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  • Welcome!

    Please join me as I write about my love for children's literature and explore ideas for using literature while teaching. My hope is to facilitate a supportive community of educators who are passionate about books. I look forward to engaging in courageous and challenging conversations about ideas that we can utilize in day-to-day teaching lives, whether they are in a classroom, at home, or out in the world.

    Please check out my newest post to the left, or scroll down to find previous posts.

    And now, let the wild rumpus start!

https://hlug.wordpress.com/2008/08/

On cultivating interests

This week, I reread some work by Dewey, who is often considered to be the “father of educational reform.” It felt refreshing to reflect on his thoughts on what education is and what the job of teachers is. One of the points that he made stood out to me, to the point where I put … Continue reading

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A Secret to Early Reading

One secret to reading that nearly all teachers know is that early literacy begins with rhymes. Poetry, songs, nursery rhymes… patterns and rhythms of all kinds expose young children to language and prepare them for reading work. I recently reread a couple of chapters from a wonderful book by Mem Fox who wrote, “Rhymers will … Continue reading

The problem with YA book covers…

A classmate recently forwarded me a blog post she came across that pointed out the (at times) bigoted treatment of multicultural literature by publishers as seen through book cover selections. If you have a minute, you should look at it because it really is interesting. For a great number of books set in Africa, book … Continue reading

What makes a book good?

So sorry for the lack of updates to this blog! I just finished up a semester in school and was busy with the usual papers and term projects. I’ve also been working on some research about cultural portrayals of beauty in children’s YA that I’m hoping to share on here soon. However, for today I … Continue reading

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The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

Are you familiar with this book? I wasn’t aware of it until earlier this year, and I’m so sad I came late to the party because it is so cool! I can think of about a hundred different times where I could have used this book while teaching in the last 10 years, and even … Continue reading

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It’s all about me… until I learn about you

A conversation that I have been having recently in one of my classes revolves around the ethnocentric and egocentric nature of children. The ethnocentric nature refers to the belief that the child holds about his or her own culture being the “correct” one and all others being outside of what is considered “normal.” The egocentric … Continue reading

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Comics and The Big Triangle

Despite my love for all things children’s literature, I have never been a big comic-book fan. Not for any particular reason– I’m sure I would have liked it if I got into it, but I just never happened to. Of course I loved Calvin and Hobbes (fine, I was obsessed) and the Sunday comics, but … Continue reading

Harmless or harmful: Would you teach these books?

In last week’s post, I wrote a short list of some books that I would recommend that were both authored by and featured people of color. It got me thinking, what books would I *not recommend? And why? But that line of thought led me down the rabbit hole of books-that-aren’t-good-representations-of-multicultural-literature-but-are-beloved-by-many. Last year, I took … Continue reading

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Where are the People of Color in Children’s Books?

African American author Walter Dean Myers wrote an opinion piece in the NY Times a few weeks ago that I’ve been ruminating on. If you have a chance, I recommend taking a look (as well as at the accompanying piece by his son, who is also a noted children’s author, Chris Myers). The former was entitled … Continue reading

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Storytelling with Chief Lelooska

I was recently introduced to a wonderful book of folktales from Chief Lelooska of the Northwest Kwakiutl Nation tribe called Echoes of the Elders: The Stories and Paintings of Chief Lelooska. The book itself is beautifully illustrated, with large print and bold images. The folktales are mostly about nature, passed down from generation to generation, and … Continue reading

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