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Dear Mrs. Trump

Dear Mrs. Trump, Thank you for the ten Dr. Seuss titles that you sent my school library in recognition of this year’s National Read a Book Day. (Sent second-day air, no less! That must have been expensive.) I’m proud that you recognized my school as something special. It truly is. Our beautiful and diverse student […]

“Dear Mrs. Trump” booklist

Mrs. Trump, you sent ten picture books, so I will recommend ten as well — but there are so many more! My wish is that these books will help you see:  the beautiful resilience of children who stand up to racism and oppression and for social justice and reform; children who are trying to connect […]

On “The CCBC’s Diversity Statistics” (from 2017)

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has been tracking the number of children’s books created by people of color since 1985. In an interview that will be published in the July/August 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, book review editor Martha V. Parravano talks with CCBC director Kathleen T. Horning […]

The CCBC’s Diversity Statistics: A Conversation with Kathleen T. Horning

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (a research library of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education) began documenting the numbers of children’s books by African American authors and illustrators in 1985 — when then–CCBC director Ginny Moore Kruse, serving on the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury, learned that of the approximately 2500 trade books […]

Another look at “A Second Look”

Rereading a favorite book from childhood can be a bittersweet experience. Part of what’s so fulfilling about the practice of rereading is that you’re a different reader each time. Your increased knowledge of the story, literature at large, yourself, and/or the world makes subsequent readings of the same story and the same characters richer. On […]

When Google Translate Gives You Arroz con Mango: Erroneous Español and the Need for #ownvoices

I recently had a Twitter conversation with three writer and librarian colleagues, two of whom are native Spanish speakers, about the use of Spanish in primarily English-language children’s books. The conversation started after one of us wrote about finding incorrect Spanish in a book. Each of us chimed in, able to produce at least one […]

On Zetta Elliott’s “Decolonizing the Imagination” (from 2010)

Author and teacher Zetta Elliott contributed “Decolonizing the Imagination” to the Writer’s Page column in the Magazine‘s March/April 2010 issue. As a child and young adult, Zetta loved classic British novels; she notes, however, that she “learned early on that only white children had wonderful adventures in distant lands; only white children were magically transported […]

On Hazel Rochman’s “Against Borders” (from 1995)

“Apartheid has tried to make us bury our books. The Inquisition and the Nazis burned books. Slaves in the United States were forbidden to read books. From Latin America to Eastern Europe, they’ve trashed books. But the stories are still here. I believe that the best books can make a difference in building community.” In […]

Revisiting Julie Hakim Azzam’s “Mommy, Do I Have White Skin?: Skin Color, Family, and Picture Books”

“My own mother was of Belgian descent and Christian, while my father was a Lebanese Muslim immigrant…Being light-skinned, I assimilated so well that friends were shocked when they came to my house and discovered my father spoke with an accent and my grandmother had dark skin. These experiences were reminders that Arabs could be close […]

Review of Flying Lessons & Other Stories

Flying Lessons & Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh Intermediate, Middle School    Crown    225 pp. 1/17    978-1-101-93459-3    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93460-9    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-101-93461-6    $10.99 Edited by Oh, cofounder of We Need Diverse Books, ten stories by (mostly) well-known authors of diverse backgrounds present young protagonists dealing with common themes of growing up […]