STORY in Storying Studio

By Prisca Martens, Ph.D., Towson University

STORY in Storying Studio stands as a verb as well as a noun. In addition to being a narrative, story/storying as verbs mean to compose by weaving together meanings in writing and art as in picturebooks. Children don’t write and illustrate; rather, they story. Story as a verb refers to the multimodal process of composing meaning in writing and art.

story in storying studio, Marcie
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READ in Storying Studio

By Prisca Martens, Ph.D., Towson University

When children read in Storying Studio, they learn that readers not only read written text, they read art. They consider how/why artists make particular decisions about color, shape, etc., similar to how/why authors make particular decisions about word choice, sentence structure, etc., when writing written text. We create text sets around particular themes, topics, or art concepts on which the teachers want to focus in the minilessons.

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Storying Studio: Drawing Stories, Writing Pictures

By Prisca Martens, PhD, Towson University

storying studioPicturebooks convey stories in both written text and pictorial text (art), with both texts being essential to telling the story (Kiefer, 1995; Sipe, 1998). The art has meanings or perspectives not offered in the written text just as the written text has meanings/perspectives not available in the art. When no written text is present, the story is told only through the art. Typically these books are referred to as wordless books. My co-researcher Ray Martens, an artist and art educator, however, calls them pictorial books to emphasize the importance of the art in telling the story rather than identify these books as lacking words. Continue reading

When Wishes Go Awry

By T. Gail Pritchard, Ph.D., University of Arizona

What do you wish for — Love? Health? Happiness? Friendship? Sometimes the wishes are for yourself, your family, a specific person, or even the world. This week’s blog takes a look at wishes made and how those wishes go awry, from wanting a friend to make the basketball team to wanting to be liked. In each case, when the wishes go awry, the wisher is left wondering how to undo those wishes. In the process, we learn about each of the wishers — who they are, aspects of their character, and what they most value. Are they foolish? Are they greedy? Or do they just want to help better themselves and their family?

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“The Wish List” Explores Do-overs in Life (and Death)

By T. Gail Pritchard, Ph.D., University of Arizona

I bet most of us have considered “do overs,” what we would re-do in our life if given a chance. Maybe we would change a conversation, an action (or lack thereof), or a decision. In The Wish List by Eoin Colfer, Lowrie McCall’s list consists of four things he wished he had done in his life. Furthermore, the fate of Meg Finn’s soul depends on her success in helping him complete his wish list. School Library Journal describes their journey as “both humorous and poignant, as Lowrie confronts his regrets and Meg strives to attain salvation.”

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I Wish I May, I Wish I Might… Wishing in Michelle Harrison’s One Wish

By T. Gail Pritchard, Ph.D., University of Arizona

Think back to some of your earliest memories of wishing, perhaps when blowing out birthday candles, wishing upon a star — particularly a shooting star or the first star of the night, throwing a penny in a wishing well or fountain, getting the long end of the wishbone, blowing on a dandelion puff, or maybe writing a wish on a piece of paper and tying it to a tree or hiding it under a rock. Continue reading

Diversity within Children’s and Young Adolescent Latino Literature: Afro-Latinos and Afro-Caribbean Communities

by Carmen M. Martinez-Roldan and Katherine Lorena del Carmen Keim-Riveros



In our last blog of the month we focus on how the authors’ incorporation of non-English words in Afro-Latino and Afro-Caribbean literature can contribute to a better understanding and appreciation of the richness and complexities of Latino culture and the bilingualism of their communities. The books discussed through this month were all English-based texts, in which the authors purposefully incorporated the linguistic repertoire Continue reading

Diversity within Children’s and Young Adolescent Latino Literature: Afro-Caribbean and Indigenous Communities

by Carmen M. Martínez-Roldán & Richelle Jurasek

PanamaCanalThis week we continue our focus on Afro-Caribbean influences in Latino children’s literature but also start addressing Indigenous perspectives. Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal, another historical fiction novel by Cuban-American author Margarita Engle, offers a window into the experiences of Caribbean islander workers but also into the experiences of indigenous communities Continue reading