Author & Illustrator Visit with Alicia D. Williams & Jacqueline Alcántara

Posted & filed under Blog, Book Discussions, Early Literacy, Youth & Teen.

We are so grateful to host author Alicia D. Williams & illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara of Jump at the Sun: The True-Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston, at an interactive presentation about the art and craft of making books, including a live drawing demonstration and a drawing activity. This event was offered in partnership with Winnetka-Northfield Public Library on January 14, 2021.

You can purchase your own copy of Jump at the Sun from our local independent bookstore partner, the Book Stall!

Jacqueline and Alicia prepared a wonderful multi-faceted event for our libraries that had our group engaged throughout the entire program!

It began with Alicia sharing an outstanding and captivating read aloud of Jump at the Sun: The True-Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston that demonstrated her incredible skill as a storyteller, performer, and writer. (Seriously, I hope that they produce an audiobook of Jump at the Sun and hire Alicia as the narrator, with Live Oak Media producing it to help bring Zora’s story to life.) Alicia shared the beginning of the story with us – and left us intrigued to find out more. (Make sure to check out the recording to watch for yourself!) As Alicia pointed out, make sure to look for the wonderful hats and animals throughout the book.

Jacqueline then led us in a drawing activity to learn how to draw Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox in motion. You can see the finished illustration below and then our group’s creations! It was so helpful to have Jacqueline break down each step of the creation of these characters into smaller pieces. (And the good thing about the recording is that you can watch it and pause it if you want more time with your drawing, too.) I love when grown-ups and kids can draw together. Everyone did a fantastic job! Feel free to share your Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit drawings with us!

Alicia then shared a captivating folktale about Brer Rabbit getting thrown in the briar patch that had us all laughing out loud throughout the tale. Honestly, I could listen to Alicia tell stories all day. (Make sure to check out the recording only available for the next two weeks to watch for yourself. You don’t want to miss it.)

Finally, Jacqueline and Alicia kindly took questions from our audience. Our group had great questions about research, the art process, favorite animals, and more. It made me see the book in new ways after learning how Jacqueline “played compositionally with Zora, the sun and the horizon.” Alicia shared how she used jumping at the sun to create structure for the courageous moments when Zora jumped. As Alicia shared, make sure to check out the fantastic back-matter in Jump at the Sun. There was so much to learn from these creators! (I also just learned that you can buy beautiful original edition prints from Jump at the Sun from Jacqueline Alcántara!)

And of course, the time went by so quickly while we were having fun. Thank you to Anny from Winnetka-Northfield Public Library for collaborating on this event! Thank you to our program buddy Ann for all of your help!

Thank you SO much to Alicia D. Williams & Jacqueline Alcántara for visiting our virtual library and sharing your beautiful book with our communities! It was such a pleasure to host you – and we look forward to having you visit again in the future. We highly recommend inviting Alicia and Jacqueline to your school or library for an unforgettable visit!

You can check out the additional resources we’ve curated below to continue learning and sharing!

Program Recording

A recording of our author visit will be available here for 2 weeks (until February 3, 2021) after the program to watch and enjoy at your convenience.

Grab & Go Kit

Lincolnwood Library created Grab & Go Kits to celebrate these wonderful authors and their beautiful book! You can get them while supplies last from our Great Green Box outside the library. As always, they are free and available for everyone. You can also use the resources in this post to make your own kit. Here are some of our suggestions we included in the Kit to explore the book’s themes.

Create your own stories with the DIY Storytelling Discs.

Make your own book. Use the first page for our drawing/writing activity.

Watch the Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun documentary on Kanopy.

Get your own copy of Jump at the Sun: The True-Life Tale of Unstoppable StorycatcherZora Neale Hurston from The Book Stall.

Interview a family member or friend, facilitated by a library staff member for My Lincolnwood Story.

Have fun with the Jump at the Sun Coloring Sheet.

Learning Resources

We have collected lots of resources to prepare for our visit and learn more. Check them out below:

Alicia D. William’s Website

Jacqueline Alcántara’s Website

Interview with Alicia D. Williams & Jacqueline Alcántara with Mr. Schu

The Picture Book Buzz – Interview with Alicia D. Williams

Book Website (Simon & Schuster)

Publisher’s Weekly Review

Kirkus Review

Alicia D. Williams MFAC ’13 celebrates oral storytelling tradition in new picture book

Politics & Prose Live Event on Thursday, January 14, 2021 – 10 a.m.

Alicia D Williams & Jacqueline Alcántara in conversation with Vanessa Brantley-Newton on Jan 30, 2021 at 11:00 AM ET (Park Road Books)

Teaching Guides/Coloring Sheets

Jump at the Sun Coloring Sheet

Alicia D. Williams – 2020 Newbery Honor Reaction

Meet the Author: Alicia D. Williams

Alicia D. Williams – Path to Publication The Yarn Podcast Series

Meet Jacqueline Alcántara (Voyage Chicago)

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #576: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Jacqueline Alcántara

The Field: An Interview with Baptiste Paul & Jacqueline Alcántara (This Picture Book Life)

Check In on your Neighbors (Obama Foundation #OFCareChallenge art by Jacqueline Alcántara)

Upcoming Projects

I know we’re excited about the books that these incredible creators will publish in the future. Start counting down now for these amazing books!

Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress by Alicia D. Williams & illustrated by April Harrison (Publication Date: June 01, 2021)

Your Mama by NoNieqa Ramos, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara (Publication Date: April 06, 2021)

Caldecott Club 2021: Session #3

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

Welcome back to our 2021 Caldecott Club! I’m Miss Eti, one of the Youth & Teen Services librarians at Lincolnwood Library. We have come full circle during this, our 4th Caldecott Club, inspired by the fantastic program that Brian Wilson created at Evanston Public Library in 2016. This year we are hosting a collaborative virtual Caldecott Club WITH Mr. Brian and Evanston Public Library. We have been learning so much about how to host this program virtually – and it’s been so fun to join together across our community to geek out about gorgeous picture books!

We met together on Zoom on January 4, 2021 with a group of wonderful readers, their families, and friends to talk about all things picture books. We were joined by our program buddy, Ann, and our Evanston Library buddy, Laura. We designed this program to be open to kids from around 1st grade through 8th grade and up because picture books are for everybody and everyone can learn from each other. I’ve tried to recap their brilliance in this post. (You can read the recaps from Session #1 here & Session #2 here.)

We began our program by Mr. Brian review the books that we’ve selected to go to our Voting Party and revealing the books we would discuss. With so much to do in so little time, we compressed our usual review to get to the books faster. But you can check out all of our resources to learn more about the Caldecott award and our books.

Mr. Brian put the books in a cardboard box, so he could dramatically open it just like the grown-up committee does when books arrive in the mail.

The books we discussed in session 3 were:

All Because You Matter by Tami Charles, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki 

Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration by Samara Cole Doyon, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Picture Walk

Rather than doing a formal read aloud of each book, we did picture walks. For the picture walk, we discussed each book’s visual features to examine the techniques the artists used and how they worked. Often we would prompt the group by asking them: What did you notice? What does it make you wonder? How does this page make you feel? What makes this art distinguished? (Shout out to Megan Dowd Lambert’s Whole Book Approach. I highly recommend her book, Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking about What They See.)

We added to our usual picture walk toolbox by encouraging participants to share and listen in lots of ways. People could unmute themselves and talk, raise their hands, use the chat, and use the reactions – and people did all of these things throughout the program, so ended up having a rich discussion in many places at the same time.

All Because You Matter by Tami Charles, illustrated by Bryan Collier

I (Eti) began our discussion by sharing research that I did about the origins of this extraordinary, beautiful book. As Tami Charles said in a Shelf Awareness interview, “This story was born from love and a deep desire to keep my son, Christopher, little forever, which I think most parents can relate to! I wanted to keep him shielded from the cruelties of the world. But as he grew older and had questions about injustices against people of color, I needed to do something. What better way than to write Christopher a love letter to remind him of all the reasons why he matters to me, and to the world?” I listened to the Children’s Book Podcast with Matthew Winner interview with Tami Charles many times and learned something new each time. I highly recommend checking out the amazing Books of Wonder author event with Tami Charles and her son, Christopher, moderated by Jason Reynolds! It’s such a gift to have these author events available to us at this time. I also shared information from Bryan Collier about the art, including information from his Illustrator’s Note, saying, “I was partially raised by grandmother who was a quilt maker. When you see the art, you see her influence, as join collage and petal shapes together to make a whole idea or image. To visually tell this story, I started with the shape of a single flower petal to build a blossoming effect in all backgrounds — like the night sky, interior wallpaper, and the child’s storybook. Faces appear on those petals, representing the voices of ancestors chanting: “You matter.” As our main character is faced with navigating today’s challenges of identity, self-worth, survival, and the ability to thrive, he is surrounded by a community of family.” I made sure to tell our group to pay attention to the petals and how they change throughout the book.

We began our journey by noticing the adorable photograph of the baby on the title page, literally at the center of the solar system mobile, the center of his family’s universe. I had to read the first page of this book, the language is just so powerful. “They say that matter is all things that make up the universe: energy, stars, space … if that’s the case, then you, dear child, matter.”

We talked about the importance of the faces of the ancestors in the petals, exploring how the illustrations express the ideas in the text that “long before you took your place in this world, you were dreamed of, like a knapsack full of wishes, carried on the backs of your ancestors as they created empires, pyramids, legacies.” People pointed out the textures and patterns on the petals. We talked about how from even the endpapers, it was anticipated that the child would be born using the shooting star in the sky.

As the child grows older, our group marveled at the scene reading a book with his mother. L. & S. shared, “the story seems to lift out of the book.” Our group expressed how the petals convey that experience of “like a mirror staring back at you, and really saw yourself… same hair, same skin, same dreams.” B. shared how they look like fire, clear and colorful. Our group really embraced pointing out wherever there were petals.

As our group discussed the school scene, they expressed how it made them feel, sharing “it makes us feel shy and lonely,” “stressed,” and “frustrated.”
R. pointed out that there were no petals in this spread itself, which surprised them. We talked about how when you “question your place in the universe,” you can feel disconnected from the ancestors and the things that remind you that you matter. Our group really connected to the next spread of the marked up math, responding to our discussion about how he is feeling, saying he’s “disappointed and frustrated because he got bad grades.” B. added, “like he is not good enough.” We definitely have all been there before. Our group did notice the petals on the floor, sparking the idea that he’s not alone.

We talked about the powerful image of the boy in front the Black Lives Matter mural, with rivers across his face with his eyes closed, connecting to the ancestors.

We then talked about the dramatic page turn as his eyes open, looking directly at the reader, surrounded by a garden of petals, enfolding him like a cape. Ms. Ann shared, “The leaves look like a throne now!” Our group noticed it is similar to the cover. D. added it “reminds me of a peacock which is very royal.” B. shared how this spread also uses the same red petals as the carpet in the school scene. Kids noticed things I never do! Our kids really appreciated the use of colors throughout the book. We noticed how the petals burst in the air as he’s embraced by his parents, supported by an entire community who love him. As S. & L, said, “it’s like everyone’s together and happy.” We close by reading the last page, with Christopher grinning at the reader, in Tami’s embrace, with the words, “You mattered. They mattered. We matter.. and always will.” I, of course, pointed out the excellent back-matter to delve deeper into these conversations. We also included the discussion guide for educators and caregivers, created Vera Ahiyya, known as the Tutu Teacher, in our resources and our Grab & Go Kit. It’s an invaluable learning resource.

Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki 

Mr. Brian shared how Jillian Tamaki often makes graphic novels and comics and has recently been making some wonderful picture books, especially informed by her understanding of sequential art. He also shared how this book is inspired by Jillian volunteering at a community kitchen in Brooklyn. He pointed out that this book mixes realism and surrealism.

From the first moment we explored the cover, our group was charmed, noticing how the people were cooking, flying, and jumping in the air. “I like this. It looks funny… there’s butter floating in the air,” one reader declared. (We agree!) When we turned to the endpapers, they gleefully said, “there’s the butter again.” I hereby declare the subtitle for Our Little Kitchen: An Ode to Butter (and Community). Ms. Ann shared, “Julia Child would love it!”

Mr. Brian told us to pay attention to the lettering and how it changes – and communicates information. He also helped us notice the white space on the pages – and how it’s used to show the energy of each scene. Ms. Ann shared how it reminds her of Lucy Knisley’s work, which we love. Our group pointed out how when more people arrive, it’s get louder. Ms. Ann shared, “It feels like everyone’s SO EXCITED to see one another.” S. shared, it’s “getting more hectic.” Mr. Brian shared how the scene with the beginnings of the garden leads the way to the next spread showing it in its glory. One reader pointed out how the spread shows a progression in the story as the person in the green apron looks thoughtfully at the oven, knowing they’re missing something, to then head into the garden to get it.

Mr. Brian showed how the action starts to speed up as they get to work – and the images start to become more surreal. Of course, one of our young readers noticed the apple balancing on the kid’s head. I love how kids shared that they have made an apple crumble in class. (We should all make our own for our party!) We then started to notice the kid throughout the book. We talked about how the surreal beans scene, as S. said, “it must be a lot of beans.”

Mr. Brian shared how Jillian’s use of lettering helps express the onomatopoeia of the sounds of the food preparation and cooking. Ms. Ann added, “they look like the action — the chop is sharp and clean, the sprinkle is light like really sprinkling.” Y. said they want to express (the idea). We talked about using perspective to show time’s almost up with the leader in front telling everyone they have 15 minutes. We then return to the realistic view with overhead shots showing the community coming together to eat. Ms. Ann said, “I love how they’re talking to one another — they are friends, a community.” This spread instantly inspired a reader to start reading the dialog aloud. S. shared, “I’m jealous of them.” This scene definitely makes us miss being together in person.

Mr. Brian then pointed out how we see the full little kitchen for the first time. He pointed out how the scene is revealed with the drawing of the building. Ms. Ann shared, “It’s like a dollhouse with the one wall open so you can see inside.” We talked about the contrast between the dining area and the kitchen in its size. L. shared, “it looks fun.” As time runs out, we talked about the panic tomato red background shows how it’s time to get started. Once they start sharing the meal, a reader said, “it makes me feel calm, like everything is now good.” Mr. Brian pointed out how Jillian uses pictures to convey the conversations with the community as they eat. (This gave me major Owly, the graphic novel series, feels.) L., said, “The food looks yummy.”

When our young friend we’ve been following talks for the first time, yelling, “Ok, time to clean up!,” our kids pointed out that the adults are trying to eat and relax, making this a funny scene. Mr. Brian then pointed out the excellent author’s note at the end.

Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration by Samara Cole Doyon, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

I (Eti) began our picture walk by sharing how Samara Cole Doyon wrote this gorgeous book for her daughter, Nadia. As she wrote in A Note from the Author, “My hope is that we will give all children the chance to embrace and celebrate the many vibrant pieces of themselves, joined together with the same fierce and unrelenting love that sews a cherished family heirloom.” We talked about noticing the different senses expressed in the book since it is a feast for all of them. I’m so grateful for the incredible conversation on the Children’s Book Podcast with Matthew Winner with Samara Cole Doyon & Kaylani Juanita, which was so vital to guiding our discussion and highlighting the breathtaking details from the text and pictures.

We talked about how the metaphor in Samara’s initial text connects to something beautiful about the next child on the next spread, who will be the protagonist in the following image. Our group, of course, noticed the puppy joining the girl and her Daddy on the mountain hike. They also noticed the shadows and layers on the trees, which is amazingly done digitally. We also noticed the bee motif throughout the book.

We talked about the image of the girl on the “radiant brown.. like my skin,” page jumps off the page. Our group noticed that “she has tons of protection just like me.” We then got to join her at the fall fair, with the text, “smooth, creamy brown. Like the flawless flow of caramel gloriously smothering my favorite fall fair delight.” The words are just delicious!

I love the personal connections the kids made throughout the book. When we got to “magnificent homespun brown,” we returned to the quilt from the title page, showcasing all the things we’ve experienced woven together. I then pointed out the fantastic Note from the Author to explore in more detail.

Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

This book is illustrated in acrylics, colored pencils, and graphite on hand-textured paper by Juana Martinez-Neal. Mr. Brian told us to notice how she paints people and the body language, telling us, “no one paints people quite like Juana Martinez-Neal.” Mr. Brian started us out by thinking about the character of Swashby, which prompted these responses:

“He’s kind of scared and he thinks he should have brought somebody else.”

“He feels alone and lonely because he wasn’t born with a sister or brother.”

“He’s a hermit.”

L. noticed how he has a big beard, like he’s hiding behind it.

Mr. Brian showed how the neighbors are hidden initially with their backs to the reader, using illustrations to show details about them with their beach supplies and fun. We talked about Swashby’s reactions to his neighbors, spying out the window. Mr. Brian talked about the girl’s body language after the sea told her to Sing. This is a great book to make predictions about – and our group made excellent ones!

Mr. Brian shared how the page turns show the humor. During the PLAY scene, Mr. Brian asked what Swashby is doing. One reader shared, “he’s asking her to get in the hole and he’s gonna bury her under it.” We talked about how this scene shows he’s starting to play as he showed her how to dig for wet sand. Mr. Brian shared how he loves the way Juana draws the water dripping off of Swashby and the girl as he saves her. Afterwards. Mr. Brian asked us how Swashby feels at the end and our group declared happy.

VOTING!

After we had walked through each book in a whirlwind of color and conversation, we were ready to vote. This year, since we met virtually, I created a google form for people to vote for their first and second choice. (If you’re interested in the technical details, I downloaded the results into an spreadsheet, changed the 1s to 3s (since 1st place gets 3 points, 2 gets 2) and then added up the totals. I then was able to screenshare to show how we got our results for full transparency.

And the Session 3 Winners Are…

Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki 

Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Cover of Our Little Kitchen

Join Us Next Time!

It all comes down to this, friends: The Caldecott Club VOTING PARTY! We will meet on our new day, TUESDAY, January 19 at 7:00-8:15pm CST where we will pick the winner(s) of our Mock Caldecott. If you’ve missed our sessions so far, no worries. You can check out our recaps & put the books we’ll discuss on hold at our library. Just make sure to register.

To review, the books we will discuss at our Voting Party Are:

Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat

The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade

The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho, illustrated by Jess X. Snow

Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki 

Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

But wait, there’s more Caldecott Club fun! We’ll join together to watch selections from the Youth Media Awards on January 25!

You can still pick up a free Grab & Go Program Kit at Lincolnwood Library in our Great Green Box or contact our library to pick up a kit, while supplies last. You can also access our digital Grab & Go Kit at https://bit.ly/3pIi0QJ. Check out what’s in our program kit in the video below!

Resources

You can put Caldecott Club books on hold at our libraries here.

I have created a RESOURCE GUIDE with activities, videos, podcasts, program kit supplies, handouts, and more to share the sources we’ve used and continue the learning! We hope it will be useful for you to explore these books at home!

Thanks for sticking all the way through this post… I hope to see you next time at Caldecott Club!

 – Eti

Caldecott Club 2021: Session #2

Posted & filed under Blog, Book Discussions, Youth & Teen.

Welcome back to our 2021 Caldecott Club! I’m Miss Eti, one of the Youth & Teen Services librarians at Lincolnwood Library. We have come full circle during this, our 4th Caldecott Club, inspired by the fantastic program that Brian Wilson created at Evanston Public Library in 2016. This year we are hosting a collaborative virtual Caldecott Club WITH Mr. Brian and Evanston Public Library. We have been learning so much about how to host this program virtually – and it’s been so fun to join together across our community to geek out about gorgeous picture books!

We met together on Zoom on December 7 with a group of wonderful readers, their families, and friends to talk about all things picture books. We were joined by our program buddy, Kevin, and our Evanston Library buddy, Laura. We designed this program to be open to kids from around 1st grade through 8th grade and up 🙂 because picture books are for everybody and everyone can learn from each other. I’ve tried to recap their brilliance in this post. (You can read the recap from Session #1 here.)

We began our program by reviewing what the Caldecott Award is. Mr. Brian shared how it is the award for the most distinguished American picture book for children, given out each year by the Association for Library Service to Children. Thank you to Curt Leppert at Baker & Taylor who has shared print posters with us in years past – and provided this graphic for us to use this year. You can find it in our resources.

Mr. Brian put the books in a cardboard box, so he could dramatically open it just like the grown-up committee does when books arrive in the mail.

The books we discussed in session 2 were:

Honeybee by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade

The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho, illustrated by Jess X. Snow

You Matter by Christian Robinson

Picture Walk

Rather than doing a formal read aloud of each book, we did picture walks. For the picture walk, we discussed each book’s visual features to examine the techniques the artists used and how they worked. Often we would prompt the group by asking them: What did you notice? What does it make you wonder? How does this page make you feel? What makes this art distinguished? (Shout out to Megan Dowd Lambert’s Whole Book Approach. I highly recommend her book, Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking about What They See.)

We added to our usual picture walk toolbox by encouraging participants to share and listen in lots of ways. People could unmute themselves and talk, raise their hands, use the chat, and use the reactions – and people did all of these things throughout the program, so ended up having a rich discussion in many places at the same time.

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann

Mr. Brain began the picture walk by sharing how exceptional Candace Fleming’s writing is Honeybee – and definitely encouraging us spend time reading it. (I highly recommend checking out Mr. Brian’s Calling Caldecott post!) With only 10 minutes (or so) per book, we sadly did not have time to read it all – but there’s always more to explore with picture books. He talked about how Eric Rohmann created detailed and realistic oil paintings to express this informational story. Mr. Brian also shared how the creators made sure to enlist the help of bee and pollination expert Dr. Mark L. Winston to fact-check their text and art to ensure accuracy. He shared that “bees are our friends. It’s okay to be nervous around bees, but we need them.” (Honeybee could be wonderfully paired with The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter by Eric-Shabazz Larkin.) He helped us think critically about perspective as Eric Rohmann shows small parts of Apis and gradually reveals her cell and bee community to show her very busy life. He also talked about how Candace Fleming builds anticipation for flying while Apis does all the things. Our group definitely noticed how realistic the art is in Honeybee.

Here are some of their great comments:

“I think they look pretty real from the illustrating.” 

“The lighting makes the bees look really real, with the shading in the colors.”

“They are scientifically real.”

“The little details make it look real.”

“The hair texture makes it feel like I could FEEL it.

“Whoah… that literally looks like a movie scene.”

“This book shows you a lot of the bee’s life.”

“The pollen in its hair is EXTREMELY REALISTIC, it’s almost scary.”

Our Caldecott Club was entranced by the cinematic way Apis’s story is told. We, of course, had to film the dramatic page turn to open up the gatefold and see Apis flying. Mr. Brian talked about how the color palette and shapes change as she encounters the outside world.

This book also provoked personal connections from stories of ways people have helped bees to stories of being stung (ouch!). It also inspired some great scientific questions about dying queens, bee language and communication, and their life cycle. I was particularly charmed when we talked about bees dancing – and participants did their own wiggly bee dance in response. Outstanding picture books should make us all dance.

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade

I (Eti) began our discussion by asking, “how is water important to you in your daily life?” People shared different answers from drinking, bathing, hydration, keeping us alive, hygiene like hand washing and teeth brushing and watering plants. S. added “soaking when I am weary.” This helped frame our discussion thinking about our relationship to water. 

We talked about how this book is based on Indigenous-led movements to protect our water and land, specifically the water protectors at Standing Rock. I was able to share some of the research that Michaela Goade did to honor those who were there, including showing photographs of water protectors and Indigenous art, thanks to attending the ALSC Institute this past fall.

We began our picture walk through We are Water Protectors and it was clear our group was engrossed in this beautiful book. They were engaged by the art style, which C. said, “I think the art style is as if it were carved in stone…” The vivid watercolors absolutely draw in readers – and I only wish the digital version could do it justice. Looking at the image about coming from water, L. & S. noted, “it seems like the circle of life.” Michaela Goade’s use of circles, curves, and waves throughout the book effectively show the circular nature of water – and our relationship to it. Our group had much to say on the startling spread predicting the damage the black snake would unleash.

One reader remarked, “It’s (the oil) spilling into the water – and it makes me ashamed for some humans that did it.” We talked about how the illustration shows the animals running away from the pipeline that is destroying their home. C. suggested, “The goose on the right is deformed which maybe symbolizes what the “snake” will do to animals.” Another person shared, “I don’t like it because it’s trying to destroy their home.” Our group had very strong reactions to the black snake, which shows the effectiveness of Michaela Goade’s art and Carole Lindstrom’s powerful words. On the red spread with just the pipeline snake, L. & S. said, “It seems angry and evil.” I love how C. noticed, “it makes the tree over there die,” which I had literally never noticed before.

But our attention was not focused on the extraction industry, but on the water protectors banding together. We immediately talked about how beautifully “strong and determined,” the girl looks as she urges us to take courage. Y. said, “she is determined and her hair-water has animals and plants,” helping us see how the water grows stronger in her hair as she rallies her people.

We Are Water Protectors | Carole Lindstrom | Macmillan

We talked about the shift in perspective as the book focuses on how she fights for the creatures, animals, and plants who cannot speak for themselves, leading to the dramatic page turn when we are looking down at the earth.

Interior Image

One participant said, “it shows all the animals together around the earth, in the earth, plants and water.” L. added, “the animals and people are together fighting against the snake.” We talked about how this image shows how interconnected we all are, as the text declares, “we are all related.” (I love the Earth spread so much!) We talked about the powerful repetition of the refrain,” We stand/with our songs/and our drums/we are still here,” which gains momentum with each chorus, growing the community of water protectors who are still advocating for the water right now. Finally, we reached the grand finale with the beautiful diverse community of water protectors standing up, youth and Elders together in solidarity. As always, we looked for and found our friend with the eagle feather standing up against the black snake.

Interior Image

I made sure to point out the outstanding back-matter (you know how much I love good back-matter) and the Earth Steward and Water Protector Pledge. (There’s a copy of the pledge (and other fantastic educational resources) in our Grab & Go Kits.) I also shared that we were honored to have Carole Lindstrom send us a signed We are Water Protectors poster that we will raffle at our Voting Party in January. Thank you so much, Carole!

Check out Young Water Protectors: A story about Standing Rock by Aslan Tudor,
and his new book Young Native Activists: Growing Up in Native American Rights Movements!

Mr. Brian then kindly led us in our movement break where people could get their wiggles out through jumping backs or any other kind of movement that they preferred to get their bodies moving before our next book. It’s hard to sit for so long, especially later at night!

The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho, illustrated by Jess X. Snow

We began our picture walk by talking about how Jess X. Snow created the art digitally with hand-painted textures and line work. Accordion to Jess X. Snow, “The Ocean Calls was created through drawings made with Procreate with the apple pencil on the iPad, which is the preferred medium that I use for illustration work these days. After the inking was done, these drawings were then colored in digitally with watercolor and gouache brushes, and then sent into photoshop, where I then layered it with hand-made textures of paper, and textures of real rocks, underwater, bubbles, and sand.” How cool is that! It’s also worth noting that Jess worked collaboratively with Yuan Zheng, the primary assistant, who also did the character designs. They also worked with Zoraida Ingles and Sean Devare as assistants to finish the coloring. These collaborators are all named on the copyright page.   

We talked about how this book is based on the real-life haenyeo of Jeju Island in South Korea, Korea’s southernmost island, who are professional women divers and marine specialists who understand the sea’s ecological environment, passing down their knowledge intergenerationally as they support their families. (There’s so much more to discuss and explore in the incredible back-matter, of course…) I was able to share some awesome images that Jess X. Snow shared during a recent Facebook Live storytime with Tina Cho that I highly recommend watching. It’s clear that they put so much care and attention into crafting each illustration and ensuring the haenyeo were respectfully and accurately depicted.

We began our journey by talking about Dayeon’s feelings wanting to be a “treasure-hunting mermaid” like her grandmother juxtaposed with the scary experience she had in the water last summer. We talked about how the visuals express Dayeon’s worry about diving with her grandmother. One reader shared, “She feels worried that it’s gonna happen again.” We noted how her grandmother helps her develop the skills needed to dive, practicing breathing and ensuring her gear is on correctly. This book uses mermaid imagery throughout the book, so I told our group to make sure to look for it. They noticed their mermaid-shadows in the field of canola flowers. 

We talked about how the art almost works like animation or a comic to show Dayeon’s progression into the water. Our group thought about what they would do if they were called to the ocean with the grandmother. We talked about how the art shows the grandmother supporting Dayeon and taking each step in the process gradually and carefully. When they finally dive, we noticed the continual mermaid imagery from the mermaid in the background to the fins in the bubbles.

We experienced a magical page turn when they finally head into the underwater world of treasures, the color palette shifting to show more purples, reds and oranges. A reader pointed out, “I like the dolphins – they look so cool. It’s just really pretty. I don’t think there’s real purple water, but it’s really pretty.” We talked about how Jess X. Snow used a surreal fantastical palette to make this experience feel magical and full of possibility.

As the sun sets, we experienced another perspective shift to view of the boat of haenyeo from above, with the mermaids in the water – and Dayeon feeling “at home in the sea.. Like a mermaid, like a true haenyeo.” We then marveled at the awesome back-matter to check out later – and the gorgeous bird’s eye view of Jeju Island as the end paper. 

You Matter by Christian Robinson

Mr. Brian shared how Christian Robinson’s art is playful and whimsical and wonderful, using acrylic paint and collage to create the art. He shared that this book explores shifting perspectives and points of view. We began our picture walk with a girl looking into a microscope, noticing the shapes and textures of the collage. Mr. Brian shared how the illustration shows the sea creature swimming against the tide, going its own way. We then go back to prehistoric times with creatures coming up from the water, charting our long history. We then zoom in on the mosquito being a mosquito, pulling back on the big reveal biting the t-rex.

We then see the bigger picture of the asteroid hitting the Earth as the dinosaurs running. Our perspective shifts even more as we zoom out into outer space.

We talked about the astronaut is missing someone on Earth and immediately the perspective shifts to an apartment building on Earth with a child holding a rocket. Our group suggested that the child might be the astronaut’s kid, showing the interconnectedness within the story. This book calls us to notice all the little details! The busy street can make us feel lost and alone, but Mr. Brian pointed out that on the next page, they’re together again with the dog. We talked about the oldest thing on the “old and young” page, thinking about the ancient tree. When we looked at the people feeding the pigeons, Mr. Brian pointed out it paralleled the creature coming out from the ocean in the beginning, repeating the same text, coming full circle. When we looked at “the small stuff too small to see,” Mr. Brian made us think about all the small creatures all around us.

Our perspective shifted to be in an airplane looking down at the city streets we’ve been exploring – and then we’re looking down from the point of view of the airplane. It seems really simple but everything is connected together. As Christian Robinson has said, “You matter simply because you’re here because you exist.”

Did you know that you can get a You Matter bookmark in our Grab & Go Kits?

Make sure to check out Making Space with Christian Robinson! We did the activity below in our summer Junior Justice League session and it was exactly what our hearts needed.

VOTING!

After we had walked through each book in a whirlwind of color and conversation, we were ready to vote. This year, since we met virtually, I created a google form for people to vote for their first and second choice. (If you’re interested in the technical details, I downloaded the results into an spreadsheet, changed the 1s to 3s (since 1st place gets 3 points, 2 gets 2) and then added up the totals. I then was able to screenshare to show how we got our results for full transparency.

And the Session 2 Winners Are…

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade

The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho, illustrated by Jess X. Snow

Join Us Next Time!

Please join us for our next Caldecott Club session on January 4, 2021 from 7:00-8:15pm CST, where we will pick our final 2 books to go to our Voting Party! You can pick up a free Grab & Go Program Kit at Lincolnwood Library in our Great Green Box or contact me to pick up a kit. You can also access our digital Grab & Go Kit at https://bit.ly/3pIi0QJ. Check out what’s in our program kit in the video below!

Since you’ve spent all this time reading this post, I’ll even let you know which books we’ll be discussing. You can even watch us share the reveals below:

All Because You Matter by Tami Charles, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki

Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole Doyon, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Resources

You can put Caldecott Club books on hold at our libraries here.

I have created a RESOURCE GUIDE with activities, videos, podcasts, program kit supplies, handouts, and more to share the sources we’ve used and continue the learning! We hope it will be useful for you to explore these books at home – and maybe even create your own Caldecott Club!

But wait, there’s more! Make plans to join out Caldecott Club Voting Party on TUESDAY, January 19 where we will pick the winner(s) of our Mock Caldecott. And then, we’ll join together to watch selections from the Youth Media Awards on January 25! That’s right, it’s three Caldecott Club events in January to start 2021 with beautiful picture book celebrations!

Thanks for sticking all the way through this post… I hope to see you next time at Caldecott Club!

 – Eti

Program Recap: Herpetology with The Frog Lady

Posted & filed under Blog, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

In November, the Lincolnwood Public Library hosted Deb Krohn (The Frog Lady) to give all ages an introduction to Herpetology. Everyone got to look at frogs, snakes, and turtles. Here are some highlights of things that were discussed:

-What makes a frog poisonous and how can you tell?

-What does each animal eat and how they live

-How they interact with other animals

Everyone got to see every animal up close. The Frog Lady even answered questions on raising our participant’s amphibians and what they can do to keep them healthy! Check out some highlights on our social media!

One of our biggest animal guests!

Rescue Bears Experience with Erin Fountain of Institute for Positive Mental Health

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

Join our Junior Justice League on December 8 at 3:30pm CST for a Rescue Bear-Making Experience with Erin Fountain, Executive Director of Institute for Positive Mental Health (IPMH). Register here to join our live session.

The Institute for Positive Mental Health (IPMH) is a 501(c)(3) for-impact community mental health organization. They were founded in 1994 and have been known for many years throughout the South and West side for their EXCEL Job Training and Work First Program, their Entrepreneurship Program developing holistic body care products, and as makers of Rescue Bears from mismatched socks. We partnered with Erin last year for a fantastic bear-making program in person – so we’re so honored to be able to partner with the Institute for Positive Mental Health again to host a community-wide virtual Rescue Bear-Making Experience.

“We will take an old, lonely, forgotten sock and turn it into an adorable Rescue Bear,” Erin shared. “ The purpose of the Bear Making Experience is to give people hope during difficult times. Rescue bears are individually crafted and designed to demonstrate THAT and HOW we give purpose and meaning to our world. Once created, Rescue Bears are gifted to people who need a little something to hold onto. They also make a wonderful personalized and unique gift. No two bears are ever alike and there’s no wrong way to make a Bear.” 

Erin will guide us through the steps to make our Rescue Bears, offering tips, answering questions, and sharing ideas to help us make them unique and special. This is a program that is perfect to do as a family, especially when using crafting supplies like scissors and glue guns. Due to the small pieces, Rescue Bears are recommended for children ages 8 and up, especially middle schoolers and teens. Some adult supervision is recommended for young people, especially while using scissors and glue guns. 

Grab & Go Program Kits

We have created free Grab & Go Program Kits to pick up in our Great Green Box at the library, while supplies last, available starting November 30.

They will include: 2 socks, stuffing, mini-rubber bands, googly eyes, a card (to write a note to the person you’ll gift your bear to), and directions.

You’ll need to find these supplies at home: scissors, sharpie, hot glue gun with glue sticks OR fabric glue OR needle & thread, other crafting accessories such as pompons, buttons, feathers, fabric, etc.

You can always make a bear using the supplies you have at home and adapt the directions below accordingly. 

You can join us live on December 8 or you can use this post with our Grab & Go Kit to do this activity at your convenience. You can start by watching these videos.

How to Make a Rescue Bear

We have provided two socks, so you can plan to keep your first bear. This is the bear you are experimenting on and learning how to make a rescue bear. There’s no ONE way to make a bear and no two will be alike. Large socks make large bears; baby socks make baby bears. The heel of the sock will become the face of the bear so select your sock with that in mind. Most accessories are made from sock parts as well. There is no sewing involved. Recycled parts and pieces are valuable accessories.

Adapt these directions to best express your vision for your Rescue Bear. Due to the small pieces, Rescue Bears are recommended for ages 8 and up. Some adult supervision is recommended for young people, especially while using scissors and glue guns.

Select your sock. Orient it so the heel is the head. Put a little bit of fluff in the two bottom corners to make the feet. Wrap a rubber band around each foot.

Fill the rest of the body with fluff (but not too much). Take some fluff and push it out on the sides of the sock to make the arms. Wrap a rubber band around each arm.

Put a rubber band around the bottom of the heel to make a neck.

Fill the heel with fluff.

Wrap a rubber band around the head. (Rubber bands may be a bit fragile, so be careful not to pull them too tightly.) 

Cut the extra sock off but leave enough sock to make ears. Cut the extra sock into circles (ears) using sewing scissors. Put rubber bands around both of them. 

Put fluff in the ears. Put the fluff in with scissors and then glue it shut with a glue gun, fabric glue, or hand-sewing. 

Use a glue gun or fabric glue to affix the eyes. 

Draw on paws and the face with a sharpie.

Using the extra sock material, you can make a hat or scarf. Use the crafting accessories as desired. Be creative. You can even make a personalized facemask for your bear! 

Make plans to safely (think contactless) share your completed Rescue Bear with someone who could use it. Use the card to write a message to the person you’re gifting the bear to.

We’d love to see what you have created and how you’ve shared your bear with others to help them. 

Share pictures/video of your Rescue Bears with us on social media or via email at youthservices@lincolnwoodlibrary.org

Program Workshop: Comics and Drawing Workshop with Author Jarod Rosello

Posted & filed under Blog, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

Jarod Rosello, author of Red Panda and Moon Bear, lead a workshop on drawing techniques as well as storytelling. Check out some of the highlights as well as the works in process that all participants made as a group

Learning about when to use text (to describe mood) vs. drawings (establish setting, characters)

What makes a good character to draw in a comic (repeatable, distinguished)

Ways to outline a story (have an endpoint)

Ways and prompts to warm up drawing and get your creative juices flowing

Drawing an alien – all participants gave their input on how it should look

creating our own story and comic and at the end with our new characters

Be sure to check out Red Panda and Moon Bear, Books & Bites With Eti, Caldecott Club, and other programs related to graphic novels and drawing!

An Evening with Francisco X. Stork

Posted & filed under Blog.

We were honored to virtually host beloved author Francisco X. Stork in a collaboration between Lincolnwood Public Library & Skokie Public Library on Thursday, September 24. Jarrett Dapier, a teen librarian at Skokie Public Library, hosted a thoughtful heart-to-heart conversation that showcased his longtime appreciation and in-depth knowledge of Stork’s work and its impact on young readers. I am so grateful for the opportunity to hear Francisco share his journey as a young adult writer and the craft of creativity. We were joined by people around the country, which makes our author visit even more special, knowing we’re connecting our communities far and wide. We also partnered with our local independent bookstore, Booked, to sell copies of Francisco’s books. You can order them here.

One of the things I like about Young Adult Literature is that it’s okay to give hope – Francisco X. Stork

We are grateful that Francisco has given us permission to record and share his author visit.

Resources

We shared a variety of resources during our program, as well as collected in preparation for our visit. We hope you will find them useful as you read and share Francisco X. Stork’s work.

Francisco’s Journal

Writing Without Anxiety (Francisco’s Journal)

Francisco’s Website

Writing About Migrant Justice and Asylum for a YA Audience by Francisco X. Stork (Diverse Books Blog)

Speak on It with Francisco X. Stork (YouMediaChicago)

Beyond Borders: Power of Story Presents Speaker Series: Featuring: Aida Salazar (Author, Land of the Cranes), Francisco X. Stork (Author, Illegal), and Kelly Yang (Author, Three Keys) with guest speakers Dr. Carla España & Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen (Scholastic)

Beyond Borders: Immigrant Experiences in Kidlit Further Reading

Sims Bishop, R. (1990). Mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. Perspectives, 1(3), ix–xi.

We hope you will join us next for An Evening with Kelly Yang & Jessie Ann Foley on October 15 at 7pm CST. You can register here.

Program Review: Tips for Better Sleep

Posted & filed under Blog, Early Literacy, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

What would be the first thing you would do after a good night’s sleep? That was a question that was recently posed at our Early Literacy Event. Recently, Katie Guzan, a certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, gave a presentation on how both young children and their caregivers can get better sleep. It was beneficial for both kids and adults alike. Please enjoy some of these tips below, or check out more from Sleep Wise Consulting.

Discussing the impact of sleep props for young people

Discussing the importance of a bedtime routine!

Program Review: Manga Drawing with the Artistic Dragon

Posted & filed under Blog, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

In September, we had Addie from the Artistic Dragon teach a workshop on Manga Character Drawing. Here are some helpful tips and highlights from the program.

1.Draw light! Don’t be heavy handed when you draw

2. Start Simply with circles and basic shapes

3. Break things down to simpler shapes if you’re attempting to draw something hard

4. Don’t overlook simple things like a nose – they can frame the face since they’re in the middle of the head.

We have another drawing workshop next month with author Jarod Rosselo, so be sure to register if you missed this one.

Also be sure to check out our drawing books such as The Master Guide to Drawing Anime by Christopher Hart

Make Slime at Home with our Slime Kits and Resources

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

Since we can’t host in-person Slime programs, which we often do over the summer, we created lots of easy-to-access virtual Slime resources. In addition to three YouTube videos, we also have Slime Kits that you can pick up at the library. These include call numbers to our Slime Books that are also available in the library for more recipes and tips. you can also access the description sheet for more information about our Slime Kit and resources here!