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Is The Publication Date of A Book Really That Important?


Does the publication date of a book matter? Does it make the book more relevant or interesting or even a good read if it was published within the last year or decades ago?

I thought about this concept and decided to explore my own feelings about two children’s books that have always been my favorites—Charlotte’s Web, written in 1952 by E.B. White and Where The Wild Things Are, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak in 1963. By anyone’s standards, both are vintage,  well-loved, and both were relevant enough to be subsequently adapted into film approximately fifty years later (2006 and 2009, respectively.)

Furthermore, I reasoned that if E.B. White and Maurice Sendak were alive and at a book signing, there is no doubt that I would find myself standing in line for an autographed copy.

While writing my own children’s story, Baby Lauren and Theodore, I had both of the aforementioned books in mind. The tale was inspired by my youngest daughter when she was only three years old and it was developing in my head for over fifteen years.  I finally found the time to sit down and write the story about ten years ago, and published it several years after that. To reiterate, it is a classic tale of friendship, love, loss and renewed hope that is both heartwarming and instructional.

With all that in mind, I have come to the conclusion that some books– like great music and art– are timeless.

So, I ask you, is the publication date of a book really all that important? What are your thoughts?

A little known fact: my neighbor loved Theodore so much that she decorated her house with his tree branches which she kept intact for over fifteen years. She had no idea that I was writing the book and I was unaware that she had saved the tree. After I published Baby Lauren and Theodore, she was kind enough to bring Theodore home for the holidays, saying, “You wrote the book. Here is your tree back.”  We have come full circle under these unusual but wonderful circumstances.

Your questions and comments are encouraged. Author Deborah Sherrell may be reached at healingtreearts@yahoo.com.