Imagination Friday with Michaela Goade

A young girl holding a white and grey feather stands in the middle of a stylized wave. A crescent moon is behind her, plants in the dark of the moon, and sihlouettes of peopel holding hands to form a line is in the background.Meet Michaela Goade, illustrator of We Are Water Protectors, winner of the Caldecott medal. Michaela is the first Indigenous illustrator to win this award. We are celebrating her book in the Big Read initiative due to its focus on water as the first medicine that affects and connects all of us. When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison the water, one young water protector takes a stance to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.

Michaela will talk about her process of creating illustrations for the book and provide an illustrating invitation for children. She will also answer questions.

Big Read Tucson is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and features literary events from January to early March to explore the theme of water. The series centers on Postcolonial Love Poem, by Natalie Diaz, and We are Water Protectors, written by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade.

You must register for the webinar to attend and will receive a link to click on and join this exciting interaction with Michaela Goade. 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.

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Live Chat:

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


Portrait of a woman outdoorsMichalea Goade is an enrolled member of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Her Tlingit name is Sheit.een and she is of the Kiks.á Clan (Raven/Frog) from Sheet’ká. She works as an illustrator with Indigenous authors and tribal organizations in the creation of beautiful and much-needed books. Her recent books include I Sang You Down the Stars, Berry Song and Remember.

Imagination Friday is co-sponsored by the Tucson Festival of Books and Worlds of Words, University of Arizona College of Education and occurs one Friday a month from 1 to 1:40 p.m. through December 2022 with a different author or illustrator each session. 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

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Berry Song

A grandmother and her granddaughter look up to the viewer from underneath green leaves and pink berries.Berry Song by Michaela Goade is a celebration of the land, the indigenous people and animals that live on the “island at the edge of a wide, wild sea.” Goade grew up and lives in the Tongass National Forest which is the home of her Tlingit ancestors. The story takes place in that Forest. A young girl tells of how her Tlingit grandmother taught her to harvest what they needed from the salty ocean gathering herring eggs, seaweed and netting silvery salmon. “And in the forest… we pick berries. …The berries sing to us, glowing like little jewels. We sing too, so berry–and bear–know we are here.” As they sing they say the names of the multiple kinds of berries that they harvest. Their songs encompass the variety of ways the forest “sings to us, through misting rain and whoosh of wing, the sweet smell of cedar and the tickle of moss.” Continue reading

WOW Dozen: Responsibility to Others

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