Watch a video about Pat’s visit to Perkins Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. With the help of Des Moines Performing Arts’ Applause Series, each class did a different type of performance based on their experience of reading Tomás and the Library Lady.
REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, invites applications for the 2014 Mora Award. The Award is presented annually to the most exemplary culminating celebrations of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), or El día de los jovenes/El día de los libros (Youth Day/Book Day), also known as Día. Annual, culminating celebrations are held across the country on or near April 30. Libraries, schools, educational institutions, and other youth-serving organizations that plan and implement Día programs in 2014 are eligible to submit an application by August 15, 2014.
Read more about the award and see a list of previous winners.
Feliz Día del Amor y la Amistad, Happy Valentine’s and Friendship Day!
Photo by Louise Docker. Creative Commons license.
The cover of the January 26, 2014 issue of the New York Times Book Review is a review of My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead. I had never read George Eliot’s thick Victorian novel and finished it about the time Middlemarch began to receive current attention thanks to Mead’s book. As a writer, I kept asking myself: how did Eliot (born Mary Ann Evans) do it? How did she write this much text and keep the various romances and plot elements straight without a computer? How did she write this in the 1800s? And in this age of author photos, what would publishers have done with a face about which much is written, none of it flattering?
I also occasionally thought of immensely-popular “Downton Abbey.” Though it is set in a gorgeous castle and featuring carefully chosen fashions, rather than in the town of Middlemarch in the 1800s, both offer intricate relationships and leave us panting for more to hold our interest. Ah, but George Eliot shares her wisdom and wit throughout, layers her observations about males and females in this page-turner. The novel begins and ends with a slight reference to a great reformer, a woman I also admire, St. Theresa of Avila. No surprise that given Eliot’s astute observations about society and its impact, she admired the intellectual and determined Theresa of Spain.
I smiled often holding my cumbersome Middlemarch at sentences such as, “Where women love each other, men learn to smother their mutual dislike.” Will the BBC treat us to Middlemarch and George Eliot’s ever-relevant observations?
Enjoy this insightful NPR interview with my wonderful and talented friend Monica Brown.
“It wasn’t until I had children … that I decided to write for children,” Brown tells NPR’s Arun Rath. “I knew I wanted to write stories that reflected the multi-ethnic, bilingual nature of my own family.”
I was honored to present to the New Mexico IRA this weekend. I always learn from audiences, and I so enjoyed listening to the teachers who were spending their Saturday thinking about how to be more effective. I was saddened to hear how discouraged many are that they and their creativity and autonomy are no longer valued. In-service, maybe around the country, is about improving test scores. Talented educators leave classrooms that are too regimented to allow these dedicated teachers to foster inquiry and learning, to share bookjoy.
On the way home, I stopped at the grocery store, foolishly forgetting that it was the night before the Super Bowl. Aisles were crammed, baskets piled high with frozen pizzas. Cheering for talented athletes is a long human tradition, and getting together with friends and family can be relaxing fun, BUT pro-sports are an extremely lucrative business. Know what a one-minute ad on the game cost? $10 million, $10 million a minute to lure us to buy something.
How can those of us who care about kids, who know how vulnerable and valuable each child is and how essential it is to their future that they experience the pleasure and power of books, how do we come together so that we see carts and bags and boxes full of books for our children?
The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) is seeking applicants for the Bridge to Understanding Award. This award formally acknowledges the work of adults who create programs that use children´s books to explore cultures around the world in order to promote international understanding among children. Programs that win the award are based in a broad understanding of culture as ways of living and being in the world, and go beyond the surface features of a culture, such as food, fashion, folklore, famous people, and festivals.
The deadline is March 1, 2014. Read more details on the USBBY website.