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.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
“Tell Me More” – a profile that appeared in Engage: New Hampshire Humanities’ Magazine by Rebecca Kinhan
“You could say Terry Farish is a story whisperer.
For Farish, a writer, poet, and author, life is about words and storytelling. But perhaps one of her greatest gifts is the ability to gently coax and nurture words and images from those who don’t know how to tell their story– or believe that their story even matters.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
The wish Joseph has in Joseph’s Big Ride finally comes true, his wish to ride a bike. The bike ride 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 presented with the students. They began with drawing lots of kids’ hands and the connected hands become the spokes of the bicycle’s wheels. Like this….READ MORE