By Rebecca Ballenger, Associate Director, Worlds of Words Center
Wilson Ong’s last name was Wong until the fourth grade when his father revealed he used a false name to immigrate to the U.S. as a “paper son.” His father’s story isn’t that different from Lee’s story in the picturebook illustrated by Wilson, Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America. Each of Wilson’s original oil illustrations for this book were purchased by Mary J. Wong, also the child of a paper son, and donated to the Worlds of Words Center where they are now on exhibit.
By Veronica Martinez, Worlds of Words Educational Guide Intern
Get lost in a good book with the Worlds of Words Center’s Reading Ambassadors as they host their 3rd-annual Read-a-thon! The middle and high school reading ambassadors encourage booklovers of all ages to join them for focused reading paired with fun prompts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 @WOWTeenAmbassadors on Instagram. There is no physical location for the Read-a-thon, so participants can join from anywhere they would like to read!
As COVID-19 began its spread around the world, the International Youth Library (IYL) in Munich, Germany, invited children to portray themselves during this unusual time. The response was overwhelming. Over 800 self-portraits from 42 countries and every continent arrived at the IYL. Children aged 3 to 18 depict themselves grey and frightened or colorful and lively, sometimes with a face mask and sometimes without–mostly with big, alert eyes. A curated portion of these self-portraits make up the exhibit Children Draw Themselves: Self-Portraits from All Over the World In Times of Covid, now on display in Worlds of Words: Center of Global Literacies and Literatures (WOW) in the UArizona College of Education.
The exhibit displayed in WOW, with portraits hanging on the wall and books on the tables.
Our field lost a scholar of children’s literature, and we lost a treasured friend and colleague when Vivian Yenika-Agbaw passed away on September 20, 2021. Vivian was a professor of children’s and adolescent literature at Penn State University where she taught in both the residential and World campus programs. She grew up in Cameroon and remained connected both professionally and personally to these roots as she gathered supplies and resources for teachers in that country and wrote about West African and African Diaspora literature for young people through the critical lens of postcolonialism. She was concerned about issues of power and colonialism, not only in books from and about countries in Africa, but in other regions around the world whose literatures are seldom the focus of scholarship. Her research on representations of Africa in children’s books provided both historical and current critical analyses of trends and issues. Continue reading
The exhibit, Around the World in 70 Maps: Three Centuries of Cartographic Treasures from Children’s Literature, has itself traveled around the world. However, Worlds of Words Center of Global Literacies and Literatures (WOW) in the University of Arizona College of Education is the first venue in the U.S. to show this imaginative collection from the International Youth Library (IYL) in Munich, Germany.
Students from Paulo Freire Freedom School explore the exhibit, Around the World in 70 Maps.
By Rebecca Ballenger, Associate Director, Worlds of Words
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) now indexes WOW Stories: Connections from the Classroom, a free, open access, on-line, academic publication of Worlds of Words: Center of Global Literacies and Literatures in the University of Arizona College of Education. WOW Stories contains blind, peer-reviewed vignettes written by educators about children’s experiences reading and responding to literature, the content of which will increase in reach as aggregators, databases, libraries and other publishers access the entry in DOAJ.
By Rebecca Ballenger, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Brutal honesty connects award winning illustrators Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle. An exhibit of original illustrations and picturebooks put this partnership front and center at Worlds of Words. The pandemic brought Critique to Support and Stretch: A Conversation between Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle to an early close–but not before we filmed a virtual tour. Take a look!
Virtual Tour of Worlds of Words Center’s Critique to Support & Stretch Exhibit from UArizona College of Education.
The Tucson Festival of Books goes virtual March 6-7, 2021! The Children’s and Teen sessions will be available on-line and live at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Arizona time. Worlds of Worlds: Center of Global Literacies and Literatures has been involved with the festival since its inception, and we will continue this year as your guide. Download a PDF version of the schedule of the Children’s and Teen sessions. For an accessible schedule, visit tucsonfestivalofbooks.org.
By Aika Adamson, Worlds of Words
Worlds of Words and the Tucson Festival of Books partner to bring excitement and fun to children with our limited series, Imagination Friday. Watch as an author or illustrator appears virtually to discuss their books live with children in classrooms and at home. These bestselling creators do a brief presentation, lead activities and answer questions. This periodic webinar series occurs during the school day on Fridays from 1:00-1:45 PM from September to December 2022 so teachers can share in their classroom. You must register for the webinars to attend and will receive a link to click on and join each webinar. The webinar will be recorded and those who register will receive that link to watch the recording if unable to join us live. Registration links are on the Tucson Festival of Books and on Worlds of Words. Registration is free! Continue reading
By Rebecca Ballenger, Associate Director, Worlds of Words
Brutal honesty connects award winning illustrators Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle. A new exhibit of original illustrations and picturebooks puts this partnership front and center at the Worlds of Words: Center for Global Literacies and Literatures in the University of Arizona College of Education. Critique to Support and Stretch: A Conversation between Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle is free and open to the public who are encouraged to take in the exhibit and engage in visual critique.
English major, Eva Halvax (senior), studies illustrations that Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle say are most representative of their artistic voice. The original illustrations are on loan and part of a new exhibit in Worlds of Words titled “Critique to Support & Stretch: A Conversation between Juana Martinez-Neal & Molly Idle.” Photo credit: Ileana Roman