Lessons from the psychology of the spiritual imagination
Poet Nye recounted how her world-renowned poem “Kindness” came to her as a kind of voice that she heard from deep within herself. On her honeymoon, her and her husband’s luggage was stolen. As her husband traveled to the next town to get new travel documents, she sat in the town’s square watching people as they passed. Suddenly, the poem came to her as if “floating across the square” for her to transcribe.
Replace despair with volunteerism in 2018: Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk (Opinion)
Ms. Nye is a writer and a Palestinian-Arab American. I am a Jew, a Zionist, and a rabbi. We differ sharply in culture, politics and identity. But we share an aspiration to secure wholeness and peace.
Drumpf Reopens an Old Wound for Haitians by Edwidge Danticat
President Drumpf’s alleged remarks have taken many of us back to a time when such attitudes were commonplace. They are also particularly disturbing in the context of his larger anti-immigrant program. As Haitian-community advocates are trying to rally support in Congress and elsewhere to find a permanent solution for T.P.S. recipients and their families, we are reminded of a time when all H.I.V.-positive immigrants were banned from entering the United States, and H.I.V.-positive Haitians were detained, in deplorable conditions, at Guantanamo Bay. Drumpf’s alleged statement re-stigmatizes both Haitians and people living with H.I.V./aids by pegging them as undesirables. Will the next travel ban be a medical one?
SCLSNJ celebrates Black History Month in February
The Art of E.B. Lewis Display (all ages): Feb. 1-28, Watchung branch
Books for children:
“How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz” by Jonah Winter and Keith Mallet
“Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix” by Gary Golio and Javaka Steptoe
“The Legendary Miss Lena Horne” by Carole Boston Weatherford and Elizabeth Zunon
“Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound” by Andrea Davis Pinkney
2017 was a wonderful year for books
“Freedom in Congo Square,” a picture book set in New Orleans that’s illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and written by Carole Boston Weatherford, took a Caldecott Honor Book award and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book award.
Conversations: Katherine Paterson, “My Brigadista Year”
Katherine Paterson has written more than thirty books and has received many of the highest honors in children’s literature. Her Newbery Medal-winning novel Bridge to Terabithia is one of the most beloved children’s novels of all time and was made into a major motion picture. On this edition of Conversations, she joins us to talk about her latest youth novel, My Brigadista Year. The novel was inspired by the experiences of young volunteers in the 1961 Cuban literacy campaign.
IN CONVERSATION with Ali Kazmi
Ali Kazmi: “There’s another film called the Breadwinner; it’s a little bit of shameless self-promotion and not only because I’m in it, I swear. It’s an animated feature film which is produced by Angelina Jolie and directed by Nora Twomey, an Oscar-winning film director, based on the bestselling novel by Deborah Ellis. It’s basically about a young girl in Afghanistan whose father was a teacher but is now retired; as a girl, she can’t work in Afghanistan so she basically dresses up as a little boy to become breadwinner for the house. I play this character called Darya, who is ex-Taliban with a heart of gold; he helps her family to escape from their situation in the war-torn Afghanistan. It’s really fitting these days as well because of the whole women’s movement and how important it is for education for girls all over; it’s quite sad how slowly that’s happening, actually. It’s nominated for Golden Globe Awards and also has some Oscar buzz.”
Coming-of-age tale will inspire children to stand up for human rights, says Angelina Jolie
“I hope this film does speak to young girls around the world and young boys,” Jolie said. “It’s the first time for them to understand that little girls throughout the world go through this.”
How Canadians are planting seeds of hope for girls in Afghanistan
Canadian author Deborah Ellis has also been fascinated by the work they do. Back when the Taliban was denying education to women and girls, she wanted to help. “I’m a lousy fundraiser. So, in 1998 I went to refugee camps in Quetta and Peshawar in Pakistan to gather stories about who they were as human beings. I thought if I tell their story something will happen.”
Ellis is delighted that Afghans will see [The Breadwinner], but want the focus to be on the girls. “The girls are making the most of the changes they have, grabbing hold of every opportunity, doing as much and reaching as far as they can in case it is taken away.”
Southern Writers Onstage Goes ‘Beyond Black And White’ In 6th Year
On Jan. 23, Carmen Agra Deedy will present excerpts from her own work “Growing Up Cuban in Decatur, Georgia.”
“The Dream Keeper and other Poems” by Langston Hughes Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
This is a small book of 60 plus poems by Langston Hughes which are beautifully illustrated with black and white scratchboard by Brian Pinkney.
Picture books to help young readers learn about Dr. King
Martin Luther King Jr. by Marion Dane Bauer
This illustrated book for younger readers tells how great a man Dr. King was. He was able to change the way people thought through his kind and wise words.
Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport
Martin Luther King’s life is told with quotes and delightful watercolor illustrations.
The lessons young people can learn from MLK, 50 years after his assassination
“Martin Rising,” by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Scholastic)
Envisioned for young readers but sure to be appreciated more widely, “Martin Rising: Requiem for a King” (Scholastic, ages 13 and up) depicts King as a source of warmth and brightness on its radiant front cover. Author Andrea Davis Pinkney and her husband, illustrator Brian Pinkney, sustain and develop this idea throughout their book, paying stirring tribute to King’s personal warmth, spiritual strength and leadership. The book’s vivid poetry bursts with information as well as feeling, and the watercolor images are grounded in reality but feel elevated, on a higher plane.
“Martin Rising” ends with a call to action: “When we speak out, seek peace, teach the truth, we all rise to a better tomorrow. And the time is now.”
These titles will keep young readers enthralled
“All the Way to Havana″ by Margarita Engle – a boy helps his father keep their very old car running as they make a trip to Havana for his newborn cousin’s zero-year birthday. Includes author’s note about cars in Cuba.
“Beyond the Bright Sea″ by Lauren Wolk – set adrift on the ocean in a small skiff as a newborn, 12-year-old Crow embarks on a quest to find the missing pieces of her history
Where Author Jacqueline Woodson Would Like To Take Young People’s Literature In 2018
WOODSON: I get to decide my own vision in the end about the work I want to do, how I want to do it, what rooms I want to walk into, what people I feel have not had the kind of access that they should have – mainly underserved people, people in rural communities, incarcerated people – and really point my energies in those directions.
African-American identity explored through children’s picture-book art
Miami University Art Museum and Sculpture Park is gearing up for its latest exhibition, “Telling A People’s Story: African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature,” which will open on Tuesday, Jan. 30.
The exhibition “looks at African-American cultural and historical identity through the lens of children’s picture books, particularly looking at the illustrations,” said Jason Shaiman, curator of exhibitions, Miami University Art Museum.
The spring 2018 show will feature about 130 original artworks from African-American children’s illustrated literature, produced by some of the biggest names in the field. A few of the well-known illustrators represented include Ashley Bryan, Jerry Pinkney, Jan Spivey-Gilchrist, E.B. Lewis and Kadir Nelson, among others.
“Telling A People’s Story: African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature” will be on display through Saturday, June 30.
“This is the first time any museum has ever attempted an exhibition of this nature. No one else has ventured to create an exhibit focused on African-American identity using children’s literature and the pictures. My colleagues and I, and everyone who worked on this realized that this is groundbreaking, and it’s so important, especially today,” Shaiman said.
7 Ways to Spend MLK Day as a Family
Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT. In honor of MLK Day, a recording of one of King’s great speeches will play throughout the morning in the Multimedia Gallery (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), kids can create their own peace doves from 11:15 to 11:45, and enjoy a special story time and activity at 1 p.m. Guests will get a chance to read along with Doreen Rappaport’s Martin’s BIG Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Faith Ringgold’s Searing Portraits of a Racially Divided America
The race riots had not yet ended when Ringgold brought “The American People” to its climactic end with The American People Series #20: Die (1967). It is the only painting in the series in which she directly addressed the riots.
In one corner, two children-a black girl and a white boy-cower underfoot, clinging together.
The young pair serve as a reminder that prejudice is not innate, but learned. “Children have to be taught that some other people who don’t look like them are not right,” Ringgold has said about these small figures, symbols of innocence amidst the barbarism and indictments of adults who have become consumed with hatred.
Mary Shelley biography to mark Frankenstein’s 200th anniversary
Mary’s Monster by American author and illustrator Lita Judge is based on Shelley’s own diaries. The book tells the story of the author’s life, including her elopement to Switzerland with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and her creation of Frankenstein and his monster.
“In Mary’s Monster, (Judge) has created something truly extraordinary and genre-defying – part biography, part fantasy and part feminist allegory.”
9 Events in the DMV to Honor Martin Luther King Jr.
MLK Day Celebration
When: Jan. 15, 10:30 a.m.
Where: Woodbridge Neighborhood Library, Washington D.C.
Children aged 2 to 12 are encouraged to come with their families to learn about King at this day-long celebration. A screening of the film “Our Friend, Martin” will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by a reading of “Separate Is Never Equal” by author Duncan Tonatiuh at 2:30 p.m.
Marilyn Brooke Goffstein, children’s book author and artist, dies at 77
Even in death, Brooke Goffstein’s words and stories will live on.
At a Connecticut hospice facility, the St. Paul native, longtime artist and author of some 30 books kept writing and telling stories until she died Dec. 20 – her 77th birthday.
She went on to illustrate, write and publish about 30 books under the names Brooke Goffstein and M.B. Goffstein, which included mostly children’s books but also some young adult novels and biographies of artists.
“She wanted to show children what was in the world,” said Allender, who met Goffstein in publishing.
In her obituary, her family asked for one thing: “Create something beautiful for the people around you or buy and read the book of your choice.”
Book turned into stage adaption
A Selma native and award-winning author is seeing her book, “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March,” being turned into a play in New York.
The book was released in 2015 and almost immediately became a hit, winning awards such as the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award.
Over two years later, the book has been turned into a one-woman play at The Center at West Park in New York. The play goes from Jan. 10 to Jan 20. The first two days of the production were sold out.
“I never imagined I had a story to tell,” Lowery said. “I never expected it to impact so many children. Inspiring other people is an awesome thing for me.”
Lowery was touched by the success of her book and the difference she was making in the lives of kids.
“I tell children that the change can start with you,” Lowery said. “I was jailed nine times before I turned 15. I was not jailed for hurting anybody, but for my beliefs. I was a proud jail bird.”
“I remember the first time I heard Dr. King speak,” said Lowery. “He told the church audience ‘you can get anyone to do anything through steady, loving confrontation.’ I knew right then that was how I was going to be able to make a difference in the world.”
The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.