Month: May 2016
“LGBTQ Writers in Schools” Program Coming to New York City
Los Angeles, CA (May 25, 2016) – Lambda Literary, the global leader advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender literature, today announced a historic partnership with the New York City Department …
Authors for Earth Day Kid-Driven Donations Surpass $50,000
From the United States to Israel, thousands of eager students were inspired by this year’s amazing line-up of A4ED authors: Dan Gutman, Linda Crotta Brennan, Jody Feldman, Miri Leshem-Pelly, Peter Lourie, Patricia Newman, Miranda Paul, Jeanie Franz Ransom, Amy …
The New York Historical Society Announces 2016 Children’s History Book Prize Goes to Pam Muñoz Ryan For ‘Echo’
NEW YORK, NY — Dr. Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, announced today that author Pam Muñoz Ryan will receive New-York Historical’s 2016 Children’s History Book …
National Ambassador Gene Luen Yang’s Creativity in Progress Series: Part 3
In his third post, Yang discusses some of the different approaches to writing the script for comic books. Unlike in screenwriting, there is no industry-wide format for comic book scripts. Yang follows …
Curious World, Now Available on Apple TV, Offers Families A New Approach to Story Time
NEW YORK, NY — Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), announced today that its interactive content service Curious World™ is now available on Apple TV. The service will be …
Tackling Tough Topics for Middle Graders
Titles such as George by Alex Gino and (Scholastic Press) and Lily and Dunkin (Delacorte), which portray transgender youth, are leading the way for mature middle grade fiction. Though issue-driven works sometimes …
First Book Marketplace Redesign Boosts E-Commerce Experience and Impact for Educators of Underserved Children
WASHINGTON, D.C. — First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise, has launched the next phase of its innovative First Book Marketplace (fbmarketplace.org) and First Book Canada Marketplace (fbmpcanada.org), the award-winning e-commerce sites …
Scholastic Teacher Magazine Shares 50 Sensational Books of Summer
Featured titles include Raymie Nightingale (Candlewick) by former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Kate DiCamillo, and Sherman Alexie’s new picture book Thunder Boy Jr. (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers). Click here …
A Different Lens: Finding Diversity through Photography
Contributed by Mary Birdsell
Cameras are magic. By capturing a moment in time, cameras give us the ability to explore actions and emotions in a way that we cannot in another medium. Each time I look through a lens, my perception of the world is altered. I can see and photograph something large, magnificent, like a sunset or something smaller, poignant, like a smile. Perception is a funny thing, it can change big things to become more accessible and alter smaller things to become more meaningful. In the instant a photograph is taken, a person is at their most vulnerable because a camera will show only the truth. Every emotion, from frustration to triumph, sadness to joy, is seen through the lenses of my camera.
Children in particular express each emotion clearly. I’ve photographed everything from weddings to landscapes, but working with children and their families has been the most rewarding. Through previous work, I was asked to photograph children that have special needs for a Finding My Way Books series, true stories that highlight inclusion and self-determination. I am fortunate to use my art to support diversity and literacy.
Once the story has been written, colors and shapes come to mind for the design and to enhance telling the story. For one book in particular, that was not the case until I took one of the final photos. The child was reaching her arms up in excitement, and I knew that feeling was one I wanted to carry through the design. Not only my perception, but my process was changed by this vivacious girl.
I hope that my photography supports children and encourages acceptance of differences. Diversity comes in many forms, and the pictures I take capture how easy it is for all children to be included, no matter their ability. Beyond that, images show how beneficial inclusion is for our society. Inclusion is finally on its way to becoming the norm and not the exception. At least, that is case in the United States.
Soon my perception will be altered in a very different way. I was invited to travel to Tanzania to take pictures for more children’s books featuring kids that have a disability. In the U.S., persons with disabilities have rights and there is a degree of understanding about their different needs; laws are even in place to discourage discrimination. But in other parts of the world, I know this is not the case. Children with disabilities are hidden away and ignored. I hope to find that this is not always so.
Having never traveled internationally, I know I’m in for a many surprises. Going to a country that is so vastly different from the United States will be eye opening in a way that I’m probably unprepared for. Then, I’ll pick up my camera and my view will become changed again. I hope to see children who are included with their peers and valued for their differences. I may not see those things, but whatever I see through the lens of my camera, I know I will be changed.
Mary Birdsell is a freelance photographer and a former Speech and Theatre teacher. She strives to create images that reflect the strengths of each child. Mary’s background in education, theatre and photography intersect as she visually creates our books. She uses colors and shapes to tell a story. For her each book is like it’s own theatre production. Mary has created eight books for Finding My Way books. Visit https://www.findingmywaybooks.net/ for more information.
New National Program Offers Unique Tools for Early Educators to Promote Young Children’s Brain and Language Development
NASHVILLE, TN — Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and Too Small to Fail, in partnership with the National Head Start Association (NHSA) and the National Association for Family …
The Undies Case Cover Awards
Nominations are open now through November 1, 2016 for the inaugural Undies. Anyone – including publishers – can nominate titles! Visit Design of the Picture Book for a case cover gallery. For more details …
The Children’s Book Council and DOGObooks.com Reprise Partnership on Summer Reading Program
Tiburon, CA May 24, 2016 — For the fourth consecutive year, the Children’s Book Council is proud to partner with DOGObooks.com on their annual Summer Reading Program. The DOGObooks Summer Reading program …
Diversity in the News: May 2016
The newsletter is a valuable resource for librarians, teachers, booksellers, parents and caregivers, publishing professionals, and children’s literature lovers. Find thought-provoking articles, diverse new releases, and more in this month’s issue and sign …
Scholastic Announces 2016-17 National Advisory Council Featuring Leading Educational Experts
New York, NY — Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, has announced the 2016–17 National Advisory Council (NAC) comprised of leading experts in pre-K–12 education. …
Registration Opens for Nation’s Most Unique Writer’s Conference
Registration Opens for Nation’s Most Unique Writer’s Conference New Brunswick, NJ – Registration is now open for the nation’s most unique writers conference. The 47th Annual Rutgers University Council on …
Announcing Our Children’s Book Week 2016 Bookstore Display Contest Winner!
As the winner of the official Children’s Book Week Display Contest, Wild Rumpus will receive a visit from a 2016 Children’s Choice Book Awards winner or finalist author/illustrator! View photos of …
Mighty Media Press Announces Two Winners in the 26th Annual Midwest Book Awards
DEDICATED TO HELPING BUILD CREATIVE, CURIOUS, AND SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS KIDS, MINNEAPOLIS PUBLISHER MIGHTY MEDIA PRESS ANNOUNCES THREE FINALISTS AND TWO WINNERS, INCLUDING ONE LOCAL AUTHOR. Minneapolis, MN—The 26th Annual Midwest Book Awards …
#DrawingDiversity: ‘Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too)’ by Keith Negley
Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too) by Keith Negley (Flying Eye Books/Nobrow Press, November 2015). All rights reserved. @nobrowpress @keithnegley
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Launches Interactive App that Turns Study into a Game
BOSTON, MA – Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the release of StudyPop, a mobile interactive study game that students can play with their friends and classmates. The …
Children’s Book Week 2016 Photo Recap!
Communities nationwide celebrated the joy of reading with story times, scavenger hunts, and countless other activities. Thanks to all our kid-lit friends for making this the best Book Week yet! …