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Malala Activist for Girls’ Education and For the Right to Learn

By Seemi Aziz, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Most of the books mentioned in the first week of this series on books about Malala Yousafzai were submitted for book awards and considered distinctly above and beyond the run on the mill books that frame the Malala rhetoric by at least the publishers. Each story has the same narrative with various distinctions and have varied illustration distinctions. Malala story’s attraction is undeniable in all of the texts. Her being shot and surviving gives credence to the story as the girl who lived to use her incident to further her cause.

Cover art for Malala, Activist for Girls Education is an illustration of Malala in a bright pink scarf holding a bouquet of flowers and books Continue reading

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MTYT: Maddi’s Fridge

By Celeste Trimble, St. Martin’s University, Lacey, WA and María Acevedo-Aquino, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

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This month Celeste and María look carefully at stories that examine issues of hunger, poverty and homelessness. In each of the stories, the characters are represented in a dignified and respectful manner. They begin with Maddi’s Fridge, written by Lois Brandt and illustrated by Vin Vogel.

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Malala Yousafzai In Books for Children

By Seemi Aziz, The University of Arizona, Tucson

I Am Malala cover depicting Malala in a red floral scarf against a teal backgroundSince Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani heroine who propagates education for women, hit the world stage there has been a huge spotlight on her life and activities globally, especially captured and projected in the arena of children’s books. Her near-death experience at the hands of the Taliban sets her story apart in more ways than one. Her dramatic entry into the global narrative reinforces concerns of women’s oppression and lack of education in Muslim countries and takes it to whole new level. Continue reading

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Italicizing Non-English Words: The Case of Spanish in Picturebooks

By María V. Acevedo, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
With Rebecca Ballenger, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

I read out loud All Around Us, by Xelena Gonzalez, illustrated by Adriana García, to a class of undergraduate students. When I read, “We eat what we’ve grown-crunchy lettuce, sweet carrots and spicy chiles,” one of my students said, “I love your Spanish accent.” Chiles is the only Spanish word in this picturebook and it is not italicized. The student’s comment made me think of picturebooks that highlight non-English words in one way or another and the implications of this practice to fictional characters and readers.

Cover art for La Princesa and the Pea shows a girl with a crown of flowers sitting atop multiple mismatched mattresses and a surly cat perched on the bed's footboard Continue reading

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MTYT: They Call Me Güero

By Violet Henderson and Mary Fahrenbruck, New Mexico State University

Mary and Violet continue to provide their takes on the 2019 Pura Belpré award winners and honor books. This week, they look at They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles. The book won the Pura Belpré Honor Award for Authors for 2019.

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Reflections for Mother’s Day, Motherhood and Significant Caregivers

By María Acevedo-Aquino, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

When I think about Mother’s Day, I think about individuals with an extraordinary capacity for nurturing, protecting, guiding, knowing, caring and loving. I also think about my mom living far away; my sister who will become a mother very soon; one of my former preschool students who lost his mom when he was 4 years old; my friend Sonia, her wife, and their baby Oscar; Dani, who awaits in a foster care residency in Spain to go back home; and, a dear friend who recently lost her son. I think about the numerous complex stories that shape personal and collective views of motherhood and days like Mother’s Day. Through this post, I hope to offer questions, rather than answers, and opportunities for dialogue, instead of a list of concepts to teach.

Julian Is a Mermaid Cover featuring a child posed with an arm in the air and wrapped in a sheet at the waist and a headdress of flowers Continue reading

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MTYT: Islandborn

April 2019 MTYT HeaderBy Mary L. Fahrenbruck and Violet Henderson, New Mexico State University

Throughout April 2019, Mary Fahrenbruck and Violet Henderson give their take on the 2019 Pura Belpré award winners and honor books (awarded to Latino/Latina writer and illustrator). In their first installment, Mary and Violet discuss Islandborn authored by Junot Díaz and illustrated by Leo Espinoza. The picturebook won the Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Award for 2019.

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