• 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.

  • Newsletter, July 2021

    The summer reading theme in New Hampshire is “Tales and Tails.” It’s a beautiful theme for any season or state if you love animals and stories. Here’s a writing workshop for children I offer that connects to both. Programs are virtual or, in some cases, outside in person.

    The Pig’s Tale, the Dog’s Tale, the Cat’s Tale, A Storymaking Workshop

    Me and my dog. Her name’s Clara.

    Description: We’ll read aloud from The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup, looking for clues to understand the characters. We’ll look at word and gesture to help us infer meaning and practice reading between the lines. This is a very fun workshop about cats and dogs and longing and patience and rewards. After we read about ways characters handle their feelings, a pig (he’s large but stuffed) will come to visit. The pig has a range of emotions about missing his friends and I’ll invite everyone to become the storyteller of an animal’s tale. Resources for you: “Stellar Mentor Picture Books from many Cultures,” a handout for teachers and librarians.
    Goals: Build skills in interpretation of stories and exploring the emotional world of characters; identify ways that characters solve problems; practice writing or telling using elements of narrative. Details at https://www.terryfarish.com/school-and-library-programs/

    Writing a Picture Book” a workshop for adults

    Terry’s presentation style is lyrical, engaging and her love of the medium was infectious.” Laura Horwood-Benton, Public Programming & Community Relations Librarian, Portsmouth Public Library.

    I’m offering this Online workshop especially for libraries. Thank you, librarians, for doing essential work this past year and a half to keep kids and all of us connected with the books we need. The workshop fee is negotiable. tfarish@gmail.com

    Description: Picture books for children are poems with pictures. They can be funny. They can bring a family memory to life. Maria Popova describes picture books as “stories that tackle with elegant simplicity such complexities as uncertainty, loneliness, loss, and the cycle of life.” What makes a story one that children will love?  What are the components that blend and form the structure and beauty of a picture book story?  I’ll offer prompts and guidelines for participants to write their own picture book. This can be a one or two part workshop. Here’s a link to a full description of the workshop and testimonials:  https://www.terryfarish.com/2020/12/online-workshop-writing-a-picture-book/

    Outstanding International Books

    I’ve been reviewing Outstanding International Books for USBBY, the U.S. Board of Books for Young People. These books from many countries have been published in the U.S. and offer a way for children to read the world through stories. Here is the full list of the 2021 Outstanding International Books. I wrote a post about some of my favorites over the past years

    Read for Refugees

    The UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, has developed a program called Read for Refugees. Here’s a pdf with a list of young adult books to help readers meet refugees through stories. I’m glad to tell you that The Good Braider is here in the company of extraordinary books.


    Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival

    The work of Ken Daley, illustrator of Joseph’s Big Ride, is vibrant in color and energy. Because of the power of his work, Joseph’s Big Ride was selected to be one of the books featured in the 2021 Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival, a celebration of black writers and illustrators. The festival is named in honor of Ashley Bryan‘s book, Beautiful Blackbird and of Mr. Bryan who is beloved in Maine. News of the 2021 event is coming soon.

    Coming soon!

    We can’t wait to tell you more. Ken Daley, OD Bonny, and I have something new coming from Groundwood Books.

    To book a program or ask a question, contact me at tfarish@gmail.com The standard workshop fee is $200, but I’m open to negotiation this year especially for libraries with small budgets. Welcome to my site to read about more programs and books. https://terryfarish.com