Imagination Friday with Michael Rex

Register for Imagination Friday with Michael Rex Today!

Come join us for some fantastic fun. At this event, We’re Going on a Goon Hunt with Michael Rex! A goon hunt is no easy task. A twisted tangled pumpkin patch, murky bubbling swamp and foggy crumbling graveyard are just a few of the obstacles these kids will have to go through, skulking monsters included. When the Goon finally makes an appearance–under the covers they go! Except one brave child who finds monsters more fun than scary.

You must register for the webinar to attend and will receive a link to click on and join this exciting interaction with Michael Rex. The webinar will be recorded and those who register will receive that link to watch the recording if unable to join us live. Teachers who want to show the webinar live to their classes will be able to live-stream the webinar.

Imagination Fridays participants can order signed copies of the books featured at https://shop.uabookstore.arizona.edu/main/wildcats/TFOB/Children.

To register for this webinar, visit https://arizona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zMi8i3VXT-W4TZmyp8em1w.

Host: Kathy Short, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Director of WOW.
Panelists: Michael Rex
Co-Sponsor: Tucson Festival of Books

Michael Rex is the creator of over thirty books for children, including the number one bestseller Goodnight Goon and the Fangbone! series. He also illustrated With Any Luck, I’ll Drive a Truck (by David Friend). He was inspired to create Icky Ricky by his two boys, Declan and Gavin, who are fine young citizens, but very disgusting. Gavin eats ketchup on cake, and Declan uses a marker to color his belly button. Along with the boys, Mr. Rex lives with his wife and their dog, Roxy, in Leonia, New Jersey. Both his wife and the dog are not disgusting at all. Visit him at www.michaelrex.blogspot.com. You won’t get dirty.

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.

Tucson Festival of Books logo with sponsors listed

Imagination Friday with Sherri Duskey Rinker

Register for Imagination Friday with Sherri Duskey Rinker Today!

Join your favorite Construction Site crew in their next, new adventure! At this event Sherri will present Construction Site Mission: Demolition!, then invite children to participate in an activity.

Register to attend the webinar and you will receive a link to click on and join this exciting interaction with Sherri Duskey Rinker. The webinar will be recorded and those who register will receive that link to watch the recording if unable to join us live. Teachers who want to show the webinar live to their classes will be able to live-stream the webinar.

Imagination Fridays participants can order signed copies of the books featured at https://shop.uabookstore.arizona.edu/main/wildcats/TFOB/Children.

To register for this event, visit https://arizona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-asKTIbkQeCSXmG-W8e6qw.

Host: Kathy Short, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Director of WOW.
Panelists: Sherri Duskey Rinker
Co-Sponsor: Tucson Festival of Books

Sherri is the author of five New York Times bestselling picturebooks, including the Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site Series. She also authored Steam Train, Dream Train and the nonfiction picture book biography Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton (HMH, illust. by John Rocco). Some of her other titles include The 12 Sleighs of Christmas (Chronicle, illust. by Jake Parker), Tiny and the Big Dig (Scholastic, illust. by Matt Myers) and Celebrate YOU! (Balzer+Bray, illust. by A.N. Kang). Her first middle grade novel, Revver The Speedway Squirrel, debuts fall 2020 (Bloomsbury, illust. by Alex Willan) with a sequel scheduled for 2021. Sherri lives in the Chicago area with her husband, two sons and one fluffy dog. Inspired by her childhood love of books, her sons, and her 25-year career as a graphic designer, Sherri writes in hopes of making the world a little more fun and encouraging early readers, one book at a time.

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.

Tucson Festival of Books logo with sponsors listed

Imagination Friday with Christina Soontornvat

Register for Imagination Friday with Christina Soontornvat today!

Join Christina in this exciting presentation of her book All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Boys Tai Soccer Team. Combining material from community interviews with in-depth science content and details about the region’s culture and religion, All Thirteen paints two scenes of unflagging perseverance: Aboveground, a global rescue team of military personnel, engineers, medics, cave divers, and other volunteers races to find the trapped boys. Almost half a mile below, a similarly heroic effort is taking place in the quiet darkness as the Wild Boars focus on conserving their energy and oxygen, and—most importantly—keeping their hopes up. Both the boys and their rescuers will soon prove to the world that even in the face of impossible odds, the human spirit is an irrepressible force.

You must register for the webinar to attend and will receive a link to click on and join this exciting interaction with Christina Soontornvat. The webinar will be recorded and those who register will receive that link to watch the recording if unable to join us live. Teachers who want to show the webinar live to their classes will be able to live-stream the webinar.

Imagination Fridays participants can order signed copies of the books featured at https://shop.uabookstore.arizona.edu/main/wildcats/TFOB/Children.

To register for this event, visit https://arizona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-6AwZZouQki5G0nfWuh4CQ.

Host: Kathy Short, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Director of WOW.
Panelists: Christina Soontornvat
Co-Sponsor: Tucson Festival of Books

Christina Soontornvat grew up behind the counter of her parents’ Thai restaurant in a small Texas town with her nose stuck in a book. She is the author of the fantasy middle grade series, The Changelings, and the early chapter book series, Diary of an Ice Princess. Her books published in 2020 include the middle grade fantasy, A Wish in the Dark, and All Thirteen. In addition to being an author, Christina holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Science Education. She spent a decade working in the science museum field, where she designed programs and exhibits to get kids excited about science. She is passionate about STEM (science, technology engineering, and math), and loves learning new things. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, two young children and one old cat.

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.

Tucson Festival of Books logo with sponsors listed

Imagination Friday with Adam Rex

Register for Imagination Friday with Adam Rex today!

a child with a cat, rabbit, scissors and other things stuck in their hair because of gum.How do you get gum out of your hair – a pair of scissors? Butter? The cat? Call your aunt – she’ll know what to do. She doesn’t? Try the fire department! In this book, the best intentions lead to some of the worst (and funniest) ideas! With each page turn, this situation – relatable to any family – grows stickier and more desperate. Discover the solution to this sticky situation! At this event, Tucson’s Adam Rex will talk about On Account of the Gum and invite children to complete an activity.

Register for the webinar to attend and you will receive a link to click on and join this exciting interaction with Adam Rex. The webinar will be recorded and those who register will receive that link to watch the recording if unable to join us live. Teachers who want to show the webinar live to their classes will be able to live-stream the webinar.

Imagination Fridays participants can order signed copies of the books featured at https://shop.uabookstore.arizona.edu/main/wildcats/TFOB/Children.

To register for this webinar, visit https://arizona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SkdlJFQfQJe0tKo2MQeavA.

Host: Kathy Short, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Director of WOW.
Panelists: Adam Rex
Co-Sponsor: Tucson Festival of Books

Portrait of Adam RexAdam Rex is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. His other books include The True Meaning of Smekday (which was made into the hit animated movie Home), Moonday and School’s First Day of School (illustrated by Christian Robinson). He also illustrated the Brixton Brothers series, Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, Chloe and the Lion, and How This Book Was Made, all by Mac Barnett, and Chu’s Day, by Neil Gaiman. Visit him at AdamRex.com or follow him on Twitter @MrAdamRex.

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.

Tucson Festival of Books logo with sponsors listed

Imagination Friday with David Bowles and Charlene Bowles

Register for Imagination Friday with David Bowles and Charlene Bowles today!

Join us for an amazing adventure! At this event, David and Charlene will talk about their graphic novel, Rise of the Halfling King. This middle grade graphic novel follows the adventures of a magical boy from Maya mythology and is the first of a series based on ancient Mesoamerican myths and legends. After their presentation, Davide and Charlene will invite children to complete an activity.

You must register for the webinar to attend and will receive a link to click on and join this exciting interaction with David Bowles along with Charlene Bowles. The webinar will be recorded and those who register will receive that link to watch the recording if unable to join us live. Teachers who want to show the webinar live to their classes will be able to live-stream the webinar.

Imagination Fridays participants can order signed copies of the books featured at https://shop.uabookstore.arizona.edu/main/wildcats/TFOB/Children.

To register for this event, visit: https://arizona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yF0TP9KYRm6HxZfbNTalQA

Host: Kathy Short, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Director of WOW.
Panelists: David Bowles and Charlene Bowles
Co-Sponsor: Tucson Festival of Books

David Bowles author portraitDavid Bowles is a Mexican-American author from south Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley. He has written several titles, most notably The Smoking Mirror (Pura Belpré Honor Book) and They Call Me Güero (Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, Claudia Lewis Award for Excellence in Poetry, Pura Belpré Honor Book, Walter Dean Myers Honor Book).

Charlene Bowles is a comic artist and illustrator living in Texas. She graduated from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2018. Her work has been featured on the covers of the award-winning Garza Twins books. Rise of the Halfling King is her debut graphic novel. She is currently developing her own comic projects.

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.

Tucson Festival of Books logo with sponsors listed

Imagination Friday with Rashin Kheiriyeh

Register for Imagination Friday with Rashin Kheiriyeh today!

Cover for Bahar shows a girl on a floating swing with a background of a sky with a moon, sun, cats, yarn and other objects.Join WOW and the Tucson Festival of Books to meet Rashin Kheiriyeh, author/illustrator of a new picturebook, Bahar the Lucky. Bahar is determined to help her family earn more money than what she makes selling rugs at the local bazaar. So, she decides to become a fortune teller. After some lucky “accidents” telling correct fortunes, the king has summoned her to the palace to be his fortune teller. At this event, Kheiriyeh will talk about creating Bahar, the Lucky, invite children to draw their own designs and answer questions.

You must register for the webinar to attend and will receive a link to click on and join this exciting interaction with Rashin Kheiriyeh. The webinar will be recorded and those who register will receive that link to watch the recording if unable to join us live. Teachers who want to show the webinar live to their classes will be able to live-stream the webinar.

Imagination Fridays participants can order signed copies of the books featured at https://shop.uabookstore.arizona.edu/main/wildcats/TFOB/Children.


Submit a question for the livestream here:


To register for this event, visit: https://arizona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KGMZQwFRSmiLhIkcy13_3g

Host: Kathy Short, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Director of WOW.
Panelists: Rashin Kheiriyeh
Co-Sponsor: Tucson Festival of Books

portrait of the illustrator in hot pink dressRashin Kheiriyeh is an internationally recognized, award-winning illustrator/author, animator and painter who has 21 years of experience in publication and broadcasting. She has published over eighty children’s books in countries such as United State, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Spain, South Korea, China, Brazil, India and Iran.

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.

Tucson Festival of Books logo with sponsors listed

Imagination Friday with Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg

Watch (or re-watch) Imagination Friday with Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg below!

AstroNuts cover depicts characters AlphaWolf, SmartHawk, LaserShark and StinkBug on the Plant Planet with plants on the horizon and a starry sky.Meet the author and illustrator of AstroNuts, a new series by Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg. This laugh-out-loud series with jet-propelled zaniness also has a serious side with facts about climate change and the environment. This high-energy book contains full-color collages and follows the AstroNuts on a new mission to find a planet fit for human life after we have finally made the Earth unlivable. Jon and Steven will talk about the two books in this new series, invite children to write and draw their own mission and answer questions.


Make your own story with collage art! Try the activity from this Imagination Friday by visiting this page on the AstroNuts website: https://www.astronuts.space/make-your-own-art. Download their templates, put them together in your own way with your own story and then email your art to us at wow@email.arizona.edu. We will share them with Jon and Steven. Maybe your art will be included on the AstroNuts website!


Host: Kathy Short, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Director of WOW.
Panelists: Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg
Co-Sponsor: Tucson Festival of Books

Jon Scieszka is best known for his bestselling picture books, including The True Story of the Three Little Pigs! and The Stinky Cheese Man. He is also the founder of guysread.com and a champion force behind guyslisten.com, and was the first National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature. He lives in Brooklyn.

Steven Weinberg writes and illustrates kids’ books about dinosaurs, roller coasters, beards and chainsaws. He lives in the Catskills in New York.

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.

Tucson Festival of Books logo with sponsors listed

Register for our next Imagination Friday with Rashin Kheiriyeh!

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Locating Resources on Global Children’s and YA Literature

By Kathy Short, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Many authors, illustrators, publishers and literacy organizations offer valuable resources during this time of mandated on-line learning. An ongoing issue, however, is that only a few of these resources highlight global literature, books set in global cultures outside of the U.S. Our goal for this website is to support educators and families in engaging readers with global literature to encourage intercultural understanding across cultures. If you are a teacher educator searching for on-line readings and book lists for your courses or a teacher creating new inquiry units that are global in focus, the following resources can support your work. You can also use these features as examples for students to create their own reviews, vignettes or book recommendations. Continue reading

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2020 Global Books: Trends in the Portrayals of World War II

Kathy G. Short, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Cover of Under the Broken Sky which depicts two young Japanese girls carrying backpacks and embracing each other, looking out to the viewer on a background of desert and blue sky.Books about World War II continue to trend in global literature for children and adolescents. The 2020 global reading lists contain many books for middle grade and young adult readers that reflect on-going interest in this time period. The majority are historical fiction and focus on World War II events in Europe, but a new trend is historical fiction that focuses on events in Asia. Continue reading

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2020 Global Books: Fantasy Based in Many Cultural Traditions

Kathy G. Short, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Cover art for The Dark Fantastic includes a Black girl sitting on the edge of a tree village extending her hand to a fantastical bird.For many years, fantasy primarily originated in English-speaking countries and featured European traditions and White protagonists. The popularity of Harry Potter and the Hunger Games and the many books based in Greek and Roman mythology reflect this trend. In The Dark Fantastic, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (2019) argues that fantasy offers readers portals into real and imagined worlds but bars the doors for people of color or subjects them to marginalization and violence. Thomas sees this gap as both a lack of representation and a lack of imagination. Continue reading