• 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.

  • A FEAST FOR JOSEPH Wins Praise from the New York Times, Kirkus; and More Praise

    The New York Times recommends A FEAST FOR JOSEPH as a great picture book about food and fellowship. Our book is in good company with other books that celebrate eating together with people and building friendships. Here’s the NY Time’s ‘Picture This’ story, Eight Picture Books about Food and Fellowship.

    A Kirkus Starred Review “A resettled refugee kid loves his people’s ways of life and strives to feel at home in his new country.

    Kirkus writes “[Joseph’s] cheerful neighbor, an Afro-Latinx girl with ribbons in her curly hair, is excited about the food Joseph brings to school: kwon and dek ngor, traditional to his Acholi people of South Sudan and northern Uganda…A wonderful book that humanizes refugees through a focus on joy in everyday life, even in asylum.”

    Canadian Review of Materials offers a Highly Recommended rating. They write:

    “There’s an undeniable “rhythm, a beat of people eating together”, as the dinner table hums with activity and is laden with Ugandan delicacies, including kwon (a thick dough made from millet), chapati (East African flatbread), dek ngor (traditional Acholi stew made with lentils or peas), and Sukuma wiki (a Swahili name for collard greens).”

    The Toronto Globe and Mail recommends A Feast for Joseph to “find new ways for young people to explore the world” in the Globe and Mail Kids’ Book Gift Guide.

    Molly McGrath, The Telling Room wrote:

    “I loved the book! Reminds me very much of Fufu and Fresh Strawberries! A gorgeous book with a wonderful message! Patience, imagination, curiosity, and kindness are spun together in this new story written by Terry Farish and OD Bonny. Joseph lives in a new apartment far from family, but a new friend, Whoosh, helps him feel at home in their neighborhood as they share a meal together. Illustrations by Ken Daley are lush and vibrant, a celebration of colors and cultures. A treasure!” 

    The Butler’s Pantry Books on Cooking celebrates A FEAST FOR JOSEPH and more books about food.

  • Rabbit in the Moon, Newcomer Lit

    The story of The Rabbit in the Moon is in many cultures. I’ve used the title for my blog about stories of the many cultures of newcomers to North America from across the world. This image is part of the Esplanade’s “Tales of Shadows on the Moon” production in Singapore.

    In the Rabbit in the Moon category, you’ll find reading lists and reviews of amazing books. In other categories, you’ll find writing prompts, descriptions of community literacy projects, and more resources. Please click on the categories.

    • Rabbit in the Moon
      Children’s books from around the world, especially books about the cultures of newcomers to the North America.
    • Literacy Projects
      Bhutanese Folktale Project, New Voices, More Literacy Project Models
    • Articles
    • News!
      My books, workshops, current projects, videos
    • For Writers! Writing prompts, Writers on Writing, Workshops

  • Why Verse? Why Writers Write Verse Novels and Why Readers Love Them

    In celebration of Poetry Month I’m re-posting an article I wrote for School Library Journal on why writers write verse novels and why reader’s love them.

    Here’s the link to Why Verse? Poetic Novels Are a Natural Fit for Historical Fiction, Displacement Stories, and Struggling Readers


    Here’s a story about librarians who tell about their young readers and the novels in verse that they love. Librarians on Verse Novels

  • Brave in the Water

    Brave in the Water by Stephanie Wildman, illustrated by Jenni Feidler-Aguilar, is a picture book about a small boy who takes his first steps down into a pool. He had been so afraid. But despite his fear, he dips his face into the water. This was his first step in learning how to swim. I wanted to write about Brave in the Water because in my work with refugees, I’ve learned that many children and their parents who come to the US had not learned to swim in their home countries.  In Nepal, for examples, the rivers aren’t for swimming, families told me.  They are for bathing or for sacred rituals.  Brave in the Water shows how a boy and his grandmother give each other courage. Grandma works on her balance with Diante, her grandson. Diante learns a strong way to breathe. With his breath, he learns to put his face under water. It’s fun and he feels like a fish.

    Even more, this book is about a bond between a grandson and a grandmother. Diante and Grandma trust each other. The illustrations show Diante as Black and Grandma as white. I read that Wildman, the author, also wrote Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America, (NYU), a book that has been reprinted in an updated edition this year. Wildman wrote it in collaboration with Margalynne Armstrong, Trina Grillo, and Adrienne Davis. The book develops the term “color insight” to better understand the profound impact of all skin colors including white on US society. In an interview with WNBA, Wildman and Armstrong said that collaboration across racial lines based on trust deepened their thinking in the book. Maybe Wildman was building on the idea of trust across racial lines in Brave in the Water.

    Lawley Publishing who published Brave in the Water also published it in Spanish, Valiente en el Agua, translated by Cecilia Populus-Eudave.