• 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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  • A Celebration of African Publishing

    This is not a new exhibit but it is an unmissable exhibit about the publishing of children’s books in African countries. Here’s a link to IBBY’s – International Board of Books for Young People – virtual exhibition, A Celebration of African Publishing for Children.

    You’ll see lists of books from Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, and many other countries. Makwelane and the Crocodile, by Maria Hendricks, is from South Africa. I love the vibrant illustrations by Piet Grobler, especially the one of Makwelane after she outsmarts the crocodile.

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  • Immensity – Reading with Immigrant Writers

    I’ve been working with the talented staff of New Hampshire Humanities to create the New Voices project. We were matchmakers. We matched many New Hampshire poets with immigrant writers to work together with the goal of creating a community reading. Here’s one story.

    Writing united us.  But could we actually pull off a reading? Yes, with help from some poets before us.

    Back row: Tammi Truax, Portsmouth Poet Laureate, Pedro, Leidiane Gabi, Sarah Cristina Clemar, Pilar Nadeau, Terry Farish, front row, Cynthia Chatis, and Carolyn Hutton
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  • Why We Write the Poems

    Poets

    Sarah, aged 13, and I, with the poet laureate of our city and all of us in the photo have been gathering on Tuesday nights to write together and be part of New Hampshire Humanities New Voices project. Sarah, her mom, and little brother are new Americans and bring their first language to the poems they’re writing in English. Sarah is a poet and and an artist. Here’s one of her anime drawings.

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  • A Good, Good Year for Joseph and Whoosh in Joseph’s Big Ride

    Ken Daley’s gorgeous illustration of Mama, Joseph, Whoosh with ALL her hair, and the bike in Joseph’s Big Ride.

    “The narrative, which focuses on building a friendship, is paired with Daley’s vibrant illustrations, which depict just how fast the minds, and bikes, of young children can go…An ideal addition…”                      School Library Journal

    This has been a good, good year for my characters, Joseph and Whoosh, in Joseph’s Big Ride.  Their bike – the one Joseph FINALLY gets to ride, his wish come true! – came to life in a school in Westbrook, Maine. Master’s of Education students at the  Maine College of Art made it happen with an Art Lesson they did with the students beginning with drawing lots of kids’ hands and the connected hands become the spokes of the bicycle’s wheels.  Like this….

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