WOW Currents
WOW Currents

The Choice to Make a Difference: No Crystal Stair

by Ann Parker, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona

Today’s post is a continuation of the presentation with Jerry Pinkney, Jacqueline Woodson, and Vaunda M. Nelson that I attended on March 10, 2013 at the Tucson Festival of Books. The presentation was entitled “The Choice to Make a Difference”. This week, Vaunda M. Nelson describes the writing of her book No Crystal Stair. Continue reading

WOW Currents

The Choice to Make a Difference: A Ripple Effect

by Ann Parker, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona

This is the second blog in a series sharing a presentation by Jacqueline Woodson, Jerry Pinkney, and Vaunda M. Nelson entitled “The Choice to Make a Difference” at the 2013 Tucson Festival of Books. Here, Jacqueline Woodson shares her process for writing her book Each Kindness. The book tells the story of a young girl, Chloe, who ignores the new girl in school, even though Maya tries to make friends. After Maya leaves, Chloe realizes she missed an opportunity to show kindness to another person. Continue reading

WOW Currents

The Choice to Make a Difference: Music Trumps Racism

by Ann Parker, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona

This month’s blog will share the discussion of three wonderful children’s book creators (Jacqueline Woodson, Jerry Pinkney, and Vaunda M. Nelson) at the 2013 Tucson Festival of Books in March, 2013. The presentation was entitled “The Choice to Make a Difference.” In it, the authors each discussed the creation of one of their books and answered questions from the audience about writing and illustrating books. In this first blog, Jerry Pinkney shares his work on a book he illustrated entitled Sweethearts of Rhythm. Continue reading

Session Spotlight: Confronting Difficult Life Events through Story II

by Ann Parker, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona

 

I realized that the lowlands were always given to the poor, so naturally the Ninth Ward would flood.

“I’ll tell you what happened to me, but you have to promise never to use my name.”

. . . Kristallnacht was a blink in time . . .

Today’s blog continues the discussion between authors Ruta Sepetys, Jim Deem, and Jewell Parker Rhodes at the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books in March entitled “Confronting Difficult Life Events through Story.”
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Session Spotlight: Confronting Difficult Life Events through Story

by Ann Parker, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona

Today’s blog begins a discussion by authors Ruta Sepetys, Jim Deem, and Jewell Parker Rhodes at the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books in March entitled “Confronting Difficult Life Events through Story.” The discussion will continue in the next two blogs. All three authors have published books, both fiction and non-fiction, that deal with terrible historical events and the resiliency of people to endure in the most horrific of circumstances.
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Session Spotlight: Monica Brown

by Ann Parker, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona

 

. . . the story also spoke to her because it contained the themes of finding your voice, of imagination and determination, of social justice and what we can do to spread literacy . . .

 

I had the pleasure of interviewing author Monica Brown for my dissertation that focused on small, independent publishing companies that published bilingual books. Monica had just published two books with Luna Rising, which at the time (2005) was a new imprint of Rising Moon, Northland Publishing Company’s children’s book imprint. Luna Rising’s mission was to publish quality children’s books in English and Spanish, so both of Monica’s books were bilingual. Continue reading

Session Spotlight: Karen Lynn Williams

by Ann Parker, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona

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Books can be very powerful, and be careful what you give your children to read!

Karen Lynn Williams

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I attended a presentation at the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books entitled “Picture Books as Global Passports” with authors Karen Lynn Williams and Monica Brown in March. Karen Lynn Williams has published 14 children’s books, many of them about children in other countries, including Africa, Haiti, and Pakistan.
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What Makes Small Presses Successful

by Ann Parker, Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ

As we have seen, all of these small book publishing companies are managing to survive in the midst of the large conglomerate companies that have lots of resources at their disposal to publish and market their books. All of these smaller companies specialize in publishing children’s books from outside the predominant cultural perspective in the US, including books highlighting African American, Asian American, Latino, Native American, and international communities. Generally, as is the case with Children’s Book Press, Just Us Books, and Lee and Low Books, these companies were originally founded to meet a need in the community, namely, the need for books that reflected the experiences of children from multiracial and multiethnic backgrounds, but that were so well written that all children could enjoy them.
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