My Take Your Take Banner

MTYT: Julian Is a Mermaid

MTYT Header Dec 2018
Julian Is a Mermaid is a wonderfully imaginative story of a young Afro-Latinx boy who realizes he loves mermaids so much that he decides to be one. It began one day after he and his abuela take the subway home from the pool. Julian sees three beautiful mermaids from his subway seat, and he is mesmerized by their dress, accoutrements and amazing fishtails. When Julian and Abuela arrive home, he daydreams about being a mermaid. The illustrations of his transformation beautifully depict his daydream. While Abuela leaves Julian alone for a moment to take her bath, Julian’s imagination allows him to transform into a mermaid using fern clippings and flowers taken from Abuela’s vase to make a headdress and Abuela’s long white drapes for his mermaid tail. Before Abuela returns from her bath, he looks in the mirror and continues his transformation with her make-up. When Abuela sees him, she is noticeably surprised but composed. In fact, she hands him a string of pearls to place around his neck and takes him to join the other mermaids in New York’s Annual Mermaid Parade.
MTYT Julian Is a Mermaid Continue reading

My Take Your Take Banner

MTYT: The Gift of Changing Woman

In the last installment of October’s MTYT, Deborah Dimmett and Angie Hoffman talk about the picturebook The Gift of Changing Woman, which is written by Tryntje Van Ness Seymour. October’s theme is the cycle of life of young native women. This book provides the reader with culturally accurate depiction of a young Apache girl experiencing the coming of age ceremony where she learns about the Changing Woman.

Continue reading

My Take Your Take Banner

MTYT: Kinaaldá A Navajo Girl Grows Up

In the third installment of October’s MTYT, Deborah Dimmett and Angie Hoffman talk about the picturebook Kinaaldá: A Navajo Girl Grows Up, which is written and illustrated by Monty Roessel. October’s theme is the cycle of life of young native women. This book provides the reader with an inside perspective of a young Navajo girl going through the Kinaaldá, the ceremony that signifies she has become a woman.

Kinaaldá A Navajo Girl Grows Up Continue reading

My Take Your Take Banner

MTYT: For a Girl Becoming

In the second installment of October’s MTYT, Deborah Dimmett and Angie Hoffman continue to share a sampling of children’s books written by Native American authors who bring to the young reader a deeper understanding about Native American traditions and perspectives. In particular, the theme this month provides a view into the cycle of life of young native women. In For a Girl Becoming, the reader follows the journey of a young girl through all the stages of her life as she comes into adulthood with the love and support of her family.

MTYT: For a Girl Becoming Continue reading

My Take Your Take Banner

MTYT: My Nana Hannah

MTYT October HeadingIn the first installment of October’s MTYT, Deborah Dimmett and Angie Hoffman are excited for the opportunity to share a sampling of children’s books written by Native American authors who bring to the young reader a deeper understanding about Native American traditions and perspectives. In particular, the theme this month provides a view into the cycle of life of young native women. We will discuss four books this month: My Nana Hannah, For a Girl Becoming, The Gift of Changing Woman and Kinaalda: A Navajo Girl Grows Up.

MTYT My Nana Hannah Continue reading

WOW Currents banner
WOW Currents banner

Suggest Books to Explore Hunger and Poverty

By Deborah Dimmett, The University of Arizona

This week I am in Caracol, Haiti, working at a camp that is an industrial park partially financed by USAID after the 2010 earthquake. It is hours away from Port-au-Prince where the earthquake occurred and is an attempt to provide factory jobs and low cost housing to Haitians. The industrial park was not constructed without controversy. Haitians who work for the textile factory work long days at a rate of $5 a day. They have to purchase their home, pay for all utilities, and eat with whatever income is left. It’s difficult to imagine how they manage and even more difficult to understand the logic of neoliberal trade agreements that allow large companies like Levi-Strauss to pay so little to those who have few means for their daily sustenance. In fact, meals are sparse, often with little nutritional value but high in carbohydrates and fat so that people can sustain a long work day on only one meal.

SeLavi

Interior illustration from SéLavi by Youme (Cinco Puntos Press, 2004)

Continue reading

My Take Your Take Banner

MTYT: December 2016

Examining Morally Complicated Young Adult Literature
By T. Gail Pritchard and Deborah Dimmett

morally complicated young adult literatureThe Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan

GAIL: This time last year, the young adult literature (YAL) world was all abuzz about an unfortunate choice of words by a debut author. Perhaps it was naivety on his part, perhaps it was the way his words were edited in an oft quoted article, perhaps it was a combination — but the result was the same, the YAL community did not like his description of past and current YA as lacking moral complexity. They posted, they blogged, they tweeted; and as a result, lists of morally complicated YAL appeared and sessions at conferences (e.g. YALC 2016, NCTE 2016) were well-attended. Through the discussion of some of the novels appearing on these lists and in conference sessions, we will explore definitions of morally complex YAL, the complicated journeys that occur, the likability of the characters, and the tough questions these novels force us to ask. Continue reading

Those “#$@&%*!” Expletives in Children’s Books

by Deborah Dimmett, University of Arizona

BadWordIt has often been debated just how much children’s literature is intended for an adult audience to the same extent it is for children. We know from our own experiences with picturebooks that there are some interesting subtleties in the story and the illustrations that hail the adult reader.

A recently released picture book, Little Bird’s Bad Word (2015) by Jacob Grant, is an example of a picturebook that is definitely aimed at both children (ages 3-7) and the adults who read with/to them. Continue reading