WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Kapaemahu

Four Mahu people in a stage triangle look at the readerKapaemahu is a multilayered picturebook that leaves the reader with much to contemplate. Based on a traditional Hawaiian legend, this captivating picturebook begins by transporting the reader to the days before recorded history, the time of storytelling, long before the colonization of Hawaii. In that long ago time, four Tahitians journeyed across the Pacific Ocean and arrived on the shores of Waikiki on the island of Oʻahu. These visitors were māhū, two-spirited beings who were neither male nor female but “a mixture of both in mind, heart, and spirit.” The māhū were favored by the Gods “with skill in the science of healing.” They healed many of the islanders and to honor the māhū, the people erected four great stones. Before vanishing from the island, the māhū transferred their healing powers into these four stones. Following the telling of the history of the māhū, the story moves the reader ahead seven hundred years in history to witness the impact of colonization upon the stones and subsequently the culture of the Native Hawaiians. The book ends with the call to remember the story of the māhū declaring, “When you share that story, you honor it.” Continue reading

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An On-going Struggle for Equal Voting Rights

By Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, Westminster College, retired, and Rebecca Ballenger, Worlds of Words, University of Arizona, Tucson

People from all backgrounds hold signs that say vote in multiple languagesJane Goodall recently outlined, “Every vote matters, more this year than perhaps any time in history.” As voters from the United States to South Africa, Mexico, India and beyond enter a major election year, Jane urges anyone who will listen to pause and consider each candidate’s record on a single issue–her/his/their efforts to support the health of our Earth. Yet we know U.S. voters will ponder additional issues, ranging from the economy and democracy to immigration, reproductive rights, foreign policy, gun rights, equality and more. Continue reading

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Worlds of Words Center Expands Holdings of Original Picturebook Illustrations

by Rebecca Ballenger, Associate Director of Worlds of Words Center

The Worlds of Words Center adds original illustrations from 55 picturebooks to its holdings as a result of a recent crowdfunding campaign and donations of art by Mary J. Wong. The new pieces are from classic, award-winning, and global children’s literature and include works by illustrators visiting for the Tucson Festival of Books. A selection of the new acquisitions will be on display leading up to the book festival and for UArizona Museum Day at Worlds of Words in the University of Arizona College of Education.

Two women looking at framed art on table easels

Project FOCUS student Daniela Garcia (first-year) and Elementary Education major Lily Volmer (sophomore) compare an original illustration by Jason Chin to its final version. Chin’s work for Watercress earned the 2022 Caldecott Medal.

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The Colourful World Beyond the Seven Hills

By Rebecca Ballenger, Associate Director, Worlds of Words Center

The Grimm Brothers’ collection “Children’s and Household Tales” inspired visual images in illustrations that left their indelible mark on the memory of successive generations. For the first time in the U.S., the traveling exhibition “The Colourful World Beyond the Seven Hills” invites people to experience or re-experience this tradition of folktale illustration from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Posters of illustrations from the book collections of the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, are now available for viewing in the Worlds of Words Center of Global Literacies and Literatures of the UArizona College of Education.

Three young people look at a set of cards marked character, setting, plot and resolution one young person in background looking at illustrations

Middle School Reading Ambassadors work through a mixed-up Grimm Brother’s storytelling activity that Worlds of Words offers alongside the The Colourful World Beyond the Seven Hills exhibit on loan from the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany.

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Authors' Corner

Authors’ Corner: Matt Mendez

By Rebecca Ballenger, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

man in stylized hoodie

Photo by Chris Summitt

Matt Mendez is the author of Barely Missing Everything and the short story collection, Twitching Heart. The New York Times says Matt “has an uncanny ability to capture the aimless bluster of young boys posturing at confidence.” His new novel, The Broke Hearts, also captures this bluster. In this profile, Matt opens up about this new novel, his writing process and meaningful reader interactions. Continue reading

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Crowdfund Update: With Gratitude

By Rebecca Ballenger, Associate Director, Worlds of Words Center

We keep all the thank you letters we receive from our K-12 visitors. They often share their favorite part of their Worlds of Words Center field trip in these letters. We love these notes! It’s fun to read their thoughts around the exhibits they experience. They almost always mention books, and sometimes we get the best portraits of our staff. The gratitude expressed in these letters has a huge impact on our team.

Handwritten thank you letter Continue reading

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Worlds of Words Center Launches First Crowdfund Effort to Bring Global Stories to Life

By Rebecca Ballenger, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

The Worlds of Words Center of Global Literacies and Literatures in the University of Arizona College of Education announces the launch of its first ever crowdfunding campaign on October 2. The campaign aims to raise $10,000 to fund a year of exhibits that will spark the imaginations of visitors to the center.

Young teens reading and discussing the books and posters on display.

Students from Paulo Freire Freedom School explore the exhibit, Around the World in 70 Maps.

“We are excited to launch our first crowdfunding campaign,” says UArizona Regents Professor and director of the WOW Center, Kathy Short. “This is a great opportunity to support our mission of sharing global stories. With help from the community, we can continue to provide enriching exhibits that inspire people of all ages.” Continue reading