November, December and January are every bookworm’s favorite months because many book awards are announced. The National Council of English broadcasts the Orbis Pictus and Charlotte Huck awards before Thanksgiving. In December, the National Book Awards are celebrated and then in the first month of the year, the American Library Association announces the children’s and young adult award winning books for numerous awards such as the Pura Belpré Award, Schneider Family Book Award and the Mildred L. Batchelder Award. At a recent Worlds of Words Center gathering, we discussed the many titles that were acknowledged, but were disappointed that some of our favorite 2022 books didn’t receive greater recognition. This month’s WOW Dozen shares the books that we think should have done better this awards season. What book titles do you think should have won a major award? Please share in the comments section. Continue reading →
by Rebecca Ballenger, Associate Director of Worlds of Words Center
Mary J. Wong, renowned collector of art and signed, first-edition children’s picturebooks, donated sixteen original picturebook illustrations to the Worlds of Words (WOW) Center of Global Literacies and Literatures in the UArizona College of Education. The donation includes works from some of the most notable children’s picturebooks published in recent years – including art by illustrators attending the Tucson Festival of Books.
WOW Center staff member, Aika Adamson, sets up display of Juana Martinez-Neal illustrations that are part of a new donation from Mary J. Wong.
By Kathleen Crawford-McKinney, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
I have been thinking more intently on what it means to be responsible to others. What do we, citizens of the world, have the right to do, or be? Over the past several months we watched people being incarcerated for minor infractions or their cities and lands taken away from them. I wonder who has this type of right to act in these ways to others. Who is responsible for ensuring that these missteps don’t occur in places where people think differently than within our own communities? What would we do, or what should we do if our rights are stepped upon? Who is responsible for taking care of others?
Students in classrooms know their rights and question them within their families and school settings. I hope that they will also push themselves to be responsible to and with each other. To move beyond being kind to each other and to think more broadly about the world. In several of the previous months the themes of the Dozen has encouraged us to think more deeply about the current political world. This month continues with this focus by examining books where the characters look at being responsible to families, to communities, to our environment and to our world. Continue reading →
By Rebecca Ballenger, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Brutal honesty connects award winning illustrators Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle. An exhibit of original illustrations and picturebooks put this partnership front and center at Worlds of Words. The pandemic brought Critique to Support and Stretch: A Conversation between Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle to an early close–but not before we filmed a virtual tour. Take a look!
Host: Kathy Short, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Director of WOW Panelists: Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal Co-Sponsor:Tucson Festival of Books
Kevin Noble Maillard is the author of Fry Bread and a regular writer and former contributing editor to The New York Times. Currently based in Manhattan, he splits time between the city and upstate New York, where he is a tenured professor of law at Syracuse University. Originally from Oklahoma, he is an enrolled citizen of the Seminole Nation.
Juana Martinez-Neal is an illustrator of books for children, including the award-winning La Princesa and the Pea, Alma and How She Got Her Name and Fry Bread. Juana was born in Lima, Peru, where she grew up surrounded by amazing meals prepared by her mom and amazing paintings made by her dad and granddad. She now lives, eats and paints in Scottsdale, surrounded by her amazing children.
Imagination Friday is co-sponsored by the Tucson Festival of Books and Worlds of Words, University of Arizona College of Education and occurs Fridays from 1 to 1:40 p.m. through December 2020 with a different author or illustrator each week. Add some excitement to Fridays with world-renowned children’s authors and illustrator to promote new books and encourage children as readers, writers and illustrators.
By Susan Corapi, Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL
The world economic crisis due to COVID-19 has left many unemployed. Newscasts report on long lines of people waiting to enter food banks or receive relief supplies. Then they report on the latest bankruptcy and use terms that hearken back to the Great Depression. Most of us know someone who has suffered from the economic downturn, which, in turn, creates anxiety in the rest of us.
During the spring semester, my university students struggled to keep up with a full load of classes through Zoom meetings, all the while helping their families out. Students’ families had small businesses that were floundering and other students had parents who had lost jobs, so all were working small jobs wherever possible. During weekly check-ins, I invited students to talk about some of the anxiety they felt as families cut back so they could maximize funds. So, this week we look at narratives of people who are lacking basic necessities. Continue reading →
WOW has suspended all events to be held in the center for the time being. Please email email@example.com with questions.
Join Worlds of Words for a reception for our current exhibit with special guests, award-winning illustrators, Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle!
Enjoy refreshments, great conversations, time to browse “Critique to Support & Stretch: A Conversation between Juana Martinez-Neal & Molly Idle,” and experiences around art critique and the elements of art.
Guests will want to pay careful attention to Flora and the Flamingo, a visual narrative Idle illustrated, and Alma and How She Got Her Name, which Martinez-Neal wrote and illustrated. These books earned Caldecott honors and viewing the work up close with comments from the creators is a special experience. The exhibit also includes a recently acquired piece by Martinez-Neal from Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, which was written by Kevin Noble Maillard and earned the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award and an American Indian Youth Literature Honor by the American Library Association.
By Rebecca Ballenger, Associate Director, Worlds of Words
Brutal honesty connects award winning illustrators Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle. A new exhibit of original illustrations and picturebooks puts this partnership front and center at the Worlds of Words: Center for Global Literacies and Literatures in the University of Arizona College of Education. Critique to Support and Stretch: A Conversation between Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle is free and open to the public who are encouraged to take in the exhibit and engage in visual critique.
English major, Eva Halvax (senior), studies illustrations that Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle say are most representative of their artistic voice. The original illustrations are on loan and part of a new exhibit in Worlds of Words titled “Critique to Support & Stretch: A Conversation between Juana Martinez-Neal & Molly Idle.” Photo credit: Ileana Roman
By Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona and Maria Acevedo-Aquino, Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
This month we discuss four picturebooks by authors and illustrators who will join us at the Tucson Festival of Books in March. We chose to focus on these authors’ and illustrators’ most recent picturebooks, all of which were published between 2016-2018.
Written and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, Alma and How She Got Her Name follows Alma as she learns the meaning of her very long name that respects her ancestors and heritage. As Alma’s dad tells her ancestors’ stories, she finds inspiration and learns they had similar interests. With a newfound appreciation for her name, Alma begins her own life story.