WOW News

Worlds of Words Celebrates International Children’s Book Day

By Alexandria Hulslander, Intern, Worlds of Words

Worlds of Words in the University of Arizona College of Education celebrates International Children’s Book Day with a special exhibit of international honor books for children and adolescents. Lithuania, this year’s host country for ICBD, provides the theme, “Books Help Us to Slow Down.” ICBD has been celebrated for over half a century on the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson, April 2. WOW’s display is free and open to the public from March 25 to April 6.

Carolina Hoyos Slow Reading for International Children's Book Day Continue reading

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MTYT: Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

By Mary Fahrenbruck, PhD, New Mexico State University and Prisca Martens, PhD, Towson University.

This is the first installment of March’s MTYT, Mary and Prisca discuss the middle grade novel Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. Author Dusti Bowling incorporates desert scenes of Arizona and a genetic disorder within a well-rounded story of everyday life and mystery.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus Continue reading

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Cover for Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg MedinaMerci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina, recalls the the middle grade experience of no longer being a child but not yet being an adult. This is the confusing age when responsibilities increase though little explanation is given as to why. The age when young people begin to question authority and long for independence, but still look for approval and acceptance. Medina captures all this in this 2019 Newbery Medal winning book. Continue reading

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Books that Invite Smiles

By Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas

As this week brings to a close my sharing some personal highlights of this year’s Outstanding International Book Award list, I wanted to mention a few titles that left me smiling for a number of different reasons. While many of the rich international titles are ones that challenge us to be responsible readers and take on new perspectives and difficult topics, there is also the universally shared pleasure in reading. What makes us smile could be that the situation in the book is one we have experienced or one that is ironically silly; a smile could come from how the illustrator depicts a character with personality, often with the simplicity of lines and positioning; and we could just smile because of the satisfactory solution to a problem that a character finds. While humor and laughing out loud are not outside the reading experience, a smile can be that satisfactory emotional expression that connects us in many ways to our reading.

I Really Want to See You, Grandma cover Continue reading

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MTYT: A Bike Like Sergio’s

By Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona and Maria Acevedo-Aquino, Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

In the third installment of February’s MTYT, Dorea Kleker and Maria Acevedo-Aquino discuss child agency as seen in the picturebook A Bike Like Sergio’s, written by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones.

A Bike Like Sergio's Continue reading

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Contemplating Children Dealing with Personal Issues

By Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas

While many books position children in personal and social roles that can present challenges, this year’s Outstanding International Books List (OIB) and submissions include some titles unique in both topic and format. The intended audience for these books is child and adolescent readers, however adult readership can gain insights into personal issues faced by children, how they cope, where they need support and the situations in which these issues can be contextualized.

Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna Continue reading

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MTYT: I Got It!

By Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona and Maria Acevedo-Aquino, Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

In the second installment of February’s MTYT Dorea Kleker and Maria Acevedo-Aquino discuss the picturebook I Got It!, written and illustrated by David Wiesner. The focus this month is picturebooks published between 2016 and 2018 by authors and illustrators who are featured in the Tucson Festival of Books.

I Got It! Continue reading

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Worlds of Words is Out of this World at 2019 Tucson Festival of Books

By Lacey Nehls, Project Management Intern, Worlds of Words

Take one giant leap into literature with Worlds of Words at the Tucson Festival of Books. WOW and the UofA College of Education engage festival goers of all ages to space-related literature and hands-on activities in Booth 330. The Tucson Festival of Books takes place Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3.

WOW Tucson Festival of Books Activity Continue reading

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Explore Imagination through Outstanding International Book Characters

By Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas

Imagination in its many forms is present in much of children’s and young adult literature just as it is in “real” life. It can help us deal with situations that are seemingly beyond our control, express ourselves in authentic ways through other sign systems, create practical solutions to everyday needs or desires, position ourselves in other contexts as we work to understand other perspectives and eras and add an enjoyable fantasy element to our lives. I always enjoy revisiting the following quote: “Imagining possibilities is at the core of understanding other people, other times, and other places” (Wilhelm and Edmiston, 1998, p. 4). I also am reminded of Frank Smith’s idea (1992) that imagination makes reality possible (1992). So, while there are many ways to celebrate imagination in children’s literature, I would like to share, from the 2019 (published in English in 2018) OIB list, a few very basic examples of children using imagination in seemingly simplistic ways. I believe that these are the seeds that can grow into more complex uses of imagination as children grow into creative and responsible adults.

Stories of the Night by Kitty Crowther Continue reading