WOW News

Worlds of Words is Out of this World at 2019 Tucson Festival of Books

By Lacey Nehls, Project Management Intern, Worlds of Words

Take one giant leap into literature with Worlds of Words at the Tucson Festival of Books. WOW and the UofA College of Education engage festival goers of all ages to space-related literature and hands-on activities in Booth 330. The Tucson Festival of Books takes place Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3.

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Explore Imagination through Outstanding International Book Characters

By Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas

Imagination in its many forms is present in much of children’s and young adult literature just as it is in “real” life. It can help us deal with situations that are seemingly beyond our control, express ourselves in authentic ways through other sign systems, create practical solutions to everyday needs or desires, position ourselves in other contexts as we work to understand other perspectives and eras and add an enjoyable fantasy element to our lives. I always enjoy revisiting the following quote: “Imagining possibilities is at the core of understanding other people, other times, and other places” (Wilhelm and Edmiston, 1998, p. 4). I also am reminded of Frank Smith’s idea (1992) that imagination makes reality possible (1992). So, while there are many ways to celebrate imagination in children’s literature, I would like to share, from the 2019 (published in English in 2018) OIB list, a few very basic examples of children using imagination in seemingly simplistic ways. I believe that these are the seeds that can grow into more complex uses of imagination as children grow into creative and responsible adults.

Stories of the Night by Kitty Crowther Continue reading

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USBBY Award-Winning Books: The Role Literature Plays in Supporting Music

By Janelle B. Mathis, University of North Texas

USBBY LogoBoth the prestigious American Library Association Awards and the USBBY Outstanding International Book Award lists in children’s and young adult literature were recently announced. This list of 39 translated books that cut across age levels from Pre-K to YA offers many genres, themes and countries of origin with a variety of potential uses in the classroom. While the OIB committee, on which I served this year, suggests potential thematic connections in their discussions as well as in the School Library Journal article announcing the list, I would like to share some personal connections I made while reading and discussing these books. Most of these connections cut across the award list, but later this month, I will share some excellent books that didn’t make the final list as well as other recently published books. Continue reading

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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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The Batchelder Award: An Entryway to Translated Children’s Books

By Kathy Short, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Batchelder MedalThe American Library Association held its highly anticipated annual press conference on January 28, 2019, to announce the major youth awards, including the Caldecott, Newbery, Pura Belpré and Coretta Scott King awards. The award committees worked behind closed doors for 3 days to make final decisions, submitting their award-winners in great secrecy to ALA staff so they could prepare for the press conference and subsequent news releases. This year, I had the honor of serving on the Mildred L. Batchelder Award committee. Continue reading

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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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WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: The Cardboard Kingdom

The Cardboard KingdomThe graphic novel The Cardboard Kingdom is a cheerful story capturing children’s imagination and creativity, friendship and exploration of conflicts with families, friends and even their own identity. Chad Sell created this book in coordination with ten other writers, including Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Manuel Betancourt, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Cloud Jacobs, Michael Cole and Barbara Perez Marquez. Continue reading