Telling a People’s Story: first museum exhibit devoted to illustrations of African-American children’s books

MIAMI UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM HAS A GROUNDBREAKING SHOW OF ILLUSTRATIONS USED ON BOOKS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN

Spanning nearly 50 years of publishing, Telling a People’s Story recognizes 35 illustrators (all but two of them black) who have depicted a complex cultural history in a way that not only appeals to children but heightens adults’ awareness as well.

Separate works by author-illustrators John and Javaka Steptoe, father and son, serve as symbolic bookends for the exhibit, which incorporates the publishing world’s slights into the show’s broader narratives of African-American history and social justice.

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CHILDREN’S BOOKS WILL CHANGE FOREVER IF THIS TEEN AUTHOR HAS HER WAY—AND THAT’S A GOOD THING

Marley Dias loves to read. But after reading kids book after kids book about white boys and their dogs, Marley took matters into her own hands. When she was only 11 years old, Marley started a campaign called #1000BlackGirlsBooks,

Her favorite book: My favorite book is Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. It was one of the first books where I felt like my experiences were perfectly captured.

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YUYI MORALES SHARES HER INSPIRING IMMIGRATION STORY

A Caldecott Honor artist and five-time recipient of the Pura Belpré Award for Illustration, Yuyi Morales arrives at BookExpo from her hometown of Yelapa, Mexico, to introduce booksellers to her most personal book to date. Dreamers (Holiday House/Neal Porter ) is a picture-book memoir following Morales’s 1994 journey from Mexico to the San Francisco Bay Area with her infant son, and their adjustment to a new life.

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VALLEY STUDENTS MEET AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR

Rio Grande Valley children had the opportunity to meet award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes and welcomed her with open arms.

“My novel is about so many innocents; Trayvon Martin, who wore a cape and being murdered; and Laquan McDonald being shot because there seems to be racism to over-related racism to unconscious racial bias and this need for us to criminalize children of color,” Rhodes told the children in the room. “It’s generally done by people who have the power to make decisions over life and death and I want us to stop that and I believe you can help us stop that.”

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FIRST GRADERS GET MESSAGE DURING MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

The Central Minnesota Mental Health Center (CMMHC) team read to the students books about feelings and presented each student with a book of their own called “When Sophie Gets Angry…Really, Really Angry,” by author Molly Bang.

The message: Feelings are a normal part of life for children.

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ROUND UP OF NEW CHILDREN’S BOOKS

No one spins a robust yarn better or takes it further than Newbery winner Christopher Paul Curtis.

This third book in the “Buxton Chronicles” again projects Canada as a safe haven for fugitive slaves and the Demarest Family in particular. Their plight takes Charlie on a journey that extends beyond the geographic to awaken his moral compass.

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