• Welcome to my New Site and Blog

    Terry Farish painting

    Thank you Be Better Studios for this brand new design. My blog is like a little magazine to offer Resources for Readers and Writers. You’ll find articles in four main areas:

    • Multicultural Lit for Kids and Teens
    • Stories about School Visits
    • Writing with English Learners
    • Storymaking – for writers

  • Lines from the World – A Picture Book from Iran

    An Umbrella with White Butterflies by Farhad Hassanzadeh, illustrated by Ghazaleh Bigdelou, published by Tuti Books in Tehran

    Allow this Persian cat to draw you to the work of Iranian children’s book author, Farhad Hassanzadeh and illustrator Ghazaleh Bigdelou. Iran, like the U.S., is fighting for its people suffering in the corona virus pandemic. In our global fight, I’m acknowledging and celebrating the art of picture books from book creators around the world. Hassanzadeh has just been shortlisted for the Hans Christian Anderson award for best children’s book creators in the world presented by IBBY, the International Board of Books for Young People. He is a deeply respected author in Iran but I couldn’t find his books snapped up by a U.S. publisher to bring them to us. I hope his making this shortlist could bring An Umbrella with White Butterflies to the U.S. Here’s one of Ghazaleh’s interior illustrations:

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  • Lines from the World – A Picture Book from Italy

    In respect for out connected world, in hard times and in beauty, I want to honor books for children in other countries of the world where children are also studying and reading at home like U.S. kids. It’s also International Children’s Book Day on April 2. But I’ll continue the whole month. We’ll take a tour of the world we’re so close to now. Some of the books are very silly because kids are so much more than the hard times. Take Professional Crocodile from Italy! It’s wordless! It’s by Giovanna Zoboli with pictures by Mariachiara Di Giorgio.

    Professional Crocodile is the simple yet very complicated story of getting dressed in the morning and making the journey to work. For a crocodile.

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  • Let’s Dance – a whirling leap into dances from many cultures

    Valerie Bolling‘s and Maine Diaz‘s  Let’s Dance is a whirlwind of flying, stomping, spinning, leaping, somersaulting kids from around the globe showing moves from one of their country’s traditional dances. Diaz captures the pure joy of movement in her cartoon character’s whole bodies. An American breakdancer is upside down with excitement with the music and the fun of the dance.  Bolling’s action rhymes will be fun for kids to sing out and play out while they dance! The characters dance flamenco in Spain,  Kathak in India, Kuku in West African Guinea,  long-sleeve dancing in China.  One of my favorite illustrations is when the bright pages transition to a dramatic dark with the words “Counting sheep”  while Diaz’s bevy of sheep give us a reprise of many of the dances featured in the story. There are step dancers, line dancers and some are singing their hearts out while, on the previous page, a little girl imagines as she falls into sleep.

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  • Ways to Find a Home: stories of migration

    Ways to Find a Home:

    stories of migration

    Some Favorite Children’s Books for 2019

    illustration from Birdsong by Julie Flett, Greystone Kids

    Julie Flett’s picture book Birdsong runs away with my blue ribbon for picture books this year. All of these books are about migration of some kind and in the case of Katherena in Birdsong, her migration is to a new home away from the sea and across generations. Ever since I read Flett’s earlier book, Wild Berries, I’ve loved the spare beauty of her storytelling. I’ve loved reading the native Cree language that she offers young readers in her books.

    Agnes is working on a pot that’s round and bright. She tells me about waxing and waning moons. I tell her about Cree seasons. This month is called pimihawipisim – the migrating moon.

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