Several members of our group serve on literature award committees and noticed that in 2017 publishers released some interesting books about foxes. We wondered if the representation or characterization of the fox changed from the traditional portrayal as a sly personality in trickster tales, classics like Aesop’s Fables, Pinocchio and Three Little Pigs, or modern tales like Fox (Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks) and Rosie’s Walk (Pat Hutchins). Are fox characters more empathetic in recent publications such as Pax (Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen)? In week 1, we discuss The Fox and the Wild by Clive McFarland.
Interview conducted by Judi Moreillon
Part 4: Authentic Picturebook Illustrations
This month, I interview Pima County Public Library children’s librarian and children’s book reviewer, Mary Margaret Mercado. Last week, Mary Margaret responded to questions related to authenticity in picturebook stories. This week, our conversation centers on authentic picturebook illustrations.
Interview conducted by Judi Moreillon
Part 3: Authentic Picturebook Stories
This month, I interview Pima County public librarian children’s librarian and children’s book reviewer Mary Margaret Mercado. Last week, Mary Margaret responded to questions related to publication practices with a closer look at the author, illustrator and translator’s cultural knowledge. This week, our conversation centers on the authenticity of the story itself.
By Grace Fell, Online Content Marketing Intern, Worlds of Words
The new year is almost here, and many people will set reading goals for 2018. In fact, “read more” was the second most popular resolution of 2017, according to Harper’s Bazaar. Those who find children’s literature critical to expanding global perspectives can resolve to stay current with news, trends and events by subscribing to Worlds of Words’ free new e-newsletter. Continue reading
This December WOW Recommends Bronze and Sunflower written by Cao Wenxuan and illustrated by Meilo So as our book of the month. The book won the Hans Christian Anderson award in 2016 and is translated from Chinese into English by Helen Wang. Wenxuan is a best-selling author for children in China and a philosophy professor at Peking University. Bronze and Sunflower is set during the Cultural Revolution in China. Continue reading
By Samantha Verini, The University of Arizona
“A story can tell the truth, she knew, but a story can also lie. Stories can bend and twist and obfuscate. Controlling stories is power indeed.”
By Angel Stone, The University of Arizona
“It is easier not to say anything,” thinks Melinda Sordino, a high school freshman in the book Speak who feels she cannot share her story of rape. In Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel, which will soon release as a graphic novel illustrated by Emily Carroll, Melinda shows us the dangers of hiding our most difficult experiences and the importance of speaking about them openly. Melina is fictional, but the fear she faces is real and can have lasting effects. We hear her story in every corner of our world from high school to entertainment to politics. Each one of us at some point face challenges that we don’t know how to share.
By Angel Stone, Worlds of Words Intern, The University of Arizona
Politicians admit to using their status to take advantage of women. Movie directors and actors use their power to assault young people. Mental health concerns are at an all-time high for children and teens. The novels we look at this month, written by authors attending the 2018 Tucson Festival of Books, address the issues of assault, unfounded judgment and mental illness. These TFOB YA authors provide a way to initiate conversations on difficult topics between young people and those who care about them.
The colorful picturebook, All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle with illustrations by Mike Curato, is set in modern day Cuba. It focuses on a family celebration and how Cuban resourcefulness keeps American cars from the 1950s running. A boy narrates the trip his family takes from the country to Havana in their precious old car, Cara Cara, a 1954 Chevy. Before they can take off, Papa and his son have to fix the car. They try and try to fix the silly noises. “The rattling parts have ben fixed with wire, tape and mixed-up scraps of dented metal.” Finally, “Cara Cara once again begins to sound like a chattering hen!” Continue reading
By Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico and Junko Sakoi, Tucson Unified School District
This past spring, Junko visited a 6th grade classroom in Tucson, Arizona. She watched three girls having fun reading together. These readers kept reading and shared their thoughts from their reading any time and anywhere they could, like in the classroom or at recess. Holding their attention–Japanese comic books called manga. It didn’t take long for those manga fans to ask Junko any number of questions about Japan. Their knowledge was based on the popular Japanese manga they had read, so it was thoughtful. The 6th-grade manga fans were not shy about showing off that they read manga alongside other novels. The fact that they read manga whenever possible makes them similar to “book nerds,” except people wouldn’t call manga fans “nerds” because manga is meant for pleasure and fun. It is not traditionally considered as literature with a high literary value.