WOW Currents banner

Gaining A Critical Perspective: Multiple Perspectives & Unpacking Notions of Immigration

By Jeanne Gilliam Fain & Christina Davidson

We experienced a temporary sense of accomplishment in our attempts to grapple with literature critically in the classroom. After an in-depth discussion of the term, immigrant, many fourth graders wholeheartedly agreed that immigrants are terrorists. For this group of students, this was the dominant idea as troubling as it was for us, we reflected upon the reasoning for such views. Continue reading

WOW Currents banner

Interview with Yuyi Morales, Part 4

by Jeanne Fain, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN and Julia López-Robertson, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

We wanted to hear Yuyi’s insights on publishing and inquire about her future plans. Additionally, we wanted to end our blog with children’s responses to Yuyi’s work. We asked our colleague Robin Horn from Galveston Elementary in Chandler, AZ and a preschool teacher associate of Julia’s at Spears Creek Road Child Development in Elgin, SC to share responses from Yuyi’s new book with Tony Johnston, My Abuelita. The children responded sharing their stories and connections with the book.

Jeanne: What are your thoughts about children’s publishing especially in regards to bilingual children’s literature?
Continue reading

WOW Currents banner

Interview with Yuyi Morales, Part 3

by Jeanne Fain, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN and Julia López-Robertson, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

I have been questioned about my use of Yuyi Morales’s skeletal Señor Calavera in preschool classrooms. Some teachers were initially hesitant to read about him, so I asked Yuyi about her perspectives on him. I wanted to get the insider’s perspective on him and I wanted to hear what children had to say about him. First, we’ll let Señor Calavera share his own search for identity.

WOW! Did you know Señor Calavera has his own My Space account? He does. Maybe you should be his friend there. He’d be a good friend to have because he’s also a decorated story teller. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), something happened on the way to the ALA Pura Belpre book award ceremony.
Continue reading

WOW Currents banner

Interview with Yuyi Morales, Part 2

by Jeanne Fain, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN and Julia López-Robertson, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

One of the questions that I often ask children when we are reading bilingual books, is what language do you focus upon? Do you look at both languages in the book? Students have told me that they read the language that they know. Or if they have a question, they read both languages to make sense of the text. We were interested in knowing Yuyi’s process as an author and her views of bilingual texts when English Only is not just sentiment, but the law in many places.

Jeanne: You use code switching (alternating back and forth across languages) often in your books. What process do you use when writing? Do you write in English and then shift to Spanish or vice versa? Have you had to advocate for the use of Spanish in your books?
Continue reading

WOW Currents banner

Interview with Yuyi Morales

by Jeanne Fain, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN and Julia López-Robertson, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Author and illustrator Yuyi Morales has created several books that we have used in our work with children in many classrooms. We especially appreciate the multicultural aspects of her work and that many of her books are bilingual. She uses language that directly relates to the children. Julia had her speak at a conference that she co-chairs yearly in South Carolina. Jeanne met her at the University of Arizona when she spoke at Kathy Short’s children’s literature conference. We both thought Yuyi could add depth to our ongoing discussions around global children’s literature. Fortunately, she agreed to answer questions about her current and upcoming work.
Continue reading