Guest Blogger

To holiday or not to holiday + Caption Contest



Original comic by Lisa Nowlain

So! This debate seems to be a great button-pusher in the Children’s Librarian world. Here’s my two cents – and I do want to locate my comic in my identity as an agnostic/white lady librarian. The comments and points were pulled from the following blogs, and were summaries and paraphrases:



This month’s Caption Contest (I promise it will be monthly! The summer break is over, officially – I’m even wearing a sweater today!) Fill out this Google Form to provide your caption and participate.


The winner of last post’s Caption Contest was Carrie Hummel! See the final comic below!


Lisa Nowlain is the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Fellow and Children’s Librarian at Darien Library in Darien, CT. She is also an artist-type (see more at


  1. Monica

    Caption: “Oooh, I hope that flood is just rain!”

  2. Debbie Reese

    Lisa!!! Your comic about holidays is terrific!

    As a Native woman (tribally enrolled, Nambe Pueblo), I dread Columbus Day because in too many places, kids are still taught that Columbus “discovered” America. I dread Halloween because someone is inevitably dressed up as “an Indian” and I dread Thanksgiving because holiday is a feel-good story people consume without giving serious thought to what actually happened.

    When I was teaching elementary school, I didn’t do those holidays in my classroom. One parent was so angry he called me at home to berate me for depriving his son of the chance to wear his Halloween costume at school. He then asked his son be placed elsewhere, which was fine with me, because we didn’t do Thanksgiving either, and I suspect that dad would be calling me up again…

    Instead of the holiday party, my students invited their parents to come to our classroom for our version of Name That Fact in which I was a game show host asking questions about what we’d done in previous weeks in class (example was our study of the praying mantis when, one day after recess, one was tangled in a student’s hair). Students played against their parents. It was great! No complaints. Except that one dad…

    1. Lisa Nowlain

      Hi Debbie,
      Thanks for the compliment! I find the devotion to holidays so interesting, it sometimes feels like a commitment to an oppressive narrative. I strongly remember my former Black Panther/African American Studies professor telling me she always hopes that when she goes to see a movie it just doesn’t even have black people in it because she knows how wrong it will always go – so many holidays are unfortunately like that. You know someone is going to do something messed up! But, at the same time, I have to have hope that those conversations around costumes, Thanksgiving, etc can be open and transformative, and that not doing holidays also opens up an engaging conversations.

  3. Margo Tanenbaum

    “Toto! I’ve got to find Toto!”

  4. Alicia Rambo

    The books! Someone cover the books!

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