By Rebecca Ballenger, Coordinator of Outreach and Collections for Worlds of Words
Award-winning author and illustrator Joan Sandin reflects on the experience researching, writing and publishing the children’s book Coyote School News from 3 to 5 p.m. on January 28 in Worlds of Words. The event celebrates the opening of Worlds of Words’s new exhibit, Imagination to Celebration: Publishing Journeys.
“I’m very pleased that Worlds of Words is not only exhibiting the original art for Coyote School News, but also displaying materials illustrating the creative process. (I knew I was saving all this stuff for some reason!),” says Sandin.
The exhibit showcases inspiration for Coyote School News, early versions that didn’t make the cut, personal correspondence with the editor and art director, final original art, and post-publication promotion and uses for the book.
“This was easily the most complicated project I’ve worked on in my entire career — and the most satisfying,” Sandin says. “The story, set in Southern Arizona, was initially inspired by my best friend in high school, María Amado. María had grown up on her family ranch near Amado, Arizona, and attended a one-room school. A second, and very important, source of inspiration and everyday detail was Little Cowpuncher.”
Little Cowpuncher is a rural school newspaper written and illustrated by students in the 1930s and ’40s. Copies can be seen at UA Library Special Collections and online.
Coyote School News earned the Arizona Children’s Author/Illustrator Award, Governor’s Choice: Fourth Grade Book, Top Pick: Southwest Children’s Books, Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts, Nominee: Texas Bluebonnet Award and Finalist: Tomás Rivera Children’s Book Award.
Sandin will make a formal presentation at 4 p.m. in Worlds of Worlds. Joan Sandin will also have an event for children earlier in the day. For more information for these free events, visit our Facebook page.
Journey through Worlds of Words during our open reading hours: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out our two online journals, WOW Review and WOW Stories, and keep up with WOW’s news and events.