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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.

Continuation in Children's Literature Continue reading

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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.

Seven and a Half Tons of Steel Continue reading

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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

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MTYT: The Tree in the Courtyard

My Take Your Take September
This month, Dorea Klecker and Seemi Aziz explore three picturebooks that feature the theme of continuation and the complex layers in which it may be interpreted, including adaptability and change. In the coming weeks, Dorea and Seemi will discuss My Grandfather’s Coat by Jim Aylesworth and Barbara McClintock and Seven and a Half Tons of Steel by Janet Nolan and Thomas Gonzalez. The conversation begins with The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank’s Window by Jeff Gottesfeld and Peter McCarty.

My Take Your Take on The Tree In the Courtyard Continue reading

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MTYT: Mama’s Nightingale

This post continues June’s My Take/Your Take conversation around books that highlight multiple forms of protest and the power of voice for younger readers. This week Dorea and Lauren consider Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat with illustrations by Leslie Staub and how it relates to children’s perspectives of their own stories. Scroll to the bottom of this post for links to the first three posts in this conversation.

Mama's Nightingale Continue reading

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MTYT: Counting on Community

This post continues June’s My Take/Your Take conversation around books that highlight multiple forms of protest and the power of voice for younger readers. The conversation starts with The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!, continues with Stand Up and Sing! Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice by Susanna Reich and Adam Gustavson and now features Counting on Community. This week Dorea and Lauren consider the power of voice.

Counting on Community Continue reading

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MTYT: Stand Up and Sing!

This post continues June’s My Take/Your Take conversation around books that highlight multiple forms of protest and the power of voice for younger readers. The conversation started with The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! and continues with Stand Up and Sing! Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice by Susanna Reich and Adam Gustavson. This week Dorea and Lauren consider folk music and the path to justice.

Stand Up and Sing! Continue reading