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Italicizing Non-English Words: The Case of Spanish in Picturebooks

By María V. Acevedo, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
With Rebecca Ballenger, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

I read out loud All Around Us, by Xelena Gonzalez, illustrated by Adriana García, to a class of undergraduate students. When I read, “We eat what we’ve grown-crunchy lettuce, sweet carrots and spicy chiles,” one of my students said, “I love your Spanish accent.” Chiles is the only Spanish word in this picturebook and it is not italicized. The student’s comment made me think of picturebooks that highlight non-English words in one way or another and the implications of this practice to fictional characters and readers.

Cover art for La Princesa and the Pea shows a girl with a crown of flowers sitting atop multiple mismatched mattresses and a surly cat perched on the bed's footboard Continue reading

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: The Casket of Time

Cover for The Casket of Time by Andri Snær Magnason Saving time, wasting time, no time to lose. American English is full of collocated terms about time, emphasizing a value of events happening “on time” and not appreciating things happening “in time.” Perhaps we share this trait with Icelanders.

Andri Snær Magnason describes his book, The Casket of Time (trans. by Björg Arnadóttir and Andrew Cauthery), as a Sci-Fi/Fairytale hybrid. He uses social realism to critique our response to the world’s problems. Continue reading

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Cover for Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg MedinaMerci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina, recalls the the middle grade experience of no longer being a child but not yet being an adult. This is the confusing age when responsibilities increase though little explanation is given as to why. The age when young people begin to question authority and long for independence, but still look for approval and acceptance. Medina captures all this in this 2019 Newbery Medal winning book. Continue reading

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and BoneLet’s talk about Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, a YA fantasy that opens with a lynching and ends with an author’s note urging readers to rise. In between is nothing but action, emotional turmoil and rarely a chance to breathe. Emphasizing this occurrence, Adeyemi repeatedly echoes Eric Garner’s words, “I can’t breathe.” Continue reading

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Globalizing the Common Core State Standards Exemplar List

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and their variations influence K-12 curriculum, particularly in the teaching of literacy, across the U.S. and internationally. With funds from the Center for Educational Resources in Culture Language and Literacy (CERCLL), Worlds of Words (WOW) in the University of Arizona College of Education offers an alternative to the CCSS text exemplar list to assist educators searching for ways to globalize their classrooms and libraries.

Globalizing the Common Core State Standards, Odyssey Graphic Novel

Tucson High Magnet School senior, Parrish Ballenger, reads the graphic novelization of The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds based on Homer’s epic poem. Worlds of Words pairs this book with the CCSS exemplar The Odyssey by Homer, along with Here Lies Arthur by Phillip Reeve, Sita’s Ramayana by Samhita Ami and Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis.

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MTYT: When Dimple Met Rishi

The Tucson Festival of Books celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and to honor that milestone, this month My Take/Your Take features four books by 2018 festival authors. We provide our personal take after reading the books, hearing from the authors in sessions and sometimes meeting the author in person. This week we give our take on When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.

When Dimple Met Rishi Continue reading

WOW News

WOW Launches Teen Reading Ambassador Initiative

By Rebecca Ballenger, Coordinator of Outreach and Collections, Worlds of Words

Worlds of Words opened applications for a pilot program that positions local teens as reading ambassadors in their own high schools. Teens in the program interact with published authors of young adult literature, receive books by that author and share their experience with their peers to promote reading in their school communities. The Teen Reading Ambassador (TRA) initiative is administered by WOW in the University of Arizona College of Education.

Carolina Hoyos reads Refugee by Alan Grats, the inaugural book for the Teen Reading Ambassador initiative. Continue reading

WOW News

Resolve to Read More with Worlds of Words’ New E-newsletter

By Grace Fell, Online Content Marketing Intern, Worlds of Words

The new year is almost here, and many people will set reading goals for 2018. In fact, “read more” was the second most popular resolution of 2017, according to Harper’s Bazaar. Those who find children’s literature critical to expanding global perspectives can resolve to stay current with news, trends and events by subscribing to Worlds of Words’ free new e-newsletter. Continue reading

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandyha Menon When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon is like any other YA Rom Com with one exception–the relationship is traditionally arranged. Dimple and Rishi are Indian Americans whose traditional (for the U.S.) parents set them up for marriage, only Dimple doesn’t know this. When Rishi decides to meet cute by introducing himself to Dimple as her future husband, she tosses her coffee on him and flees in panic. The story fits YA romance in that Menon offers a “happily for now” ending. The reader does not feel locked into the relationship for life, but sort of hopes for a “happily ever after.” Dimple is relatable and Rishi is hella likable; together they are unstoppable. When Dimple Met Rishi is a fun story that demystifies stereotypes about Indian Americans and arranged marriage. Menon was born and raised in India and now lives in Colorado. -Recommended by Rebecca Ballenger Continue reading

WOW News

Hello, Dear Enemy! comes to University of Arizona College of Education

By Rebecca Ballenger, Coordinator of Outreach and Collections, Worlds of Words

The news is bleak. Even in homes where comfort and security are the rule, the media confronts children and adults with images of war, animosity and displacement. Some are directly affected while others have many questions, and all seek answers. The traveling exhibit, Hello, Dear Enemy!, does not provide answers, but it does provide a path to conversation. Worlds of Words in the University of Arizona College of Education is the first stop for this powerful collection from the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany.

Hello, Dear Enemy!

Hello, Dear Enemy! is a traveling exhibit created by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany and makes its first stop at Worlds of Words in the University of Arizona College of Education. WOW invites the community to come tour the exhibit, which is free and open to the public. Photo by Jen Ryder.

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