• To the Children of Mill Brook School,

    A doll representing Joseph in Joseph’s Big Ride and A Feast for Joseph is available to visit schools. Here’s a story of his visit to Mill Brook School in Concord, NH. He visited k-1 classes.

    Dear Children at Mill Brook,

    I understand that a small doll named Joseph has been visiting your class, and that sometimes your teacher has let him come to story time. I hope he has not been disruptive.  Can you teach him to listen? And while you’re at it, would you mind teaching him to read? He likes stories and is very smart. But sometimes he can get up to mischief. Ms. Morin did send me this snap.

    You may be wondering about Joseph’s clothes. He has a friend named Grammie Rose and she sewed them for him. Joseph is exactly 17 inches tall, and Grammie specializes is clothes for 17-inch tall boys. She sewed them so he would have the same red shirt as the Joseph in Joseph’s Big Ride. Ms. Morin also sent a snap of a boy right there at Mill Brook who also has a handsome red shirt.

    Another friend of Joseph’s, Jeanne Trabulsi, recommended that Joseph get a hair cut. But when I saw Joseph with a boy in another snap from Mill Brook, I thought both of them had perfect hair.

    Thank you for helping Joseph settle in. The holidays might have caused a bit of chaos and certainly hope Joseph didn’t get anybody into trouble or disturb Ms. Giddis. I see she had to keep him close to keep her eye on him.

    Here’s a little of Joseph’s story before he visited Mill Brook. He came from Virginia.  I mentioned his friend Jeanne. Jeanne Trabulsi moved to Virginia from Lebanon, a country far away and near the country of Syria. After Jeanne made her home in the U.S., she wanted to welcome kids who were not safe in their home countries and had moved to the U.S. where there was food and safety and schools where they could learn.  So she created the

    Refugee Doll Project to create dolls to welcome the children. She has created refugee dolls from many countries.

    Here’s Jeanne:

    You can read more about Jeanne Trabulsi at her website refugeedolls.org

    The very grown up first graders listen beautifully at Ms. Mac Dougall’s story time. I hope Joseph will come home a good listener, but maybe you also taught him his times tables.

    Thank you for taking good care of Jospeh!

    From your friend,


  • Diverse Book Finder, I’m Your Neighbor Books, and more ways to Find Diverse Books

    Here are resources to find diverse books. They are searchable by ethnicity, community, and age range.

    Diverse Book Finder: https://diversebookfinder.org/
    Go to ‘search the collection’ and you will find many criteria to search by.

    I’m Your Neighbor Books: https://imyourneighborbooks.org/
    Go to Books and you can browse by community or theme.  

    We Need Diverse Books: https://diversebooks.org/
    Advocacy, mentoring, marketing of books by diverse writers. Many resources.

    KidLit411: http://www.kidlit411.com/2013/12/kidlit411-diversity-in-kidlit.html Many links to resources, nonprofits, publishers, articles, and more on diverse lit

    “Intercultural Author Collaboration” Here is article I wrote for School Library Journal on intercultural author collaboration, including interviews with authors on their process of writing together: https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=intercultural-author-collaboration

    Publishers of diverse books

    Groundwood Books in Toronto

    Salaam Reads an imprint of Simon and Schuster

    Lee and Low, Multicultural Children’s Books Publisher

    Enchanted Lion does many translated books to bring international books to U.S. readers

    Many more are listed at KidLit411.com

  • Thank you, Teachers and Librarians This December

    Dear Teachers and Librarians,

    Thank you!

    Mostly I want to say that your kindnesses to an itinerant writer as I’ve visited your schools and libraries over the years have meant the world to me. Included here are some small offerings for you. (If I come to your class or storytime, I truly might bring along a tres leches cake like Whoosh does in OD Bonny’s and my picture book, A Feast for Joseph.) First, here’s a reading list for you:

    Feasts! A Reading List of Picture Books about Food and Cross-cultural Friendship

    Intro: I think I belong to the Jane Jacobs school of living. That’s about living all mixed up with grownups and children and grandparents and doing different kinds of jobs among the smells of wildly different spices and maybe the scent of mandizas. Those are the donuts you might smell frying at a street vendor’s stand in Nairobi but you can smell them in the U.S., too. So sweet it stops you in your tracks. Here is a small list of picture books from the “bringing people together” school of thought. And food opens the door to people gathering.

    A Few More Resources to Pass On

    World Read Aloud Day – Read more about it and sign up with me to do a free, short visit to your class or library. I have only a few slots left.

    Rabbit in the Moon Reading Lists

    Rabbit in the Moon Reading Lists and Reviews includes books about newcomers to North America and stories set in the countries from which newcomers have arrived.

    Check out more resources at https://www.terryfarish.com/for-teachers/

    To my friends in high schools, picture books can be read like short stories or poems and can be fun ways to explore the elements of those forms.

    Happy solstice, happy holidays, to you all and your beloveds,


    A child from Pittsfield, NH retells the story of The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup.

  • I offer free, short Zoom author visits with your class, just like World Read Aloud Day visits.

    World Read Aloud Day was lovely, but past. But I can do virtual visits to your class on other days similar to my World Read Aloud Day visits. Short visits are FREE. You’ll find contact info in the footer.

    LitWorld founded World Read Aloud Day to “celebrate the power of reading aloud, to create community, to amplify new stories, and to advocate for literacy as a foundational human right.” You can link to many WRAD resources here. Some sources will be updated in the new year.

    Here’s the FORMAT.  WRAD visits are simple, short, and sweet. They follow the below forma

    ·  1-2 minutes: I’ll introduce myself and talk a little about my books.

    ·  3-5 minutes: I’ll read and show illustrations from one of my books  More info about my books can be found here.

    ·  5-10  minutes: I’ll answer questions from students about reading/writing or topics related to my books.

    ·  1-2 minutes: I’ll share a book I love (but didn’t write) as a recommendation that students and teachers might love, too.

    I offer free, SHORT Zoom author visits with your class. To enquire, please Click HERE

    Please include

    • Your name and what grade(s) you work with
    • Your city and time zone (this is important for scheduling!)
    • Possible times to connect on February 2nd. Please note authors’ availability and time zones. Adjust accordingly if yours is different!
    • Your preferred platform (Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc.)
    • A phone number where you can be reached on that day in case of technical issues

    For even more information please visit Kate Messenner on World Read Aloud Day with a list participating authors.

    I look forward to meeting you and your students! Thanks for welcoming me into your classroom! Sign Up by contacting me HERE.