Julius Lester loved language and he loved story. Language, Lester wrote, is not just words and what they mean; music and rhythm are also part of the meaning. Just reading his books for children makes us want to read them out loud to hear that music and rhythm along with his gift for putting words together.
Carole Boston Weatherford has been writing since she was in first grade. Her father taught printing and was able to publish those early stories. Weatherford has written dozens of picture books for young readers — and all readers. We cannot be exhaustive here, but we can introduce you to this wonderful writer.
When you grow up in Minnesota, snow is a part of your world. From playing in it until your feet are so cold and wet that your grandmother will scold while you drink hot cocoa to lifting your feet high as you trudge through knee-deep snow to a bus stop that’s farther away than it has ever been, snow is a fixture in your thoughts.
Eloise Greenfield In this season of gift-giving we want to look at the gift of poetry, specifically the poetry and writing of Eloise Greenfield. Since publishing her first poem in 1962, she has written more than forty-five books for children and was the recipient of the 2018 Coretta Scott King Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.
When Marsha Qualey began this column six years ago, she had us all on the lookout for books about children’s literature. What would add to our understanding of this very particular community of educators, students, collector, and creators? This book about Helen Oxenbury by Leonard Marcus is a gem, filled with the wisdom of a revered author-illustrator as well as her illustrations and delicious photos that help our understanding.… more
I am delighted by the re-issue of The Range Eternal, a picture book that reaches back into history and connects with our senses, our families, our fears, and our reassurances. I have read all of Louise Erdrich’s books for adults and children. She never fails to bring me new ways of looking at the world. So it is with this book.
Raising Star Readers is delighted to introduce a new Reading Team, this one led by children’s book author Catherine Urdahl. Here, Catherine shares some heartwarming reading moments, with enough book-love and remembered summer sunshine to take the chill out of the coldest of December winds:
Juni and Catherine I read to my daughters from the time they were infants, and now I have the joy of reading to my two-year-old granddaughter Juni and my new grandson Colby.
Nighttime is a magical time for kids. It’s a time for exploring the night skies. It’s a time for dreaming cozy dreams. It’s a time of mischief when it comes with the thrill of being allowed to stay up late. Nighttime picture books have always had an allure for me because of the topics they explore and the amazing and varied art by illustrators challenged with the task of drawing the dark.
I remember my neighborhood friends standing on opposite sides of a driveway, angry, yelling loudly at each other. I don’t recall why, but I can still feel those emotions. That’s how strong feelings are. Our children deal with a multitude of emotions every day. You were probably remembering similar instances from your childhood. And what happened afterward? Most likely you were all friends again, because you needed to be.
Though our focus this month is on Javaka Steptoe, we want to begin this column with another book by his father, John Steptoe, Daddy is a Monster…Sometimes. This book is narrated by two children, Bweela and Javaka, who begin, “We are Bweela and Javaka and we have a daddy. He’s a nice daddy and all, but he got somethin’ wrong with him… .”