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 2023 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!
Upcoming Imagination Fridays
Watch Past Imagination Fridays
Imagination Friday with Ana Aranda. The author/illustrator of Our Day of the Dead Celebration discusses her new picturebook about a family who gathers to enjoy favorite foods, play games, and tell stories to celebrate the lives of family members for Día de los Muertos. Aranda’s whimsical, bright illustrations are full of joy and love, and the story is a powerful reminder that our loved ones are always with us.
Imagination Friday with David Bowles and Charlene Bowles. Watch this author and illustrator duo discuss their middle grade graphic novel Rise of the Halfling King, which follows the adventures of a magical boy from Maya mythology and is the first of a series based on ancient Mesoamerican myths and legends.
Imagination Friday with Max Brallier. Brallier discusses the latest book in his Last Kids on Earth series, The Last Kids on Earth and the Skeleton Road. In their latest adventure, Jack, June, Quint and Dirk go on a road trip to search for the villain Thrull and his skeleton army.
Imagination Friday with Drew Daywalt and Molly Idle. Watch this author/illustrator duo talk about their new picturebook, Twinkle Twinkle Little Kid, a hilarious story about wishes and friendship. Everybody knows that kids wish upon stars, but did you know that stars wish upon kids, too? When Clyde makes a wish on a star before bedtime, he doesn’t expect the star to actually show up in his bedroom!
Imagination Friday with Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall. This duo introduces their highly anticipated new graphic novel, The Beatryce Prophecy, a fantasy about fate, love, and the power of words. Set in a time of war, Beatryce lives in a world where reading and writing are against the law, leading her on a dangerous quest to unseat the king and change that world.
Imagination Friday with Beth Ferry and Molly Idle. Beth Ferry and Molly Idle discuss their newest picturebook, We Believe in You. This picturebook is about the joy of believing in yourself and in one another. Molly and Beth share the process of writing and illustrating their new book, invite children to create their own stories and answer questions.
Imagination Friday with Michaela Goade. Goade shares her process of creating the Caldecott winning picturebook We Are Water Protectors, a story that shares the strength of a young girl taking a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.
Imagination Friday with Chris Grabenstein. Author-illustrator Christ Grabenstein discusses his new graphic novel, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. This bestselling book is now a full color, fun-packed graphic novel in which a group of game-loving kids must solve every clue to find the hidden escape route out of the town’s new library. Visual clues and book covers are embedded into the panels. Chris introduces his new book and process of writing, invitse children to solve puzzles, and answers questions.
Imagination Friday with Andy Griffiths. Griffiths comes to us from Australia to discuss his latest novel in his Treehouse chapter book series, The Treehouse Joke Book, a book full of gags, quips, puns and cartoons.Imagination Friday with Joanna Ho. Author-illustrator Joanna Ho shares her process in how she created her picturebook Say my Name. This narrative emphasizes the importance of names, seen through six children of Chinese, Tongan, Persian, Diné, Mexican and Ghanaian descent who proudly celebrate their names, languages and cultures.
Imagination Friday with Gordon C. James. Illustrator Gordon C. James discusses how he illustrated his new book I Am Every Good Thing, written by Derrick Barnes. This book challenges the negative images and feelings that surround Black boys by saying they are “worthy of success, respect, safety, kindness, happiness—they are every good thing.”
Imagination Friday with Rashin Kheiriyeh. Watch Kheiriyeh discuss how she created Bahar, The Lucky, a story about a young girl, Bahar, who is determined to help her family earn more money than what she makes selling rugs at the local bazaar. She decides to become a fortune teller and after some lucky “accidents” telling correct fortunes, the king summons her to the palace to be his fortune teller.Imagination Friday with Meg Medina. Meg shares her newest middle-grade novel, Merci Suárez Plays It Cool, in which Merci faces school drama and changing family dynamics. Meg discusses her new book, shares the process of creating the story, and invites children to write about their own experiences.
Imagination Friday with Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal. Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal discuss the making of their award winning picturebook Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, and invite children to create their own family stories and answer questions.
Imagination Friday with Raúl the Third. Hear about his newest ¡Vamos! book, ¡Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge, a joyful story about coming together and celebrating community. Traffic has come to a stop on a bridge and Little Lobo and his dog Bernabé are tired of waiting in their truck–until they have the idea of holding an epic party! Also watch his Imagination Friday about his third book, ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Read, about Little Lobo and his friends visiting a book festival.
Imagination Friday with Adam Rex. Watch Adam Rex discuss his new picturebook, The Story of Gumluck the Wizard, about a wizard who helps others on his quest to become a hero. View his past Imagination Friday on On Account of the Gum here.
Imagination Friday with Adam Rex and Laura Park. Watch as the creators of Digestion: The Musical discuss their hilarious picturebook is about the most basic process of the human body—digesting food. Candy has finally made it into the human body and her “big break” is to be successfully digested. The scientific process of digestion is told through a musical with Candy as a small-town kid who wants to make it big and includes cameos for body parts that help transform food from ingredients to nutrition. An epic adventure through the human body, from bite to bottom.
Imagination Friday with Michael Rex. Watch Michael Rex discuss his picturebook We’re Going on a Goon Hunt, which follows the journey of a group of kids looking for the Goon.
Imagination Friday with Sherri Duskey Rinker. Watch Rinker discuss the newest book in her Construction Site series, Construction Site Mission: Demolition!
Imagination Friday with Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg. Watch the Scieszka and Weinberg discuss the first book of their new series AstroNuts, which follows the AstroNuts on a new mission to find a planet fit for human life after we have finally made the Earth unlivable.
Imagination Friday with Christina Soontornvat. Watch Soontornvat discuss her nonfiction book, All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, which combines material from community interviews with in-depth science content and details about the region’s culture and religion to tell the story of the boys trapped underground and the efforts of their rescuers.
Imagination Friday with Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead. They discuss their newest picturebook Amos McGee Misses the Bus, in which Amos faces all kinds of problems when he plans an outing for his zoo animals. Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead are the creators of picturebook classics such as A Sick Day for Amos McGee, Bear Has a Story to Tell, Music For Mister Moon and Lenny and Lucy.
Imagination Friday is co-sponsored by the Tucson Festival of Books and Worlds of Words, University of Arizona College of Education and occurs Fridays from 1 to 1:40 p.m. with a different author or illustrator each time. Add some excitement to Fridays with world-renowned children’s authors and illustrator to promote new books and encourage children as readers, writers and illustrators.