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MTYT: A Bike Like Sergio’s

By Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona and Maria Acevedo-Aquino, Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

In the third installment of February’s MTYT, Dorea Kleker and Maria Acevedo-Aquino discuss child agency as seen in the picturebook A Bike Like Sergio’s, written by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones.

A Bike Like Sergio's Continue reading

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MTYT: I Got It!

By Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona and Maria Acevedo-Aquino, Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

In the second installment of February’s MTYT Dorea Kleker and Maria Acevedo-Aquino discuss the picturebook I Got It!, written and illustrated by David Wiesner. The focus this month is picturebooks published between 2016 and 2018 by authors and illustrators who are featured in the Tucson Festival of Books.

I Got It! Continue reading

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Insignificant Events In the Life of a Cactus: Young Women Demanding to be Seen and Heard

By Dorea Kleker, The University of Arizona

As an educator and parent, the recent shooting in Parkdale, Florida rattled me. Again. Preventable, senseless deaths. Again. Mourning families and communities. Again. I scroll through the photos of 17 beautiful faces who walked into school on the morning of February 14, 2018 and didn’t come home. I read the details of the survivors’ accounts of a nightmare they will never shake. I hug my son a little tighter and think of all the mothers who are afraid. Again. Again. Again.

Insignificant Events In the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling Continue reading

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In the Shadow of the Sun: Understanding Complex Identities

By Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona

Google “North Korea” right now and a flurry of presidential tweets and news stories of missiles is surprisingly absent. This week, the Olympics overwhelmingly trump (pun intended) impending war and dangerous egos. The top three hits include an Australian Kim Jong-Un impersonator, the North Korean Olympic delegation and 229 members of the North Korean cheerleading squad. On the surface, they’re light stories. Read beyond the headlines and the deeper issues persist: dictators, brutal regimes, extreme human rights abuses and nuclear threats.

In the Shadow of the Sun by Anne Sibley O'Brien Continue reading

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When Dimple Met Rishi Features a Strong, Female, Tech-y Character

By Dorea Kleker, The University of Arizona

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I’m currently living in rural Panama. Our small town of Gamboa is surrounded by rainforest on three sides with the Panama Canal bordering the fourth. Gamboa is also home to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Perhaps I should provide a little context. I am an early childhood educator who lives with two scientists. My husband is a botanist and my 8-year-old son has been obsessed with insects pretty much upon leaving my womb. Gamboa–its many jungles and scientists–is my family’s version of Disneyland.

When Dimple Met Rishi features a young woman making strides in the tech industry. This text set features similar characters, both real and fiction. Continue reading

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Truth Behind Stories in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

By Dorea Kleker, The University of Arizona

This month’s WOW Currents focuses on four books whose authors will present at the 2018 Tucson Festival of Books: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, When Dimple Met Rishi, The Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus and In the Shadow of the Sun.

Daniel Geffre reads I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez Continue reading

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MTYT: Continuation through Adaptability and Change in Children’s Literature Epilogue

Intro:
For this final week we wrap up talking about continuation through adaptability and change in children’s literature. In the last few weeks, we talked about The Tree in the Courtyard, My Grandfather’s Coat, and Seven and a Half Tons of Steel. Here, Dorea Kleker and Seemi Aziz discuss how all three books tie into continuation in children’s literature.

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MTYT: Seven and a Half Tons of Steel

This brief but powerful non-fiction text projects the journey of continuation onto a steel beam from the World Trade Center. The beam lives on, becoming an integral and enduring part of the warship USS New York in the aftermath of September 11. The Governor of New York donates the steel beam and it is driven to a Louisiana foundry where the USS New York is being constructed, and the beam becomes its bow. Ten years after 9/11, it makes its way back to New York on September 11, 2011.

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MTYT: My Grandfather’s Coat

Written by Jim Aylesworth and illustrated by Barbara McClintock, My Grandfather’s Coat is an adaptation of a Yiddish folk song that weaves a tale of immigration and continuation in a new land. This retelling is full of joy, with a rhythm and rhyme that excites readers young and old. The story follows a single coat as it transforms and changes shape over the years, becoming something brand new. The song is also present in Simms Taback’s Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (Viking, 1999) and Phoebe Gilman’s Something from Nothing (Scholastic, 1992) and is reimagined once more in this charming picture book.

My Grandfather's Coat Continue reading