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Bill Martin Jr Library

On September 30, 2000, hundreds of teachers and educators from across the nation converged on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce to honor an American legend.

Bill Martin Jr. donated his professional library to the university, and the Texas A&M Board of Regents designated a special room in Sowers Education South to house this unique collection.

The collection includes first drafts of manuscripts; sketches by illustrators Ted Rand, Michael Foreman and, Robert J. Lee and art from many of their books. Call 903-886-5537 to inquire about an appointment to view this wonderful collection.

Special speakers for the dedication of the library included:

  • Eric Carle

  • Steven Kellogg
  • Jose Aruego
  • Ted and Gloria Rand
  • Randy Methven, Long Island
  • Tommy Thomason, Fort Worth
  • Carol York, Tampa
  • Randy & Judy Embry, Kentucky
  • Sammie Garnett, Panama City
  • Margery Cuyler, New York City
  • Brod Bagert, New Orleans
  • Tom Wrightman, Oregon
  • Steve Reed, Phoenix
  • Herb Parker, North Dakota
  • Laura Godwin, New York City

Bill Martin Library Dedication Program

  • Musical Prelude: Herb Parker, Director of Vocal Music, Williston, North Dakota Public Schools

  • Welcome: Dr. Keith McFarland, President, Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Proclamation: Honorable John Sands, Mayor City of Commerce
  • Prologue & Introductions: Michael Sampson, Master of Ceremonies

Bill Martin Stories

  • Tommy Thomason, Texas Christian University

  • Laura Godwin, Editor, New York City
  • Steven Kellogg, Illustrator and Author
  • Sandy Hooks, Connecticut
  • Randall Embry, Dean of Continuing Studies, University of Louisville
  • Mary Beth Sampson, Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Tom Wrightman, Teacher and Consultant, Bend, Oregon
  • Maxine Martin, Publisher, sister-in-law, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Eric Carle, Illustrator and Author, North Hampton, Massachusetts
  • James Conrad, Archivist, Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Carol York, Public School Administrator, Tampa, Florida
  • Herb Parker, Teacher and Composer, Williston, North Dakota
  • Steve Reed, Teacher & Author, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Jose Aruego, Illustrator & Author, New York City
  • Randy Methven, Teacher and Consultant, Long Island, New York
  • Margery Cuyler, Editor, New York City
  • Brod Bagert, Poet & Author, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Ted Rand, Illustrator, Seattle, Washington
  • Glora Rand, Author, Seattle, Washington
  • Closing Music: Herb Parker


Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father, united all are we.
Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.
With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

-Bill Martin Jr

Bill Martin Jr truly was "America's favorite children's author." He wrote for more than 50 years. His first book, The Little Squeggy Bug, was published in 1945. He authored the classic text Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See? and more than 300 other books for children. A Kansas native, Bill graduated with a teaching certificate from Emporia State University. He taught in Kansas and was an elementary school principal in Chicago before he moved to New York City in 1961 to work for Holt, Rinehart and Winston, where he developed the literature-based reading programs Sounds of Languageand The Instant Readers. Seven years later, Bill left Holt and launched his career as a writer of children's book and as a consultant to teachers. He lived in New York until 1993, when he moved to Texas. He died near his Texas home in 2004.

Through the years he had given children some of their favorite books, including Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear? The Ghost-Eye Tree, Barn Dance, Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom and many more. His classic work, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, now in board book form, climbed to the number three position on the Publisher's Weekly Bestseller list.

You can visit the Bill Martin Jr Library on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce. The collection includes many of his published works, manuscripts, letters from the greats in children's literature. His honorary degrees and most of his countless awards are also displayed in the collection.

Bill Martin Jr Memorial Symposium