Janette Sebring Lowrey, Feeling Poky
Janette Sebring Lowrey (1892-1986) the author of possibly the best-selling children’s book of all time grew up. Who knew The Poky Little Puppy would set a record like that? Orange, on the Sabine River, which is the border between Texas and Louisiana, is the area where she grew up. Maybe the relaxed demeanor of her main character came from the author’s childhood enjoying the peaceful Sabine River setting, which offers families a boardwalk to stroll and several nearby attractions focused on the arts and local history.
Interestingly, the children’s book that immortalized Janette Sebring Lowrey’s name was first published when she was 50 years old and the mother of one teenage son. Read more about her here: penguinrandomhouse.com.
Orange, Then and Now
The population of Orange, a midsize small town rooted in the lumber industry of the early 20th century, has about four times the number of residents as during the author’s childhood and youth. The town is prone to hurricane damage because of its location, but its historical sites have survived. Read about Orange’s history with hurricanes here: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/08/27.
Once In Orange, Visit the Stark Museum of Art
The Rare Books and Manuscripts room of the Stark Museum of Art in Orange is notable. The W.H. Stark House’s adjacent Carriage House in Orange has displayed a popular “100 Years of Literature” exhibit.
According to this Museum’s site, you can see “The Birds of America by naturalist John James Audubon. These five double elephant folios, which depict the birds of North America, belonged to the artist. The groundbreaking publication is widely regarded as one of the finest illustrated books of all time. In addition to Audubon’s The Birds of America are letters and journals by Audubon and artist Paul Kane, seven Books of Hours manuscripts, and more rare treasures.”
Read this Beaumont Enterprise article for more information.
Read more about Audubon here: https://www.biography.com/scientist/john-james-audubon.
Orange, Texas, is the fourth stop on Texas Author Adventures Trail, Part Two.