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MTYT: Duck, Death and the Tulip

Compiled by Janelle Mathis

The last My Take/Your Take for April continues with a focus on picture books. For the students involved, part of a doctoral class on critical content and visual analysis of international literature, many picture books became unique points of discussion. In light of the recent 2017 recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, German author/illustrator Wolf Erlbruch, we read Duck, Death and the Tulip (2011) as well as other books by Erlbruch and some scholarly perspectives.

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MTYT: Samira and the Skeletons

Compiled by Janelle Mathis

This installment of April’s My Take/Your Take focuses on responses to a title that is on the USBBY 2017 “Outstanding International Book” List. Bill Visco, a doctoral student and high school English teacher, and April Walker, a doctoral student and elementary teacher with a focus in Language Arts and Social Studies, share their responses to Samira and the Skeletons (2016) written by Camilla Kuhn and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. This book was translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett and humorously shares the story of a child who is obsessed with seeing everyone as walking skeletons after a lesson in school about skeletons.

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MTYT: What’s Your Story?

Compiled by Janelle Mathis

April’s My Take/Your Take continues with two doctoral students, Nichelle Vaughan, a doctoral student and Graduate Assistant in the UNT Curriculum and Instruction Program, and Bill Visco, a doctoral student and high school English teacher, responding to a picture book they find intriguing in their exploration of international literature. What’s Your Story? (2013) written by Rose Giannone, illustrated by Bern Emmerichs, and published by Berbay, is the focus for week two.

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MTYT: Cry, Heart, but Never Break

MTYT April 17
Compiled by Janelle Mathis

The My Take/Your Take for April is aligned with the upcoming WOW Review issue on picturebooks. The participants here are all part of a doctoral seminar at the University of North Texas focused on Critical Content Analysis of International Children’s and YA Literature, and as a result of this course, they are discovering new picturebooks that call for different perspectives and insights. Several books from varying award and honor lists have caught the attention of these educators and they share their responses here.

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Change Over Time: Land, Culture, and Relationships

By Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas

Our final topic for September, “change over time,” may seem like a natural occurrence and not necessarily an issue of concern. However, we know it all depends on the change and how it is perceived by different individuals. As a global issue, change over time can involve people, places, environmental issues, and cultural perspectives, to mention a few.

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Considering Immigration through Global Perspectives

By Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas

We continue last week’s introduction on sharing children’s literature by focusing on picture books. The notion of a picture book for many is that of “cute” books for young readers. However, images and text in picture books nurture creative and critical thinking. Each new class of preservice teachers I instruct proves this idea and so do many educators already in classrooms. While chapter books approach social issues in their own right, the significance of images in today’s communicative contexts creates a place for illustrators to tell their stories through a variety of modes and mediums. With this in mind, we consider immigration through global perspectives in recent picture books.

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Global Perspectives Offered by Children’s Literature

By Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas

Teaching classes not directly related to children’s or adolescent literature can challenge those whose professional and personal lives involve the potential of literature to bring new insights and perspectives to readers. While our field is vast, not all educators, parents or readers are aware of the potential for contemporary literacy learners. Contemporary children’s literature offers diverse, global perspectives and nurtures a critical mindset for understanding societal issues.

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The Decision to Resist: Enough is Enough

by Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

EnoughisEnoughWith a powerful title framing their session, four authors spoke to the theme of resistance and to the notion of “enough is enough” as they connected a recent work to contemporary social issues. The panel included Larry Brimmer (Strike, 2014), Margy Burns Knight (Talking Walls: Discover the World, 2014), S. D. Nelson (Digging a Hole to Heaven, 2014), and Eugene Yelchin (Arcady’s Goal, 2014) Continue reading

Resilient Children in International Literature

by Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

The realization that other young citizens of the global community have messages of empowerment, or agency, to share with children of the western world is perhaps one of the most important roles of international literature. The literature, in which the main characters reveal agency through identity, voice, decision-making, and taking action according to their learned perceptions of a situation, is one way to accomplish that exchange of ideas. That was one of the outcomes for individuals who attended the IBBY Congress last month as active participants in IBBY’s role of building bridges across global cultures. Continue reading