25th Anniversary of Tar Beach and a New Book on Immigration by Faith Ringgold JACBA Newsletter 3Jun2016

Knopf Celebrates 25 Years of Faith Ringgold’s ‘Tar Beach’

Published by Crown in 1991, ‘Tar Beach,’ Faith Ringgold’s debut children’s book, won the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration and was named a Caldecott Honor Book. On May 10, Knopf released a 25th-anniversary edition of the book, as well as a new picture book by Ringgold, ‘We Came to America,’ a celebration of this country’s multicultural heritage.

“Without doubt, Tar Beach is one of our most treasured picture books,” she said. “It represents Faith’s realism and idealism in equal capacities. I think of her as a chronicler of the African-American experience, and in this book she does it in a beautiful and relevant way. Tar Beach is a very important contribution to children’s literature, as well as a showcase of Faith’s gorgeous mixed-media art. To me, it epitomizes what a children’s book should be.”

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Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold 1993 Awardee


The fourth annual Thousand Islands Children’s Book Festival set for June 4

The fourth annual Thousand Islands Children’s Book Festival, “Reading on the River,” will be at the Cape Vincent Elementary School on Saturday, June 4.

Among the presenters:

Bryan Collier, a writer and illustrator, is from New York City. Among the honors he has received are the Coretta Scott King Award, the Erza Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, the Caldecott Medal and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award for Picture Books. He has a style that incorporates both watercolors and collage.

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Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. written by Doreen Rappaport with artwork by Bryan Collier 2002 Awardee


Decatur author Carmen Agra Deedy’s tips to inspire a love of reading

Born in Cuba, Deedy came to America in 1964. She grew up in Decatur, (GA,) which is still her home.

Want to teach your children to build a “fortress of quietude” where they can escape the ever-present white noise of techno-babble?

Build them a reading fort. This does not require a trip to your building supply store; nor is it costly. A blanket or quilt over the kitchen table will do nicely, as will the pillows from the sofa.

The rule is: If you are actually reading in your fortress of quietude, you are left alone to do so for at least 30 minutes. Not solely for the use of the children in the household.

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The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark written by Carmen Agra Deedy 2001 Awardee


Special writer examines Chippaweh

How a society is warped over more than a century by the pressures brought to bear from unrestrained violent conquest in some of the most inhospitable climate and terrain on the planet: that is North Dakota.

A defeated people can turn to mysticism and that is what Erdrich’s people have done. There are those who dismiss this as “hocus pocus” and her books are not for them. To disrespect an entire people’s coping mechanism is self-defeating and is to miss so much.

A synopsis of the plot [of “LaRose”] would serve no purpose. It would read like a television soap opera, and would entirely miss the point of what makes Erdrich so special, her use of language.

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The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich 2000 Awardee


Art From The Ashes. Japanese Painters Summon Hope.

On Friday, May 27, President Obama became the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima. Nearly 71 years after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city, Obama called for “a world without nuclear weapons,” and honored those who died. Here, from our archives, is a story about art, humanity, and Hiroshima’s survivors.

On a rainy summer night in 1948, Iri and Toshi Maruki realized they would have to paint Hiroshima.

After two years of preliminary studies, the Marukis completed in 1950 the first of fifteen monumental (six-by-twenty­ five foot) paintings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

These murals provide a startling record of the Bomb, ren­dered with an authenticity that could only be attained by wit­nesses to its effects. We may never get closer than these paintings to an understanding of nuclear war.

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Hiroshima No Pika by Toshi Maruki 1983 Awardee

Since 1953, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually acknowledges books published in the U.S. during the previous year. Books commended by the Award address themes of topics that engage children in thinking about peace, justice, world community and/or equality of the sexes and all races. The books also must meet conventional standards of literacy and artistic excellence.


A national committee chooses winners and honor books for younger and older children.

Click here to read more about the 2016 Awards.

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