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When Failure Is Not an Option: Connecting the Dots with STEM

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A few years ago, I was asked to give the keynote address as part of a daylong STEM workshop for middle-grade science teachers. I suggested inviting a NASA specialist for a separate virtual session. It wasn’t the first time I’d done that. While conducting a session on planets for fourth...

Caterpillar Man: Remembering Eric Carle

The artist in his studio, circa 2015. Photo (c) The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The news of Eric Carle’s (1929–2021) death last May sparked a worldwide outpouring of affection from four generations of readers who were moved to recall the joy his books had given them over...

How a Prelingual Deaf Child Learned to Love Books

There have been several major studies in recent decades about the benefits of reading picture books to profoundly deaf children with delayed literacy skills. Often, the kids are compared to their average-hearing peers, and, though this may be perplexing to some, their skills have not been found wanting. Cheri L....

The Writer's Page: Imagining Our Way to the Other Side: Children's Literature and Radical Imagination

In a 2020 essay called “The Pandemic Is a Portal,” novelist and ­activist Arundhati Roy wrote, Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can...

My Father's Final Lesson - The Zena Sutherland Lecture

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The idea of giving a lecture is kind of funky for me. So I will do what I always do, which is just tell you a story. Anyone who knows me knows I love my mama. But when I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about today, I...

Our Foundation, Our Springboard: The Trailblazing Work of Mildred D. Taylor and Jacqueline Woodson

Because Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and Children's Literature Legacy Award winner Mildred D. Taylor have been so recently profiled in these pages (see the May/June 2019 and July/August 2020 issues), we decided instead to offer this year's Margaret A. Edwards Award winner Kekla Magoon space to...

Profile of 2021 CSK Illustrator Award winner Frank Morrison

When I met Frank in person, the first thing I noticed was his warm smile. But long before we exchanged smiles and hugs for the first time at the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art show several years ago, I had met Frank through his incredible artwork. Many years before, I...

Profile of 2021 Caldecott Medal winner Michaela Goade

In a tiny cabin, surrounded on three sides by ocean, Michaela Goade dipped her brush into a jar of water. She uncapped and squeezed paint — cerulean, cobalt, ultramarine — onto her mixing palette. At last, color combination perfected, Michaela brought brush to paper. Watercolor is a daunting medium for...

Profile of 2021 Newbery Medal winner Tae Keller

Tae Keller holding her "heart story." [Photo courtesy of Tae Keller.] Tae Keller believes in the power of stories. In When You Trap a Tiger, she explores the stories that we tell ourselves — the ones that shape our identities. What are the stories we cling to and what are...
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