by Angela Wiseman & Ally Hauptman (2022 Co-Chairs)
We invite you to join us for our annual Children’s Literature Assembly Breakfast at the 2022 NCTE Convention featuring the award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft! Our breakfast is on Sunday November 20th, starting at 7am (PST) and takes place in Ballroom D at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The CLA breakfast is not to be missed! As you have seen in other blog posts, we will present awards, have an art auction and book raffle, and then Jerry Craft will speak and sign books afterwards! You need a ticket to the CLA Breakfast to attend. If you have already registered for the NCTE conference, but would like to purchase a ticket to the breakfast, the easiest way to do this is to call NCTE directly at (877) 369-6283.
We would like to present some background on the esteemed, award-winning author-illustrator, Jerry Craft. As Publishers Weekly described in a book review about New Kid, Jerry Craft masterfully creates realistic stories that feature real life characters, “deftly weaving discussions of race, socioeconomics, colorism, and solidarity into an accessible narrative.”
We were first introduced to his work when we read New Kid, which was published in 2019. New Kid is part of a trilogy; Class Act is the second book and the third will be released in the near future. This fantastic book about Jordan Banks describes his experiences dealing with life as an adolescent while attending a private school where he doesn’t always fit in. He’s one of the only students of Color at this school and experiences prejudice and racism as he realizes how both race and socioeconomic factors impact the way people treat each other. Jerry Craft is motivated to show realistic portrayals of children in his books, but he also really wants children, particularly children of Color, to see themselves in his stories.
If you regularly attend the CLA Breakfasts at NCTE, you know what a wonderful experience they are! But if you haven’t, we welcome you to join us! It’s a great opportunity to meet other people who are passionate about children’s literature, hear an amazing author-illustrator, purchase raffle tickets for wonderful books, and possibly bid on art from children’s illustrators! We hope to see you there!
Angela Wiseman and Ally Hauptman
Ally Hauptman is a CLA Board Member and co-chair of the 2022 CLA Breakfast Committee. She is an associate professor at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN.
Angela Wiseman is a CLA Board Member and is co-chair of the 2022 CLA Breakfast Committee. She is an associate professor of literacy education at North Carolina State University.
by Peggy Rice and Ally Hauptman representing the Ways and Means Committee
We are excited to share with you some of the artwork we have received and will be available for purchase through the auction this year. There are more pieces coming, so there will be a second blog coming soon! Without further ado, we invite you to view these beautiful contributions by Kevin Henkes, Grant Snider, Juliet Menéndez, Ellen Heck, Bonnie Lui, Alaina Chau, Amanda Calatzis, Brandon James Scott, Dan Yaccarino, and Elizabeth Erazo Baez. As an added bonus this year, each piece of art will be auctioned off with the book in which it appears!
Elizabeth Erazo Baez
Elizabeth Erazo Baez, talented artist, illustrator, curator and art teacher, is of Puerto Rican heritage. Impacted by her experiences growing up in Puerto Rico, she uses bright Caribbean colors and creates lush, tropical views, depicting the cultural lifestyle.
Art for Auction: Elizabeth has contributed three, expressive 11 x 14 pieces, with matting, from Alicia and the Hurricane: A Story of Puerto Rico, a bilingual picture book written by Leslea Newman (2022). Each illustration includes an image of the coqui, a tree frog that is native to the island and beloved by the main character, Alicia.
Amanda Calatzis, talented author-illustrator, incorporates light into her illustrations to convey warmth.
Alina Chau, a talented animator, author-illustrator grew up in Hong Kong in an Indonesian-Chinese family. Her work is inspired by her unique Southeast Asian heritage. In 2018, a book she illustrated, The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang, received a Picture Book Honor by the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)
Ellen Heck, is a talented printmaker who explores identity in her work.
Kevin Henkes, is an award-winning, prolific author-illustrator of picture books and novels. He received the 2020 Children’s Literature Legacy Award for his significant and lasting contributions as an American author-illustrator, publishing books in the United States. His award-winning works include Kitten’s Full Moon, winner of the 2005 Caldecott and The Year of Billy Miller, the 2014 recipient of a Newbery Honor.
Art for Auction: This 9.5 x 4 inch illustration of pastel colored, expressive elephants is from A Parade of Elephants (2018), which is an ALA Notable Book. This delightful book for preschoolers focuses on a day-long march of five elephants and includes opportunities for counting, as well as exploration of opposites.
Bonnie Lui, is a talented illustrator of picture books for children who is also a background painter for Dreamworks and WB. In 2021, she published her first children’s book that she authored and illustrated, “ABC of Feelings.”
Juliet Menéndez, a talented Guatemalan American author-illustrator, is a former bilingual teacher in New York City. While teaching, she noticed a need for children’s books depicting Latinas.
Brandon James Scott
Brandon James Scott, is a critically acclaimed Canadian, creative director working in animation and an author-illustrator of children’s books. He created the award-winning animated series, Justin Time.
Grant Snider, is a talented author-illustrator of children’s picture books and creator of comics that have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review.
Dan Yaccarino, is an acclaimed author-illustrator of children’s books and creator of animated series based on his books, such as Doug Unplugs (AppleTV) and Oswald (Nickelodeon).
Peggy Rice is an associate professor in the Department of Elementary Education at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She is a member of the Ways and Means Committee for CLA.
Ally Hauptman is an associate professor at Lipscomb University. She is the chair of the Ways and Means Committee for CLA and a serving CLA board member.
To be able to participate in this year's CLA Art Auction, don't forget to prepurchase your tickets for the 2022 Children's Literature Assembly Breakfast featuring Jerry Craft. Tickets are available through the registration portal for NCTE2022.
By Katie Caprino
The leaves are falling. You’re drinking your pumpkin-spice (a new word, according to Merriam-Webster!). And you may be beginning to think about what you want to plant for your spring garden. Well, even if you’re not that ahead (and it’s certainly okay if you’re not!), I want to put your mind in spring mode today by sharing three new children’s picture books that feature gardening and nature.
When I think about the reasons why so many picture books about gardens and nature have sprouted in 2022, I have to think it had something to do with so many of us looking for outlets during times of remote learning and working and a desire to appreciate the beauty of the natural world that comes from the areas of mindfulness and self-care.
But it is important to acknowledge that children’s picture books about gardening and nature are certainly not brand new. Browsing a bookstore recently, I happened upon The Gardener, a 1988 Caldecott Honor Book written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small. Set in the Depression era, The Gardener tells the story of Lydia Grace, a little girl who goes to live with her uncle for a time. Leaving her grandma and parents behind, Lydia Grace takes seeds to the city, which she uses to grow beautiful planters and rooftop gardens.
Nevertheless, I’m hopeful this blog will help you with your green thumb and, most importantly, give you some teaching ideas for your book garden.
If you’re in look of an inspirational tale of citizen scientists, then author Barb Rosenstock and illustrator Erika Meza’s 2022 The Mystery of the Monarchs: How Kids, Teachers, and Butterfly Fans Helped Fred and Norah Urquhart Track the Great Monarch Migration is the book for you! Fred Urquhart grew up a wonderer. His lifelong question was Where do the monarchs go? This question ended up being his life’s work - and with the help of his wife, other scientists and enthusiasts, and classes of students, he figured out his answer! Not only does this book teach readers about where the monarchs go - but it also serves as an inspirational tale for citizen scientists. If you and your students would like to engage in citizen science, you can go to National Geographic’s Citizen Science Projects page!
Authors Phyllis Root and Gary D. Schmidt and illustrator Melissa Sweet created a most spectacular title Celia Planted a Garden: The Story of Celia Thaxter and Her Island Garden. Celia Thaxter grows up on White Island and Appledore, islands off the New England coast, planting beautiful gardens. Even when she moves to the mainland after she is married, Thaxter returns to Appledore to plant flowers and engage with the wildlife. She also becomes known as a writer who shares her passion for the beauty of gardening. Invite your students to write about the beauty in the world around them after reading this absolutely stunning text.
Each of these 2022 children’s picture books inspire readers to think about gardens and nature in myriad ways - whether it be to think deeply about the life cycle, engage in wonderings about the world around us, or beautifying the world and writing about it. May you to continue to grow your book garden - and please write and tell me all about it!
Kathryn Caprino is a CLA member and is an Assistant Professor of PK-12 New Literacies at Elizabethtown College. She blogs frequently at Katie Reviews Books and can be followed on Twitter @KCapLiteracy.