Week-end Book Review ~ Juba This, Juba That, by Helaine Becker and Ron Lightburn

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Cover: Juba This, Juba ThatHelaine Becker, illustrated by Ron Lightburn,
Juba This, Juba That
Tundra Books, 2012.

Ages: 3-8

Adapting a traditional “juba” rhyme, and certainly maintaining the toe-tapping snappiness for which juba is renowned, poet Helaine Becker and illustrator Ron Lightburn have created a dynamic, joyous picture book that will have young readers up on their feet dancing along in time to the words. While the poem creates a narrative of Juba having a fun time at a fairground, the illustrations contextualise the sequence within the suggestion of a dream; so despite its lively energy, the book would also work well as a bed time story…

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Access Books and Airlift to L.A. to deliver books to inner-city school on October 2nd

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

As part of their ongoing commitment to strengthen inner-city school libraries throughout Los Angeles and beyond, Access Books has joined forces with a team of Canadian authors to help impoverished families gain access to books. The event will take place at Ralph Bunche Elementary, a Los Angeles, CA, USA school that is in desperate need of books for its 450 students.

Access Books, Air Lift to L.A. and a team of volunteers from Bunche will spend October 2nd revitalizing the library by painting murals, cataloging brand new books, and providing a reading rug, rocking chair and sofa to create a warm and inviting environment for students. Five authors from Canada will be on hand for the event and to give fun and exciting presentations to the students: Rob Weston, Kari-Lynn Winters, Jill Murray, Wendy Kitts, and Helaine Becker.

California’s Department of Education recommends 28 library books per student however Bunche has a mere three books per student. Therefore, Access Books has set a goal: Collect at least 5,000 books for Bunche’s library and classrooms. Many of these will be brand new, popular fiction titles – books that have been carefully selected to get students excited about reading.

Access Books’ partner for this endeavor, Air Lift to L.A., grew wings after Canadian children’s author Helaine Becker visited a school in the area and saw the empty shelves. Shocked and saddened, she rallied her Canadian colleagues and started a book drive. “The conditions [in Los Angeles] are on par with the worst of the Third World countries,” she writes on the Air Lift to L.A.” Facebook page. “Actually, they are worse, because in much of the Third World, people are doing their best to raise their standards, while in Los Angeles, conditions have deteriorated abysmally in the last ten years.”