SHE-LOGY: A feature on female authors of children’s picture books, written by guest blogger, retired teacher, literacy specialist, and columnist – Lorie Schaefer. Check out her blog — nvlorie.
Thanks so much, Lorie, for this carefully-selected list of your favorite children’s book authors. I would not be able to discover this on my own, it feels like you’ve given me a gift. I’m bent on reading all of them to my kids. Heading to the library this weekend! Thank you for contributing a post to the She-logy series. Perfect post for World Book Day! xo Jan
During my career I taught young children to read and write and occasionally facilitated workshops helping other teachers do the same. One lesson we learned again and again was to meet students where they are. Begin with something familiar, something with which they can identify, and maybe something we have in common. For most of us that is home and family. While our particular homes and family circumstances may differ greatly, we all start from somewhere.
Picture books by these women served as seed of talk, laughter, writing and even a few tears. Moreover, from my experience they were just as impactful for adults as for children. All three of these women are prolific and offer many other titles. I highlight a few of my favorites here.
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is a small boy who gives his elderly neighbors the gift of memory. Whoever You Are helps young children understand that while our skin may be different colors, our houses and languages may be unfamiliar, we are all the same inside. Feather and Fools illustrates what can happen when we fear and mistrust those who are different from us. Tough Boris is a mean and nasty pirate who displays tenderness at the loss of his beloved parrot, showing we can be more than one thing.
Polacco celebrates the diversity of families and their traditions using her own family as source material for many of her books. Her Jewish, Russian and Italian families blend into the loveliest mosaic. The Keeping Quilt tells of her immigrant ancestors arriving in the United States, the stories they told and the quilt that was sewn and has wrapped every new baby for generations. Thank You, Mr. Falker honors a dedicated teacher who took time to teach a young girl struggling to learn to read. This is Polacco’s own moving and triumphant story. All of her books are heartwarming and you will love her illustrations.
I still can’t get through The Wednesday Surprise without a little catch in my throat at the end. If you haven’t read it, I’ll bet it has the same effect on you when you discover the surprise. Night Tree takes you along on a family’s annual visit to a special tree on a special night and may inspire you to start a new tradition. The Wall depicts a grandfather and his young grandson as they travel the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. to find the name of someone they lost.
SHE-LOGY is a blog project open to everyone who is interested to celebrate women this whole month of March. If you’re reading this, I extend that invitation to you to contribute post/s about the women you’d like to honor. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading this.