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Worlds of Words Center Receives Large Donation of Art from Mary J. Wong

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.

Young woman locates illustrations in picturebooks that correspond to the original art.

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.

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Worlds of Words Acquires Original Art for “The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh” from Ronald Himler

By Alexandria Hulslander, Worlds of Words Intern

Ronald Himler is an award–winning illustrator with a passion for the process of creating art. A new acquisition of Himler’s work features original watercolor and gouache panels from The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh. The entire set of illustrations for the book is on display through December 20 at Worlds of Words in the University of Arizona College of Education.

Ronald Himler Lacey Nehls Continue reading

Ronald Himler Exhibit Reception and Conversation

Ronald HimlerWOW hosts a reception and conversation with award-winning artist and illustrator Ronald Himler. Himler’s watercolor art influenced a generation of fine art and picturebook creators. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he attended the Cleveland Institute of Arts, studying painting and illustration, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In 1972, he illustrated his first children’s book, Glad Day and Other Classical Poems for Children. In 1976 he wrote his first book, The Girl with the Yellow Giraffe, for his daughter and in 1979 he authored Wake Up Jermiah for his son. He has now illustrated 120 children’s books and hundreds of book covers. These and many of his other books can be perused in the collection.

This exhibit features Himler’s original paintings from The Roses in My Carpets, Always with You, The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh and The Lily Cupboard. These books and many of his other books can be perused in the collection. Hands-on activities for children of all ages include an introduction to watercolor, an exercise with elastic bands to help children understand the concept of resilience and an opportunity to depict oneself in a “dummy” layout page.

UA BookStores will be in the collection for those who would like to purchase a book to have signed by the illustrator. The artist will also entertain requests to purchase selected works. Light refreshments will be served.

RSVP preferred (not required) to

“Creating Hope through Resilience: The Picturebook Art of Ronald Himler” is free to visit and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information or to schedule a field trip or guided tour, contact

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Ronald Himler Captures the Spirit of Resilience

By Elizabeth Trahan, Content Coordinator Intern, Worlds of Words

The art of award-winning picturebook illustrator Ronald Himler captures how the resilience of children creates hope for the future. Worlds of Words’ new exhibit, “Creating Hope through Resilience: The Picturebook Art of Ronald Himler” displays original illustrations from his books that lay bare the struggles children face when they grow up near conflict zones. Himler’s artistry features striking watercolors depicting children in global contexts coping with challenging experiences in their lives. The new exhibit can be viewed through at Worlds of Words in the UofA College of Education.

Lacey Nehls compares original Ronald Himler illustrations to published ones. Continue reading