By Seemi Aziz, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
While teaching a graduate course on the art of picturebooks this past semester, I realized that there has been an influx of children’s books on challenging topics. This piqued my curiosity, and I began digging into the stacks at the Worlds of Words and online. While I found many recent titles about anxiety, depression, death, and grandparents who are growing older, I also thought of books that would pair nicely and help ease the acceptance of these hard topics. Needless to say, picturebooks have never been simple and mono-dimensional and it is there power to speak to the youngest of our audiences, giving them strength. Continue reading
Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, and Patricia Castrodad, Caguas, Puerto Rico
Last week we started our theme of Emotions by exploring a child’s question: Why Do We Cry?. This week, Small Things invites us to look more deeply at one of those reasons–anxiety–and the ways that the accompanying emotions play out in the day-to-day life of a child.
By Susan Corapi, Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL
Over the last 4 blog posts, we looked at OIB titles that model different characteristics of an interculturally competent person. This week we look at the desired outcome: actions that benefit all (not just the cultural majority or the people in power) and support lasting change. Children can be amazing agents for change, and the titles this week demonstrate the ways characters take action.
Our natural tendency when we look for change agents is to look at heroes. A 2019 OIB title that fits that “hero” category is Peace and Me, written by Ali Winter, illustrated by Mickael El Fathi. The book profiles many Nobel Peace Prize winners. Some are expected (e.g., Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai) but others are less well known (e.g., Jean Henry Dunant, Fridtjof Nansen, Rigoberta Menchu Tum). Each one worked diligently to bring peace in their area of the world. However, this week the focus is more on kids who are not known as heroes and the action that they take, believing that they can have an impact on their world. Continue reading
By Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas
While many books position children in personal and social roles that can present challenges, this year’s Outstanding International Books List (OIB) and submissions include some titles unique in both topic and format. The intended audience for these books is child and adolescent readers, however adult readership can gain insights into personal issues faced by children, how they cope, where they need support and the situations in which these issues can be contextualized. Continue reading