Marye Jane Priddy Children’s Library

Published 12:18 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2022

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Marye Jane Priddy, a lifelong educator who finished her career in Tryon as a substitute teacher, left a generous donation to the Friends of the Polk County Public Libraries upon her passing in 2020. With some of the funds, the children’s area at Columbus Library was renovated, including new carpet, furniture, and decor, as well as the addition of museum quality, hands-on literacy learning tools. 


The grand opening of the Marye Jane Priddy Children’s Library is this Saturday, April 23rd, at 2pm. Join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony, storytime, refreshments, and party favors! The first 25 families at the event will receive a free copy of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, one of Marye Jane Priddy’s favorite books. Here are some other wonderful children’s books you might want to check out while you’re there.

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My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann

When Mouse lets his best friend, Rabbit, play with his brand-new airplane, trouble isn’t far behind. This picture book about friends, toys, and trouble, is illustrated in robust, expressive prints.


We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom 

The winner of the 2021 Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children, this book tells the story of an Ojibwe girl who fights against an oil pipeline in an effort to protect the water supply of her people.


Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

This 1981 fantasy picture book is about an enchanted board game that implements wild animals and other jungle elements as the game is played in real life. His marvelous drawings beautifully convey a mix of the everyday and the extraordinary, as a quiet house is taken over by an exotic jungle.


Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick

In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war. Harry Colebourn’s great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey – from the fields of Canada to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England, and finally to the London Zoo, where Winnie made another new friend: a real boy named Christopher Robin.


This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

The second in a picture book trilogy, and one of my personal favorites! When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. Visual humor makes this a deadpan-funny tale. 


The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

This poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. 


Jen Pace Dickenson is the youth services librarian for Polk County Public Libraries. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call 828-894-8721.