About 50 years ago my dear friend Elizabeth Orton Jones won the 1945 Caldecott Medal for illustrating Rachel Field's poem Prayer for a Child, now published in a special diamond anniversary edition. I love giving this book to newborns and their families. Regard- less of denomination, it contains a lifelong message of childhood love, comfort and well being, as a young girl says her bedtime prayer and blesses what is dear to her: Bless my friends and family.
Bless my Father and my MotherAnd keep us close to one another.
Bless other children, far and near,And keep them safe and free from fear.Miss Jones led the way in multiculturalism before it had such a highfalutin name. She paints a sea of little faces from around the world to accompany these last lines, a beautiful sight and a tribute to world understanding.
Alice Cary writes from Groton, Massachusetts.