For 25 years, the NCCIL has brought to Abilene original art from the finest examples of children’s literature. From William Joyce to Paul O. Zelinsky, residents of Abilene, and beyond, have enjoyed engaging exhibits designed to support the NCCIL’s mission to “inspire and empower children to read and be creative”.

To mark this milestone, the Abilene Public Library has partnered with the NCCIL to create a very special collection of Children’s Literature reflecting the illustrators featured by the NCCIL over the past 25 years. All three of our locations will have a special capsule collection featuring a copy of each of these titles.

It was a fateful day when then Mayor Gary McCaleb invited William Joyce to the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council luncheon. Two weeks earlier, Joyce’s book “Santa Calls” had been published and, by chance, he had decided to set it in Abilene. The two developed an instant friendship, the impetus for the creation of the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL).

William Joyce, in addition to being the first featured artist, has also been exhibited more than any other. His art graced our community in 1998, 2004, 2014 and 2017. Abilene also boasts no fewer than 8 sculptures of William Joyce characters including Jack Frost right outside the Abilene Public Library. The collection will, of course, include the titles “Jack Frost”, “Dinosaur Bob and his Adventures with the Family Lazardo” and “Santa Calls”.

Dr. Seuss, whose sculptures are featured in Everyman Park, will be represented with such titles as “The Cat in the Hat”, “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Horton Hears a Who!”.

David Small was a featured artist in 2001, 2007 and 2021. His work will be represented by “The Gardener”, and the “The Library”. You can also expect to find “Hidden Wonders!” by Walter Wick,

David Shannon’s “A Bad Case of Stripes” and “Bats at the Library” by the featured 2023 C.A.L.F. illustrator, Brian Lies.

This collaborative collection will be available soon. We invite you to stop by your favorite location to browse the many carefully selected titles. If you happen to visit the Main location downtown, be sure to also travel around Downtown Abilene and enjoy the outdoor sculptures inspired by these illustrators and the books they brought to life.

The NCCIL Collection at The Abilene Public Library
Main Library- 202 Cedar St.
South Branch Library- 4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
Mockingbird Branch Library- 1326 N Mockingbird Ln.