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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.

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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.

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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.

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MTYT: Alma and How She Got Her Name

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

TFOB
This month we discuss four picturebooks by authors and illustrators who will join us at the Tucson Festival of Books in March. We chose to focus on these authors’ and illustrators’ most recent picturebooks, all of which were published between 2016-2018.

Written and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, Alma and How She Got Her Name follows Alma as she learns the meaning of her very long name that respects her ancestors and heritage. As Alma’s dad tells her ancestors’ stories, she finds inspiration and learns they had similar interests. With a newfound appreciation for her name, Alma begins her own life story.

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MTYT: The House of Lost and Found

By Janelle B. Mathis, PhD, University of North Texas and Katie Loomis, Librarian and Doctoral Student, University of North Texas

In this last installment of January’s MTYT, Janelle B. Mathis and Katie Loomis talk about the picturebook The House of Lost and Found, translated from Swedish and written by Martin Widmark and Emilia Dziubak. The theme for this month focuses on child agency and situations where children can relate to adults through personal relationship, actions, words or questions. This is the heartwarming story of how a chance encounter with a child turns into a positive life changing beginning for the main character.

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MTYT: The Visitor

By Janelle B. Mathis, PhD, University of North Texas and Katie Loomis, Librarian and Doctoral Student, University of North Texas

In the fourth installment of January’s MTYT, Janelle B. Mathis and Katie Loomis talk about the picturebook The Visitor, written by Antje Damm and translated by Sally-Ann Spencer. The theme for this month focuses on child agency and situations where children can relate to adults through personal relationship, actions, words or questions.

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MTYT: A Story Like the Wind

By Janelle B. Mathis, PhD, University of North Texas and Katie Loomis, Librarian and Doctoral Student, University of North Texas

In the third installment of January’s MTYT, Janelle B. Mathis and Katie Loomis talk about the picturebook A Story Like the Wind, written by Gill Lewis and illustrated by Jo Weaver. The theme for this month focuses on child agency and situations where children can relate to adults through personal relationship, actions, words or questions. This fable tells the story of a young boy who uses his agency to provide hope to fellow refugees through song and story.

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MTYT: A Drop of the Sea

By Janelle B. Mathis, PhD, University of North Texas and Katie Loomis, Librarian and Doctoral Student, University of North Texas

In the second installment of January’s MTYT, Janelle B. Mathis and Katie Loomis talk about the picturebook A Drop of the Sea, written by Ingrid Chabbert and illustrated by Raúl Nieto Guridi. The theme for this month focuses on child agency and situations where children can relate to adults through personal relationship, actions, words or questions.

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MTYT: The Old Man

By Janelle B. Mathis, PhD, University of North Texas and Katie Loomis, Librarian and Doctoral Student, University of North Texas

Contemporary literature has examples of the relationships that children develop with adults—parents, grandparents, and people they meet unexpectedly through shared experiences. The books discussed this month each reveal children relating to adults in very authentic ways— sometimes through a relationship and sometimes through their own impulse to act, speak, or ask questions. In thinking about child agency, the books show how the most natural or simplest of connections can resonate in powerful ways with adults.

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