when she read the book. The map helped her to understand where Munchkinland lies in relation to Oz. It’s not very far.
Ms. Hen travelled to visit her friends Winnie the Pooh and Tigger in the Hundred Acre Wood. She didn’t know if Winnie the Pooh would actually be friends with a Hen, but he’s very friendly, so she is sure he would like her.
One of Ms. Hen’s favorite books is THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. Ms. Hen went there to see Mr. Toad in Toad Hall and now she feels really lucky that she knows how far Rat’s house is from Mole’s house, thanks to the map.
Ms. Hen has to confess that she’s never read THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, or any of the books, but she’s seen the films. She found her way to Middle Earth to visit Frodo at the Shire and the Hobbits showed her gracious hospitality.
Many more maps adorn the walls of the exhibit, but she couldn’t take pictures with them all. Some of the books Ms. Hen had not read, but she enjoyed looking at the maps anyway. There’s something about looking at a map that Ms. Hen loves: you can know precisely where you are, or where you want to be. Or where you imagined you could be in your mind as you were reading a story. This exhibits guides your imagination to pinpoint your location inside the book. Ms. Hen loves knowing where she stands, even if it’s in her mind. Because she’s a creative Hen, she sets her mind free and wanders to other worlds when she reads. This exhibit is where those places come to life.