• Let’s Dance – a whirling leap into dances from many cultures

    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.

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  • 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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  • “Creative Achievement in the Humanities” Award

    Me with U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. Sen. Shaheen presented me with an award for Creative Achievement in the Humanities.

    “Tell Me More” – a profile that appeared in Engage: New Hampshire Humanities’ Magazine by Rebecca Kinhan

    https://www.nhhumanities.org/news/new-hampshire-humanities-bids-farewell-terry-farish

    “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.

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  • Year of New Voices – A 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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  • Art Lesson for Joseph’s Big Ride

    Ken Daley illustrates Mama, Joseph, Whoosh 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.”   School Library Journal

    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….

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