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Making a craft at The National Book Festival

Eye Spy - Festival Poster Answers

2017 Festival Artist Peter de Sève

  1. Question: Can you find books with words on the spine

    Answer: Yes, there are 4 that you can read: Birds, Superhero's, Pirate Studio, and Very Wide Stories. Others may have a letter or two on them, but you cannot read any real word on them.
  2. Question: How many books do you see on the poster?

    Answer: There are 58 books on the poster, including the ones on that are walking out of the frame and the 17 that make up the frame.
  3. Question: How many hats on books can you see in the poster?

    Answer: There are 14 hats and 1 crown
  4. Question: How many books don’t have any hair?

    Answer: There are 38 books without any type of hair at all including 'facial' hair.
  5. Question: Can you find the book that is also an animal?

    Answer: The bird book right under the word Books in the poster.
  6. Question: There is a book saying "Up, Up and Away." Which superhero says this same thing?

    Answer: Superman
  7. Question: How many books can you find that don’t have arms

    Answer: There are 3 books in the crowd missing arms and then the 17 that make up the frame don’t have them either.
  8. Question: How many colors of books are there

    Answer: This is a tricky question! Some books have multiple colors and some combine colors different ways 23 different colored books can be seen, but there are only about 8 colors between all of them.
  9. Question: How many animal books do you see?

    Answer: There is one and that is the bird book at the top under the work “Books”
  10. Question: How many books wearing boots can you find?

    Answer: While there are a few different types of foot coverings seen, only 4 books are wearing boots. There are 2 with bandanas around their waists with the "Howdy Pardner" bubble, the flying Superhero and the Pirate book.

2015 Festival Artist Peter de Sève

  1. Question: Can you find the chair missing its reader?

    Empty armchair

    Answer: There is one chair without the reader in or on it of the nine in the poster. That means that 11.1% of the chairs have no reader and 88.8% do. The numbers don't quite add up to exactly 100 because the fractions repeat.
  2. Question: What anniversary is this for the Festival?

    15th Anniversary Library of Congress

    Answer: The Festival is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Traditionally, the gift for a 15th anniversary is crystal. The study of crystals is called "crystallography." Many computer screens use liquid crystals for the screen's display, and snowflakes are ice crystals that form high in the clouds. There is a cave full of enormous crystals near Chihuahua, Mexico called Cueva de los Cristales, or Cave of Crystals. You can read about it at
  3. Question: Can you find the book whose color is a different color from the others?

    Girl sitting in an armchair

    Answer: All of the books have red covers except the book the reader is holding in the bottom right chair. It's blue. Any guesses as to why the artist chose to make that one different? What color is the cover of your favorite book?
  4. Question: Which president is quoted in the poster?

    Thomas Jefferson

    Answer: Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, said, "I cannot live without books." His words, the theme for this year's Festival, comes from a letter he wrote to fellow president John Adams on June 10th, 1815. The Library of Congress has an image of the letter you can see at The quote is on page 3. Can you find it?
  5. Question: Find the sole of a shoe.

    Girl sitting with her feet on an armchair, the soles of her shors showing, and her elbows resting on the floor

    Answer: This comfy chair doesn't seem to mind having shoes on it, and you can see the reader's shoes in every image of the reader in and on the chair.
  6. Question: Can you count the hours the Festival runs?

    10AM - 10PM

    Answer: The National Book Festival will run for twelve hours, which is 0.0164275 months or 720 minutes or 43,200 seconds. Will you stay for all of them?
  7. Question: What two things are in the background of the poster?

    15 'I cannot live without books'

    Answer: The number 15 figures prominently as one of two elements in the poster's background, celebrating the Festival's 15th anniversary. Additionally, you can see the Festival's thematic quote repeated next to the number 15.
  8. Question: How many colors are in the reader's stockings?

    Girl wearing stripey socks reading in an armchair

    Answer: The artist uses four colors to illustrate the reader's striped stockings - yellow, blue, a pinkish/red, and a grayish/black. One book character is well known for her striped stockings. The heroine of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking series is known for her striped and often mismatched stockings.
  9. Question: How many number 15s are in the background (count all you can see, including partial numbers)?

    Answer: We count 35 times the number 15 appears in the background. There are twelve rows of text and numbers, with three instances each, but the top banner hides of the numbers, leaving 35 visible.

Many thanks to the Mensa® Education and Research Foundation for developing the Eye Spy activity for this year's festival poster.

2014 Festival Artist Bob Staake

  1. Question: Can you find the president’s and first lady’s names?

    Text reads: President Obama and Mrs Obama

    Answer: The names of President and Mrs. Obama are under the big red book in the lower curve of the moon. You can find a list of all former presidents at First Lady Laura Bush hosted the Festival from 2001 to 2008. Since 2009, the Obamas have been honorary co-chairs.
  2. Question: How many red stripes are in the moon’s hat?

    a red, striped had

    Answer: There are fourteen red stripes on the moon’s hat. Fourteen is a very cool number because it is the sum of its first three squares, making it a square pyramidal number. It is the atomic number of silicon, the maximum number of clubs a PGA golfer can have in his bag, the number of lines in a sonnet, the number of days in a fortnight, and the number of pounds in the British stone.
  3. Question: Be a book detective. Inspect the text in the light blue stars and try to identify the novel the text is from.

    a star with text from Moby Dick in it a star with text from Moby Dick in it

    Answer: The words are from the novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Its opening line, “Call me Ishmael” is one of the most famous opening lines in literature. The American Book Review lists it first on their list of top 100 best opening lines in literature. See the whole list at
    On the Library of Congress’s list of “Books that Shaped America,” the Library has wonderful Moby Dick resources. You can read the entire book here , and see a fantastic map of the voyage here. Moby Dick was on the Festival poster in 2009 as well. Can you find the white whale here.
  4. Question: How many lighted windows can you find?

    buildings with illuminated windows

    Answer: There are thirty-two lighted windows in the silhouetted buildings. The Romans were the first to use glass in windows. We get the word from the Old Norse word “vindauga,” which literally means “wind eye.”
  5. Question: There are five Washington, D.C. landmarks in the silhouette below the moon, Can you identify them?

    The Lincoln Memorial and the White House The Washington Memorial The United States Capitol building The Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress

    Answer: Left to right they are: the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Washington Memorial, The United States Capitol building, and the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Do you have a favorite? The National Park Service operates the Mall, including the monuments and parks around it. Visit to learn more.
  6. Question: What phase is the moon in?

    The moon in the waning crescent

    Answer: The moon is in the waning crescent phase because Washington D.C. is in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, this would be a waxing crescent. You can see what phase the moon was in when you were born at this site.
  7. Question: How may eyes can you find?

    Close up of drawing of the moon's eye

    Answer: There is only one eye in the poster, and it belongs to the moon. There are many one-eyed creatures in literature and movies, including the Cyclops, the Basilisk from Marvel Comics, and many of the minions in “Despicable Me.”
  8. Question: Can you find the reading advice the Library shares?

    Text reads: Stay up with a good book

    Answer: “Stay up with a good book” in under the bottom left curve of the moon. You can read authors’ advice to readers in the 2013 Children’s Guide to the National Book Festival here. What suggestions do you have for other readers?

Many thanks to the Mensa® Education and Research Foundation for developing the Eye Spy activity for this year's festival poster.

2013 Festival Artist Suzy Lee

  1. Question: How many children do you see in the poster?

    a boy reading a boy reading a girl reading

    Answer: Three children are visiting the reading tree, two boys and a girl. There are two children in the tree and one on the ground leaning against a blue bear. Can you find them all? Where would you rather sit – on a branch or with a bear?
  2. Question: How many books are in the deer’s antlers?

    a deer with books in his antlers

    Answer: This deer has nine books in his antlers. We can tell that this deer is male because only male deer have antlers. Would you like to know more about deer? You can read about them and even hear the sound they make in this article.
  3. Question: What is sharing a book with the ladybug?

    a ladybug and a spider

    Answer: The spider and the ladybug are politely sharing the book. Look at this picture of another spider with a web in a tree. How many spots do you see on the ladybug’s back? We count six!
  4. Question: How many books is the elephant reading?

    an elephant reading a book

    Answer: The elephant is reading two books at once! Can you do that? The elephant in this picture is an African Elephant (you can tell by the three toes on the hind foot). Elephants are the largest land mammal, and you can find amazing pictures of them here.
  5. Question: A friendly animal from Texas is balancing five books on his head. Do you know what that animal is?

    an armadillo balancing books on his head

    Answer: That’s an armadillo. The Aztecs called them a word that meant “turtle rabbits.” One species of Armadillo is called the “screaming hairy armadillo.” How would you like that name? Look at a picture of one. If you like these fascinating creatures, you can read Lynne Cherry’s book, An Armadillo from Amarillo.
  6. Question: Can you find a duck with her legs crossed?

    an armadillo balancing books on his head

    Answer: The duck is next to the girl on the branch with the polka-dotted book. Have you read Make Way for Ducklings. There are lots of books for children about ducks, including Patricia Polacco’s Rechenka’s Eggs, This is NOT a Good Idea, and Duck and Goose. Which one is your favorite?
  7. Question: Can you find two animals with books in their mouths?

    a crocodile with books in his mouth an armadillo with books in his mouth

    Answer: Both the crocodile and the pelican have books in their mouths. Whose mouth would you rather be in? Pelicans have teeth, too, along the edge of their bills, but they are mostly famous for their bills, which can hold three gallons of water! You can’t always see the bill, as you can tell in this picture of pelicans, but you can in this drawing. What would you tell those baby turtles?
  8. Question: How many books can you find with polka-dot covers?

    a book with a green polka dot cover a book with a pink polka dot cover a book with a blue polka dot cover

    Answer: Three of the books in the poster have polka-dot covers. One is dangling from a string next to the yellow umbrella in the upper left hand branch, one is being held by the girl reading next to the duck, and one balanced on the armadillo. Did we miss any?
  9. Question: Can you spot six things that are flying?

    a flying pink bird a flying yellow bird two flying dragonflies a yellow butterfly a pink butterfly

    Answer: There are three pairs of things flying. Can you see the two birds, one pink and one white? There are also two blue dragonflies under the cheetah, and two butterflies. The butterflies are different because they aren’t next to each other. You can watch a video about the migration of the Monarch butterfly here and you can find out here how to make your backyard an official Monarch waystation.
  10. Question: In addition to books and animals, there are some other items in this amazing book tree. Can you find a yellow umbrella and a polka-dot tea pot?

    a yellow umbrella a polka-dot tea pot

    Answer: The umbrella is hanging next to the peacock on the upper left-hand branch. The polka-dot teapot is on a stack of books next to the girl on the branch. Have you ever seen a picture of Teapot Rock? Can you see the spout? You can learn the song I’m a Little Teapot here.
  11. Question: Owls are symbols of wisdom. Can you find the owl reading in the tree?

    an owl

    Answer: The owl is one of the symbols of the goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology. Our owl is on the second branch from the bottom on the right, and he is quite interested in his book. Do you think he’s reading D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths?
  12. Question: Can you find the mom and baby pair sharing a book? What kind of animal do you think they are?

    two sloths

    Answer: Did you guess lemur or monkey? They are a mom and baby sloth! Sloths have a reputation for being lazy because they are so slow, but they’re very cute and interesting creatures. Read more about them here or read A Little Book of Sloth.
  13. Question: Three of the animals in the poster can also be found on the cover of Festival poster illustrator Suzy Lee’s book “Open this Little Book.” Can you find them?

    a rabbit a ladybug a frog

    Answer: The white rabbit, the ladybug, and the frog can all be found on the cover. Only the brown bear is missing. Maybe he’s the blue bear’s relative!
  14. Question: There is an orange spotted cat lying on its back. Can you find it? Even though you can’t see its trademark tear lines, can you guess which kind of cat it is?

    a cheetah

    Answer: The fastest land animal in the world, the cheetah You can read more about cheetahs and see a video of a cheetah running here.
  15. Question: Can you find the animal that is asleep?

    a hippo

    Answer: The hippo is asleep under the tree. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice falls asleep under a tree while she is reading. Do you ever fall asleep while you are reading? You can color a picture of Alice asleep under the tree.

Thanks to the 3rd graders in Jennifer Langam’s class at Oakridge Elementary in Arlington, Virginia for suggesting the wonderful questions for this Eye Spy activity. Look carefully. Perhaps you can come up with even more questions to challenge your friends

2011 Festival Artist Jon J Muth has created a colorful picture of one his heroes reading to the festival crowd.

  1. Question: How many tents do you see on the poster?

    Some orange tents Some orange tents

    Answer: If you count carefully, there are 7 tent points. Perhaps each point represents one of this year’s 7 author tents (or pavilions as we refer to them) - Children, Teens, Contemporary Life, Fiction and Mystery, History and Biography, Poetry and Prose and the Family Storytelling Stage. Just for fun, look closely at this 1861 Civil War photograph depicting tent life in Washington, DC. What do you see, think, and wonder about?.
  2. Question: What are the names of the two buildings located behind the tents?

    The US Capitol building The dome of the Library of Congress

    Answer: The building on the left is the United States Capitol Building. The building on the right is the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Study the details in these Carol Highsmith photos of the Capitol and the Jefferson Building.
  3. Question: Who is the famous person sitting and reading in the giant chair? What book do you think he might be reading to his audience?

    Abraham Lincoln

    Answer: Poster illustrator Jon J Muth drew this picture of Abraham Lincoln in the poster, because Lincoln is one of his heroes. Watch a slide show of Lincoln photographs. Look at a page from Lincoln’s student sum book.
  4. Question: How many bears can you find in the poster? Do you recognize any of them from stories you have read?

    A panda bear A polar bear

    Answer: Did you find two bears? One is a panda bear and the other is a polar bear with a bow tie signing an autograph. Look on the cover of John J Muth’s Zen Ghosts to meet his wise panda Stillwater. Observe this photograph of a sleeping panda. How many polar bears can you spot in this drawing?
  5. Question: Jon J. Muth uses many colors in his poster. Can you spot the boy wearing an orange hat? How about the little orange balloon? What else can you think of that is usually orange?

    A man wearing an orange baseball hat An orange balloon

    Answer: Good spotting! Oranges are usually orange – and fall pumpkins - and sometimes sunsets.
  6. Question: Do you see a lady dressed in purple?

    A woman wearing a purple hat

    Answer: There she is on the left side of the poster - carrying a bag over her left shoulder. I wonder what she is pointing at? The woman in this picture is pointing too. What is she pointing at?
  7. Question: Can you find a lion hiding in the crowd? How about a white cat?

    A lion A white cat

    Answer: Cats and lions are both members of the felidae family. Look for the lion under the rung of the big chair. You’ll find the white cat in the lower left corner in front of a boy with a yellow shirt. Can you spot the caged lion in this 1899 circus poster? Try drawing a cat of your own like these sketches of cat life. Go here to find out why cats purr.
  8. Question: Can you spot the bird that has dark and white feathers and blue FEET?

    A booby

    Answer: Could it a blue grosbeak? Or a blue jay? Or a bluebird? After looking at these National Geographic pictures, we think it just might be a blue-footed booby. Do you agree?
  9. Question: It must be a sunny day. Lots of people are wearing hats in the poster? How many hats can you count? Can you find the man in the yellow hat that looks like Curious George’s friend?

    Woman wearing a blue hat Woman wearing a purple hat Man wearing a hat with a blue band Boy wearing a baseball hat

    Man wearing a tan colored hat Woman wearing a brimmed hat with a red flower on it Two people wearing hats Boy wearing a baseball hat

    Two guys wearing baseball hats Two people wearing hats Three people wearing hats Three people wearing hats

    Answer: Hats come in all sizes and shapes. We count 19 hats. Can you find them all? What do you think - does the man with the yellow hat look like Curious George’s friend? Even animals wear hats. This 1907 photograph shows a man putting a sun hat on a horse.
  10. Question: People of all ages and sizes come to the National Book Festival. Can you spot a baby?

    Woman holding a baby

    Answer: Look for a woman on the right side of the poster. She is wearing a yellow dress and is carrying a baby. Do you think the baby would like to hear Abraham Lincoln read Kate Greenaway’s story – A Apple Pie?

Peter Ferguson – 2010 Festival Artist – has created a visual story picture of literary characters eagerly listening to a book being read aloud.

Follow the answer links to view primary sources related to the questions. Practice your observation skills and make up questions of your own to share with your classmates. On to the search! Beware – the questions increase in difficulty as you make your way down the list.

  1. Question: Let’s start with an easy task. Can you find a domed building with a statue on the top? You can see this beautiful sight from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. where the annual book festival takes place. What is this building called?

    the United States Capitol dome

    Answer: You’re right – it is the United States Capitol. Compare this 1846 daguerreotype by John Plumbe to a 2007 aerial view by Carol Highsmith. What differences can you spot? By the way, the statue on the top of the dome is called the Statue of Freedom.
  2. Question: How many tents can you count in this drawing? Do you know how many tents there will be at the National Book Festival?

    some tents

    Answer: There are only three tents in the drawing, but at the real festival there are many more. The 2010 author tents (called pavilions) include Children, Contemporary Life, Fiction and Mystery, History and Biography, Poetry and Prose and Teens and Children. Check the 2010 National Book Festival site for news and updates.
  3. Question: Thomas Jefferson said, “I cannot live without books.” Can you find a fascinated young reader sharing a book with avid listeners?

    Little Miss Muffet

    Answer: You’ll find our fascinated reader in the center of the poster, sitting on a red chair, surrounded by a wide variety of listeners. View a WPA poster showing Little Miss Muffet reading a picture book – with Mr. Spider anxious to hear every word of her story.
  4. Question: Peter Ferguson’s 2010 poster depicts book characters listening to a story. How many actual books can you spot in Peter’s artwork? Speaking of books, how many books to you think the Library of Congress has in its collections?

    A book A pile of books

    Answer: There are 17 books in Peter’s drawing. One is being read aloud, the rabbit is holding a second, and there are 15 other books in the foreground. As for the Library of Congress, the collection of nearly 142 million items includes more than 32 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 62 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings. A detailed list of 2009 statistics is available here.
  5. Question: This animal is a member of the Ursidae family. Can you find a large furry mammal that has appeared in stories with a young golden haired girl?

    A bear

    Answer: Papa Bear it is – or perhaps even Mama Bear! This story originated in the early 19th century and many versions have been published since. Read the 1903 version of Denslow’s Three Bears and have fun comparing it to this 1875 version in which a little old woman takes the place of Golden Hair. Learn more about the origination of the “teddy bear” here.
  6. Question: Can you find a medium sized mammal with a pointed snout and a long bushy tail? He is wearing a scarf and has a handkerchief in his jacket pocket. Can you name a children’s story featuring such an animal?

    A fox

    Answer: Most definitely, this is a fox, often appearing in folklore as a symbol of cunning and trickery. Read two fox fables – The Fox and the Grapes and The Fox and the Crow – both from the online book The Baby’s Own Aesop. Visit your local library and check out Roald Dahl’s 1970 classic children’s novel - Fantastic Mr. Fox - to meet a wily fox most loved by young readers today.
  7. Question: Can you spot me? I have two long white ears and a habit of being late for important dates. I’m holding a book in my paws. What classic story do I appear in?

    White Rabbit

    Answer: Yes, I’m the White Rabbit and I appear in the very beginning of Lewis Carroll's book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Read a digitized version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - retold in words of one syllable by Mrs. J.C. Gorham.
  8. Question: This animal highlights a sad chapter in the annals of animal history. Can you spot a flightless bird – almost 3 feet tall – that lived on the islands of Mauritius? It has been extinct since the 17th century. What was it called? Can you think of any children’s stories in which this animal appeared?

    A dodo

    Answer: This flightless bird is called the Dodo. In 1865 this creature was featured as a character in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Read an article about the dodo in this November 29, 1917 issue of the Tacoma Times. Navigate to chapter 3 in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to meet Lewis Carroll’s Dodo.
  9. Question: Look for a mammal with a triangular pointed face and a tipped-up nose. It has white stripes on its cheeks and one stripe running from its nose to the back of its head. It is the state animal of Wisconsin. What kind of animal is it? Can you think of any stories in which such a mammal appears?

    A badger

    Answer: Browse the pages of this 1910 North American Animals advertising booklet to find an image of an American Badger. Could this be Mr. Badger from Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows? Or is it one of Frances’ relatives from Russell and Lillian Hoban’s Frances the Badger series. (Hint: Click on the cover image and navigate to page 6.)
  10. Question: Can you spot two good friends listening together? One is wearing a straw hat. His friend is standing behind him. What classic story features these famous characters?

    Huckleberry Finn and Jim

    Answer: Huckleberry Finn and Jim become friends in Mark Twain’s classic novel the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. View E. W. Kemble’s 1884 illustration of Huck Finn and another of Huck and Jim on a raft. Read a chapter that was published in an 1884 issue of The Century magazine. View a 1907 photograph of Mark Twain. Zoom into a literary map depicting Huck’s journey down the Mississippi. Sing the words to this 1917 sheet music – Huckleberry Finn.
  11. Question: This pirate character appeared in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, first published in 1883. Do you see the man wearing an eye patch? Who is he?

    Long John Silver

    Answer: Yes, it’s Long John Silver – a fearsome peg legged pirate. View an illustration of Jim Hawkins watching pirates come ashore from a 1918 edition of Treasure Island. Read an article about Robert Louis Stevenson from the November 20, 1909 San Francisco Call. Read poems from Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses.
  12. Question: Do you see a red-haired girl with pigtails? She is resting her chin on her hands and is listening intently to the story. She resembles the main character in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic novel, first published in 1908. The story takes place in the village of Avonlea, on Prince Edward Island in Canada. What is her name?

    Anne Shirley

    Answer: Yes, she looks like Anne Shirley – the main character from the classic Anne of Green Gables. Online versions of this classic story are available for reading or listening. Learn more about Lucy Maud Montgomery in this online exhibit - Picturing a Canadian Life.
  13. Question: Edgar Allan Poe wrote a poem featuring a large black bird that is a member of the crow family. Can you spot it? What is the name of the bird – and the poem?

    A raven

    Answer: Poe’s poem – The Raven – was first published in 1845. Browse the pages of an 1883 edition of this poem. View an 1896 portrait of Edgar Allan Poe. Learn more about Edgar Allan Poe in this Today in History entry.
  14. Question: This machine is often designed to replace human beings in performing a variety of tasks, either on command or by being programmed in advance. Can you spot a strange metallic creature with 2 round eyes, 2 round ears and a rounded appendage on the top of its head? What is it called? Do you know of any stories that have characters of this type?

    A robot

    Answer: Robots are frequent characters in science fiction literature, film, television, comics and computer games. Have you met Tik Tok? This literary robot appeared in L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz books. Explore the Wizard of Oz online exhibition and look for Tik Tok. View a 1936 photograph of a robot on display at the Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas, Texas. Read a July 22,1898 newspaper article from the Bourbon News describing automatons of the past.
  15. Question: An ape is a primate characterized by long arms, a broad chest, and the absence of a tail. Can you find an ape wearing a red jacket and a yellow crown? Can you think of any apes in literature?

    An ape

    Answer: Monkeys and apes appear as characters in many books. This ape does not look like H. A. Rey’s Curious George, but could it be Shift the Ape from the C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series? Look at Edgar Rice Burrough’s bookplate showing Tarzan – and an ape. View a 1900s photo of a chimpanzee in fancy clothing getting ready to step into an automobile. Have fun listening to a 1914 recording of The Aba Daba Honeymoon.
  16. Question: Can you spot a man with a reddish beard, wearing a black hat, and holding a harpoon? In what famous story does this character appear?

    Captain Ahab

    Answer: Moby Dick was written in 1851 by American author Herman Melville. Captain Ahab was the commander of the whale ship Pequod on a search for the great white whale – Moby Dick. Zoom into this Moby Dick literary map and find Captain Ahab. Examine a drawing of Herman Melville. Do you see a resemblance to Captain Ahab? Read this fascinating, but definitely negative 1852 review of Melville’s book published in The United States Democratic Review. It seems that this reviewer was proven wrong, based on the classic status of Moby Dick today.
  17. Question: In the world of folk and fairy tales, one often meets elf-like characters with pointy ears. Can you spot a listener who might be an elf? Have you met any elves in children’s literature?

    An elf

    Answer: Definitely, the pointed ears give this young elf away. Can you spot any elves in the Woodland Serenade – a 1907 illustration from St. Nicholas magazine? In current literature, J. R. R. Tolkien popularized elfin-like “hobbit” characters in his Lord of the Rings series. I wonder if this might be “Frodo Baggins” stopping by to hear a story.
  18. Question: In folklore and literature, animals, plants or non-living things are often given people-like characteristics. This is called anthropomorphism. Can you find a tree with human characteristics? Have you read any stories with talking tree characters?

    Tree person

    Answer: This tree person is hard to miss as it towers above all the other listeners. J. R. R. Tolkien created a fictional race of tree creatures he called “ents”. This tree person resembles “Treebeard” from his Two Towers in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Can you see the unusual face in this 1872 stereograph of a cedar tree? View an 1892 chromolithograph called the Tree of Life.
  19. Question: This female character is holding the letter A in her left hand. She appears as the main character in an 1850 novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne called the Scarlet Letter. What is her name?

    Hester Prynne

    Answer: Her name is Hester Prynne and her story took place in 17th century Puritan Boston. View a 1860s glass negative photograph of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Read about early laws in The General Fundamentals of the Plymouth Colony and find out why Hester is carrying the letter A.
  20. Question: Several listeners have extra large noses, but only one is wearing a red cape and has a pink feather in his hat. This is a real person who lived in the 17th century, and also the main character in an 1897 drama written in verse by Edmond Rostand. What is his name?

    Cyrano de Bergerac

    Answer: Meet Cyrano de Bergerac – in real life he was born in Paris in 1619 and died in 1655. View an early 1900s photograph of Amato dressed in the role of Cyrano. View a photograph of playwright Edmond Rostand.
  21. Question: This literary character is wearing an armored suit and hat and is thoughtfully touching his white mustache and beard. He is the title character in a 17th century novel by Miguel de Cervantes. The story takes place in La Mancha, Spain. A popular musical called Man of La Mancha is based on this character. Who is he?

    Don Quixote

    Answer: Yes, this is Don Quixote – Cervantes’ hero. Read Leonard Bernstein’s description of his story in a script he wrote before performing the Strauss tone poem – Don Quixote. View this 1875 sheet music version of the Don Quixote March. Read a 1905 newspaper article from the Los Angeles Herald celebrating the 300th birthday of Don Quixote.
  1. Question: Can you spot two young children stepping into this amazing scene on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.?

    two young children
    Answer: Look carefully at the lower right side of the poster. You'll find a young girl and boy walking into the festival scene. Zoom into this bird's eye map of Washington City to see how National Mall area might have looked in 1871.
  2. Question: Look for the United States Capitol dome and locate the statue on the top? Do you know what this statue is called?

    the United States Capitol dome

    Answer: The statue is called the Statue of Freedom. View photos of the statue taken in 1933. Examine a 2007 aerial view of Washington with the Capitol in the center.
  3. Question: Can you find a large white marine mammal swimming towards the West? What kind of animal is it? In what 1851 novel does this animal play a major role?

    a white sperm whale

    Answer: Moby Dick is a white sperm whale and the subject of Herman Melville's novel, Moby Dick. Read about this Moby Dick Literary Map and have fun zooming into the map for details.
  4. Question: Do you see a famous English poet and playwright holding a feather pen in one hand and a book in the other? What is his name?

    William Shakespeare

    Answer: William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright and poet, is recognized in much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists. You will find a portrait statue of William Shakespeare in the Main Reading Room in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.
  5. Question: Look for a man holding a skull. In a famous play this character said, “To be, or not to be: that is the question.” What is his name? HINT: See question 4.


    Answer: Hamlet is the main character in William Shakespeare's play, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, written between 1599-1601. View an 1870 photograph of actor Edwin Booth dressed in costume as Hamlet.
  6. Question: Have you heard this limerick? “A wonderful bird is the pelican, His bill will hold more than his belican.” Can you spot a white pelican flying on the mall?

    a white pelican

    Answer: In 1910 Dixon Lanier Merritt (1879-1972) wrote The Pelican. View an 1836 James Audubon drawing of an American White Pelican.
  7. Question: Can you find three extinct animals? What are they called?

    a dinosaur

    Answer: Many species of dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago. Examine a 1921 photo of a baby dinosaur skeleton being prepared for a museum exhibition.
  8. Question: Look for a man wearing a watch and a ring with a red stone. He is playing a musical instrument. His nickname is Satchmo. Who is he?

    Louis Armstrong

    Answer: Louis Armstrong (1901 -1971), born in New Orleans, Louisiana, was a famous American jazz, cornet, and trumpet player, singer, bandleader, and popular entertainer. View a 1953 portrait of Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet.
  9. Question: Can you spot a plate of toast? And a rabbit toasting? What is the name of the rabbit? In what classic story does he appear?

    a plate of toast The March Hare

    Answer: The March Hare is one of the characters in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, written in 1865 by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. Learn more by exploring the pages of the Lewis Carroll Scrapbook.
  10. Question: A green caterpillar is sitting comfortably on top of an umbrella shaped fungus. What is this fungus called? Can you spot two more in the poster?

    a mushroom two mushrooms

    Answer: The fungus is called a mushroom. In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the caterpillar said to Alice, “One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you shorter.” “One side of what? The other side of what?” thought Alice to herself. “Of the mushroom,” said the Caterpillar. View an image of a molly moocher – a type of mushroom. Examine a mammoth mushroom made of straw and Mushroom Rock.
  11. Question: This large furry white mammal is listed as threatened on the Endangered Species list. Can you spot two of them? What this mammal called?

    a polar bear

    Answer: In May 2008, the U.S. Department of the Interior classified the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Documented declines in sea ice and anticipation of massive melting that threatens the bears' habitat prompted the action. View an early illustration of a polar bear.
  12. Question: Do you see a group of battling soldiers? Look carefully at the flag and the uniforms. What is the name of the war being fought? Whose side are these soldiers on?

    group of soldiers

    Answer: This image depicts a Civil War scene with eight Union soldiers. One is carrying a Union flag. View historical photographs of a group of Federal soldiers and Civil War artillery.
  13. Question: Someone has come to the tea party wearing a polka dot tie and a large hat. Can you find him? What does the label on his hat say? What is this fictional character's name?

    the Hatter

    Answer: In Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland he is called the Hatter, but he is often referred to as the “Mad Hatter.” The label on the Hatter's hat reads “In this style 10/6” – which refers to British money - ten shillings and six pence. This would indicate the price of the hat. View an early book illustration of 3 men working in a haberdashery or hat makers shop.
  14. Question: The National Book Festival celebrates books and reading. How many books can you spot in this poster?

    Answer: There are 11 books! Have fun reading a selection of digitized children's books from the Rare Book and Special Collections division.
  15. White Rabbit reading a book

    White Rabbit reading a book (1)

    Alice in Wonderland book

    Alice in Wonderland book (2)

    Dinosaur book

    Dinosaur book (3)

    Mad Hatter holding a book

    Mad Hatter holding a book (4)

    Nature book with flowers

    Nature book with flowers (5)

    Moby Dick book

    Moby Dick book (6)

    Shakespeare sitting on a book AND writing in a book

    Shakespeare sitting on a book (7) AND writing in a book (8)

    Jazz book on right side of page

    Jazz book on right side of page (9)

    Civil War book

    Civil War book (10)

    Partially open book on left side of poster

    Partially open book on left side of poster (11)

  16. Final Question: You've already located the United States Capitol Dome. Can you spot another domed building? What is the name of this building?

    dome of the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress

    Answer: Great job! You spotted the dome of the Thomas Jefferson Building - part of the Library of Congress complex located near the U.S. Capitol. Learn some fascinating facts about the Library of Congress. Visit to access more than 16 million digitized items.
  1. Question: Can you spot two buildings in the background? What they called?

    thumbnail of Congress and The Library of Congress

    Answer: The United States Capitol (forefront) is a white marbled domed building that serves as the seat of government of the United States Congress. The Library of Congress is the national library of the United States and the research arm of the United States Congress. The Thomas Jefferson Building is pictured in the poster.
  2. Question: What kind of animal is leading the parade? What is he carrying? How can you identify that this animal is a male?

    a cardinal

    Answer: A Cardinal is leading the parade. He is carrying a book with a blue cover. You can tell that this animal is a male by its bright red plumage and its black face.
  3. Question: What is the name of the animal wearing a red and white polka-dot neckerchief?

    an armadillo

    Answer: The Armadillo is a burrowing mammal with a hard-plated body. It is found in temperate and tropical regions of the Americas.
  4. Question: Can you spot a Badger sitting on a plaid blanket? Hint: This is Wisconsin’s state animal.

    a badger

    Answer: A Badger is a medium-sized burrowing animal that is related to the weasel and has short legs, strong claws, and a thick coat. It usually has black and white stripes on the sides of its head.
  5. Question: Do you see a Nene Goose waddling behind the parade leaders? Hint: This is Hawaii’s state bird.

    a nene goose

    Answer: The Nene Goose is a rare wild goose with a grayish-brown body and black face that is found in the Hawaiian Islands.
  6. Question: Look for a Gray Squirrel wearing a green sweater. What kind of animal is it sitting on? What bird is reading the same book?

    a gray squirrel, a ruffed goose and a moose

    Answer: The Gray Squirrel is a large tree squirrel that has gray fur with a reddish tinge on the legs and head. It is sitting on top of a Moose reading a book with a Ruffed Grouse.
  7. Question: Can you find the Appaloosa Horse? Hint: This horse is Idaho’s state animal.

    an appaloosa horse

    Answer: The Appaloosa Horse is a saddle horse with white hair and dark patches. It was first bred in American Pacific Northwest by the Nez Perce.
  8. Question: A Meadowlark and a Cardinal are sitting on the back of a Bison. What are they doing?

    a meadowlark, a cardinal and a bison

    Answer: The Meadowlark is a North American songbird that has brown speckled feathers, a yellow breast, and a black crescent-shaped mark just under the bill. The Cardinal is a North American crested finch. The Bison (often called a Buffalo) is a large hairy animal with a massive head and shoulders and a humped back. The birds are both reading books. The bison is carrying a book around its neck.
  9. Question: This sheep lives in high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains and has large curved horns. Can you spot it? Hint: This is Colorado’s state animal.

    a bighorn sheep This sheep lives in high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains and has large curved horns. Can you spot it? Hint: This is Colorado’s state animal. Answer: The Bighorn Sheep is a large wild sheep of western North America and northeastern Asia that has a long coarse brown coat and very large curving horns.
  10. Question: How many books are stacked on top of the Florida Panther’s head?

    a florida panther

    Answer: The Florida Panther is on the endangered species list. It is carrying five books on its head.
  11. Question: This brown rodent has a large flat tail and is an expert dam builder. Can you spot this New York state animal?

    a beaver

    Answer: The Beaver is one of North America’s largest rodents. It has thick brown fur and a long flat tail. It is an excellent swimmer and builds dams and lodges. This beaver is reading a book.
  12. Question: Can you spot two birds and two mammals riding on the back of a Nokota Horse? What are they? Hint: This horse is gray and is North Dakota’s state animal.

    a gray squirrel, a grizzly bear, a cardinal and a blue hen riding on the back of a Nokota Horse

    Answer: A Gray Squirrel, Grizzly Bear, Cardinal and Blue Hen are riding on the back of a Nokota Horse.
  13. Question: There are several species of bear in the poster. How many bears can you spot? What species are they?

    Answer: There are nine bears pictured in the poster. They are Black Bears and Grizzly Bears.
  14. Question: The Bald Eagle is our national bird? Can you spot a bird that almost became our national bird? Hint: This is the Massachusetts state bird.

    a wild turkey

    Answer: The Wild Turkey is the Massachusetts State Game Bird. Benjamin Franklin wanted it to be chosen as the national bird of the United States.
  15. Question: The Coyote and the Timber Wolf belong to the dog family. Can you spot them?

    a wolf a coyote Answer: The Coyote is a carnivorous North American canine mammal, similar to, but smaller than the wolf. The Timber Wolf is a large intelligent highly social wild dog often called wolf or gray wolf.
  16. Question: Can you spot an animal with a black and white striped tail? What is it? Hint: This is Arizona’s state animal.

    a ring-tailed cat

    Answer: The Ring-tailed Cat is a member of the raccoon family, native to arid regions of North America. It can be spotted near the front of the parade. It is sitting on top of a pile of books that are on top of the bear’s head. Of course, it is reading a book!
  17. Question: The Pelican has a large bill used to catch fish. Can you spot a Pelican reading a book with a tan cover?

    a pelican

    Answer: The Pelican is a web-footed bird that has a large flat bill with a hanging pouch that can be expanded to catch and store fish.
  18. Question: Can you spot a bird strutting in front of a fawn? What kind of bird is it? Hint: This is Rhode Island’s state bird.

    a Rhode Island Red Chicken

    Answer: The Rhode Island Red Chicken is a breed of chicken raised for meat and eggs, and also as show birds. It can be spotted near the beginning of the parade. It is marching on the ground in front of a young deer.
  19. Question: How many animals can you find that have horns or antlers? What is the difference between horns and antlers?

    Answer: Ten animals with horns or antlers are pictured in the poster. Horns are high-protein nail-like tissue growing over bone. Horns grow throughout an animal’s lifetime. Antlers are made of bone and shed each annually.
  20. Question: Final Question: There is a very large state animal that is not pictured on this poster because it could not swim down the mall. What kind of mammal is it?

    Answer: The whale is a large marine mammal that breathes through a blowhole on the top of its head. It has front flippers, no hind limbs, and a flat horizontal tail. There are no whales in the poster – even though several states have selected the whale as their state animal.

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