PaperTigers Tenth Anniversary: Top Ten Authentic Historical Picture Books by Sherry York

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

We are delighted that Sherry York has taken us up on our invitation to our readers to submit a Top Ten list of their choosing for our current series in celebration of our 10th anniversary.  Sherry is a retired librarian and works now as an editorial consultant.  She is also the author of a number of guides for librarians and teachers including Ethnic Book Awards: A Directory of Multicultural Literature for Young Readers and Tips And Other Bright Ideas For Elementary School Libraries , as well as guides to children’s and YA literature by Latino and Native American writers.

My Top Ten Authentic Historical Picture Books by Sherry York

These titles represent ten of my picks of authentic historical picture books.  They all present U.S. history from points of view not often seen in “mainstream” lists.

Thanks for allowing me this opportunity to look through my picture book collection and think critically.

Abuelita’s Secret Matzahs by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso illustrated by Diana Bryer (Clerisy Press, 2005)

Bad News for Outlaws by Vaunda Micheau Nelson illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Carolrhoda Books, 2009)

Coolies by Yin illustrated by Chris Soenpiet (Philomel, 2001)

Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges (Cinco Puntos Press, 2006)

Malian’s Song by Marge Bruchac illustrated by William Maughan (University Press of New England, 2006)

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee-Tai illustrated by Felicia Hoshino (Children’s Book Press, 2006)

Rivka’s First Thanksgiving by Elsa Okon Rael illustrated by Maryann Kovalski (Margaret K. McElderry, 2001)

Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac illustrated by Greg Shed (Harcourt Children’s Books, 2000)

The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos by Lucía González illustrated by Lulu Delacre (Children’s Book Press, 2008)

Tomás and the Library Lady by Pat Mora illustrated by Raúl Colón (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1997)

Of course there are others that I could easily include. I’m sure your readers will know of others…

..and if you do, and would like to send us your Top Ten list, do email it to me, marjorieATpapertigersdDOTorg.

Also, if you haven’t yet entered our 10th Anniversary Draw, make sure you read this!

October 2012 Events

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Click on event name for more information

National Year of Reading~ Australia

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Freedom to Read~ ongoing until Oct 6, USA

Bath Festival of Children’s Literature~ongoing until Oct 7, Bath, United Kingdom

Wigtown Book Festival~ ongoing until Oct 7, Wigtown, United Kingdom

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre Presents: The Art of the Picture Book Exhibition~ongoing until Oct 14, Montreal, QC, Canada

Hispanic Heritage Month~ ongoing until Oct 15, USA

Heart and Soul – The Story of America and African Americans Through the Iconic Images by Kadir Nelson From His Award-winning Children’s Book~ ongoing until Oct 20, New York, NY, USA

The Children’s Bookshow: Stories From Around The World~ ongoing until Nov 8, United Kingdom

Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award 2013~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, United Kingdom

2012 South Asia Book Award~ submissions accepted until Dec 31

SingTel Asian Picture Book Award 2013~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, Singapore

Exhibits of Winning Entries from the 2012 Growing Up Asian in America Contest~ ongoing until Feb 2013, USA

Nami Island International Illustration Concours for Picture Book Illustrations~ submissions accepted until Feb 15, 2013, Korea

Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards Celebrating Multicultural Awareness, International Understanding and Nature Appreciation~ submissions accepted until June 25, 2013, USA

Canadian Library Month

International School Library Month

Children’s Book Week: Heroes and Heroines~ Oct 1 – 7, United Kingdom

TaleBlazers Literary Arts Festival~ Oct 1 – 26, Province of Alberta, Canada

Children’s Book Festival~ Oct 1 – 31,  Ireland

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival~ Oct 3 – 7, Ubud,  Indonesia

National Poetry Day and Announcement of The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Winners ~ Oct 4, London, United Kingdom

The Craft of Reading, an Exhibition of Books Featuring Folk Art and Craft, Curated By Young India Book~ Oct 4  – 10, Chennai, India

The 3rd Annual Art Auction – a Benefit for the  Annual Children’s Poetry Festival in El Salvador~ Oct 5, San Francisco, CA, USA

Litquake, San Franciso’s Literary Festival (including Kidquake and Teenquake)~ Oct 5 – 13, San Francisco, CA, USA

Hong Kong International Literary Festival~ Oct 5 – 14, Hong Kong

Children’s Book Week~ Oct 5 – 15, Netherlands

12th Annual Conference Teaching for Social Justice: Acts of Courage and Resistance~ Oct 6, San Francisco, CA, USA

The Carthage Center for Children’s Literature’s Caldecott Celebration~ Oct 6, Kenosha, WI, USA

The Children’s Book Fair~ Oct 7, Chicago, IL, USA

Frankfurt Book Fair~ Oct 10 – 14, Frankfurt, Germany

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Nominees Announced~ Oct 11, Frankfurt, Germany

The 41st Annual Conference on South Asia~ Oct 11 – 14, Madison, WI, USA

Discussion Forum on The Hans Christian Andersen Awards~ Oct 12, Frankfurt, Germany

Leonard Marcus Presents – Let the Wild Rumpus Start: Maurice Sendak as Storyteller and Psychologist~ Oct 12, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Children’s Literature and Imaginative Geography Past, Present, and Future~ Oct 12 – 13, Ottawa, ON, Canada

AASL Fall Forum: Transliteracy and the School Library Program~ Oct 12 – 13, Greenville, SC, USA

Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival: Memory~ Oct 12 – 14, Sheboygan, WI, USA

Esquimalt Children’s StoryFest~ Oct 13, Esquimalt, BC, Canada

The Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival~ Oct 13, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2012 South Asia Book Award Ceremony~ Oct 13, Madison, WI, USA

Monterrey International Book Fair~ Oct 13 – 20, Monterrey, Mexico

YALSA’s Teen Read Week: It Came from the Library! ~ Oct 14 – 20, USA

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Take Home an Original, an auction of Original Picture Book Art~ Oct 16, Montreal, QC, Canada

Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival~ Oct 16 – 21, Vancouver, BC, Canada

The Digital Shift: Libraries, Ebooks and Beyond. A Library Journal/School Library Journal Online Event~ Oct 17

Chapter & Verse, a Book Club for Adults Discussing Children’s Lit (Frozen by Mary Casanova; A Strange Place to Call Home by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Ed Young)~ Oct 18, USA

17th Annual New England Conference on Multicultural Education (NECME)~ Oct 18, New Britain, CT, USA

Northwoods Children’s Books Conference~ Oct 18 – 19, Minong, WI, USA

Dark Alchemy: Literary Brews Conjured Across the Curriculum With Kenneth Oppel, Keynote Speaker and Featuring CWILL BC presenters~ Oct 19, Vancouver, BC, Canada

59th Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards Ceremony~ Oct 19, New York, NY, USA

Scottish Storytelling Festival~ Oct 19 – 28, Scotland

8th Annual World Matters Festival: Missing Peace~ Oct 20  – 21, Eltham, Australia

GobbleDEEbook Children’s Literature Festival~ Oct 20 – 27, Chester, United Kingdom

CHARACTER COUNTS! Week~ Oct 21 – 27

Children’s Literature Festival~ Oct 22, Keene, NH, USA

The Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award Celebration~ Oct 25, San Marcos, TX, USA

Celebrate Reading National Conference: Insights Into Quality Australian Literature for Young Adults~ Oct 26 – 27, Fremantle, Australia

The Illustrators’ Journey Art Exhibition Featuring Art by Shaun Tan, Matt Ottley and More!~ Oct 28 – Dec 31, Fremantle, Australia

Tall Tales & Huge Hearts: Raúl Colón~ Oct 30 – Mar 28, 2013, Abilene, TX, USA


The Literature Centre (formerly Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre) Exhibits and Programs~ Fremantle, Australia

Dromkeen National Centre for Picture Book Art Exhibits~ Riddells Creek, Australia

Books Illustrated Events and Exhibitions~ Middle Park, Australia

International Youth Library Exhibits~ Munich, Germany

Tulika Book Events~ India

International Library of Children’s Literature Events~ Tokyo, Japan

Newcastle University Programme of Talks on Children’s Books for 2011-2012~ Newcastle, United Kingdom

Seven Stories (the National Home of Children’s Books in Britain) Events~ Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Discover Children’s Story Centre~ London, United Kingdom

Arne Nixon Center’s Children’s Literature Book Clubs for Adults Events~ USA

Events Sponsored by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress~ USA

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art~ Amherst, MA, USA

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Exhibits~ Abilene, TX, USA

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Events

Week-end Book Review – Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by Raúl Colón

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by Raúl Colón,
Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina
Marshall Cavendish, 2011.

Ages 10+

Alicia Alonso, the latest in a series of portraits of Latin figures by award-winning author and poet Carmen Bernier-Grand, is written in lyrical free verse, a style that particularly suits the dramatic life of this beloved Cuban dancer.

Alonso’s long career has been marked by many difficulties. Already a highly regarded dancer in Cuba, she and her young fiancé, also a dancer, immigrated to New York in 1937, when Alicia was 15 and pregnant. She resumed ballet as soon as her daughter was born. In a field known to destroy bodies and careers early in life, Alonso continued dancing until she was in her seventies, despite diminishing vision from a detached retina that led eventually to blindness.

Bernier-Grand tells the story in touching word-sketches of key moments in Alonso’s life: selection for the role of Swanilda in Coppélia; romance with Fernando Alonso, her eventual husband; parental disapproval of ballet as a career; separation from her daughter during her U.S. tours; learning Giselle while blind and hospitalized by using her fingers as her feet; ballet shoes stuck to her feet with dried blood; eventual refusal to dance in Cuba while Batista was in power.

“She counts steps, etches the stage in her mind.
Spotlights of different colors warn her
she is too near the orchestra pit.
She moves, a paintbrush on canvas…
She imagines an axis
and pirouettes across her own inner stage.”

Raúl Colón’s stylized pastel illustrations poignantly evoke ballet’s beauty and Alonso’s suffering, despite which she has had one of the longest, most esteemed careers in ballet history. Vision in one eye was partially restored in 1972. Alonso, who founded the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, still choreographs dances at age 92.

Back matter includes a detailed biographical narrative of Alonso’s life; lists of some of the ballets she has danced and choreographed and awards she has won; a glossary; an extensive bibliography of sources and websites; and notes on the text. While the simple story of the ballerina’s life will appeal even to very young children, the reference material is rich enough for an older child to use for a research project. In the process of understanding a woman artist’s life struggles, young readers will also learn much about U.S.-Cuban relations.

Charlotte Richardson
February 2012

December 2010 Events

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

(Click on event name for more information)

2011 PBBY-Salanga Prize Winner Announced~ Philippines

Dromkeen National Centre for Picture Book Art Exhibits~ Riddells Creek, Australia

December Kids Book Events~ Cairo, Egypt

Making Books Sing Presents a One-Woman Play Based on The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos by Lucía Gonzalez~ New York, NY, USA

Doha International Children’s Book Festival~ ongoing until Dec 2, Doha, Qatar

2010 Bologna Illustrators Exhibition~ ongoing until Dec 5, Nanao, Japan

Off the Page: Original Illustrations from NZ Picture Books~ ongoing until Dec 5, Ashburton, New Zealand

Guadalajara Book Fair~ ongoing until Dec 5, Guadalajara, Mexico

2011 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards~ submissions accepted until Dec 17, Canada

Scholastic Asian Book Award~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, Singapore

Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award 2011~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, Singapore

An Exquisite Vision: The Art of Lisbeth Zwerger~ ongoing until Jan 9, Hannover, Germany

Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books~ ongoing until Jan 23, Amherst, MA, USA

Drawn in Brooklyn Exhibit of Original Picture Book Art by Brooklyn Illustrators~ ongoing until Jan 23, Brooklyn, NY, USA

National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Presents From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick~ ongoing until Jan 29, Abilene, TX, USA

Fins and Feathers: Original Children’s Book Illustrations from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art~ ongoing until Jan 30, Raleigh, NC, USA

Summer Reading Club: Scare Up a Good Story~ ongoing until Jan 31, Australia

2011 Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award~ submissions accepted until Feb 25, United Kingdom

International Youth Library Exhibit: The Fabulous World of John Kilaka, Pictures and Drawings by a Tanzanian Artist~ ongoing until Feb 28, Munich, Germany

Mr Gumpy and Other Outings; Celebrating 50 years of John Burningham’s at Seven Stories~ ongoing until Mar, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney~ ongoing until May 30, Stockbridge, MA, USA

International Youth Library Exhibit: The World in Miniature. The Family in Historic Picture Books and Children’s Literature~ ongoing until Aug 31, Munich, Germany

Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse~ Dec 1 – 6, Montreuil, France

IBBY France Conference: 2nd European Encounter on Children’s Literature~ Dec 3, Paris, France

SCBWI France International Conference for Writers and Illustrators~ Dec 3 – 4, Paris, France

Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature~ Dec 3 – Jan 2, Concord, MA, USA

Look! The Art of Australian Picture Books Today~ Dec 3 – May 29, Melbourne, Australia

The Children’s Literature Centre at Frostburg State University Presents Storybook Holiday~ Dec 4, Frostburg, MD, USA

Read Out Loud! Family Literacy & Book Festival~ Dec 4, New York, NY, USA

SCBWI Tokyo Illustrators Exhibition: Every Picture Tells a Story~ Dec 7 – 12, Tokyo, Japan

Exhibition of Finalists of the 3rd CJ Picture Book Award~ Dec 8 – 28, Seoul, Korea

Carle Museum Professional Development Workshop: Picturing Stories~ Dec 10, Amherst, MA, USA

BookFest@Singapore~ Dec 10 – 19, Singapore

The Best of the Best in 2010 with Susan Bloom~ Dec 11, Amherst, MA, USA

Chapter & Verse’s (A Book Club for Adults Discussing Children’s Lit) Mock Newbery and Caldecott Discussions~ Dec 11, USA

The Art Institute of Chicago Exhibit: Real and Imaginary: Three Latin American Artists – Raúl Colón, David Diaz and Yuyi Morales~ Dec 11 – May 29, Chicago, IL, USA

Talking About Words and Pictures with Tony DiTerlizzi~ Dec 12, Amherst, MA, USA

Partners in Wonder: Selections from the Collection of Jane Yolen~ Dec 14 – May 1, Amherst, MA, USA

Coming of Age Around the World Book Discussion Group: Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins~ Dec 16, Watertown, MA, USA

Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books Exhibit: Winter Fun!~ Dec 18 – Mar 5, Toronto, ON, Canada

Kuala Lumpur Children’s Book Fair~ Dec 22 – 26, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Letting Her Hair Down

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Caribbean RapunzelIn her recent New York Review of Books survey of contemporary Rapunzel interpretations, novelist Alison Lurie points out both how enduring and how flexible fairy tales are. Rapunzel is in vogue these days. Lurie gives all the relevant details of Rapunzel’s recent manifestations and offers lots of pithy observations, but the article doesn’t include links to the books themselves. So here they are; read Lurie’s article and check these out!

In the young adult novel Golden: A Retelling of “Rapunzel”, one of Simon and Schuster’s fairy tale retelling series, this one by Cameron Dokey, the poor girl’s tower-length locks are an infuriating nuisance. The Tower Room by Adele Geras (Harcourt Paperbacks) is set in a 1960′s English boarding school probably modeled on the school Geras (and Princess Diana) attended. One of Donna Jo Napoli’s series of retold tales, Zel (Puffin) is set in 16th century Switzerland. Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel (Hyperion) is a picture book by Patricia Storace, “lavishly illustrated” by Raúl Colón. (Here’s a PaperTigers gallery of illustrations by Colón!) Letters from Rapunzel (HarperCollins) is a teen novel about a girl who sees the myth’s relevance in her own life and re-names herself Rapunzel; here’s a 7-Imp interview with author Sara Lewis Holmes. Barbara Ragasky’s Rapunzel (Holiday House), with much lauded illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman, may be out of print but is available online. Lynn Roberts’ Rapunzel: A Groovy Fairy Tale (Abrams), says Lurie, appears to be set in 1970′s New York.

The long hair, the witch, the tower, the inadequate jealous mother, the adopted child and adoptive parents, the rescuing prince–the themes of Rapunzel have been re-told for our times with great verve and vivacity, and Alison Lurie’s thorough and entertaining perspective is not to be missed.

2008 ALA Award Winners Announced: black cats, colorful world and more

Monday, January 14th, 2008

I woke up early this morning, excited to check my computer for the winners of the 2008 ALA Awards. It’s always an exciting moment to find out who the winners are, after all the guessing games that surround the occasion, with books lovers of all ages making their own predictions for the medals. You can see the complete list of winners here.

My Colors, My WorldWe congratulate the authors and illustrators of all winning and honor books and, in particular, Yuyi Morales, for the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award she received for Los Gatos Black on Halloween, written by Marisa Montes (Holt) – Los Gatos Black was also a Belpré Author Honor book; and Maya Christina Gonzalez, for the Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor captured by My Colors, My World/Mis colores, mi mundo (Children’s Book Press), which she also wrote. My Name Is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez/Me llamo Gabito: la vida de Gabriel García Márquez, illustrated by Raul Colón, written by Monica Brown (Luna Rising) has also received the Pura Belpré Honor, and deservedly so.

Keep your eyes peeled: Maya Christina Gonzalez’s gallery will be featured on the PaperTigers website as part of an upcoming update focusing on illustrators. Make sure to check the website tomorrow to see a sample of her award-winning work, including images from My Colors, My World.

Books at Bedtime: letting imaginations fly!

Friday, December 21st, 2007

orsnblastsoff.jpgMy boys and I have just come across renowned illustrator Raúl Cólon’s first fully authored picture book, Orson Blasts Off! (published in 2004), which is a real flight of the imagination. It’s about a boy who can see no end to boredom when his computer breaks down… until his jack-in-the-box called Weasel points to what is going on outside: it’s snowing, even though it’s July. Then Orson embarks on his adventures with great gusto: the North Pole, a desert island and even the stars.

The story is told through the dialogue between Orson and Weasel – indeed, it would make a good interactive read-aloud, as it’s really a script: but the wonderful illustrations add in the background as well as the wit and irony, so young readers/listeners will have to engage their imaginations too. It definitely provokes lots of comments and conversation – it’s not one to choose for a quick bedtime story, until it’s well established in the family repertoire!

My children love books which blur the edges between the “real” world and imaginary adventures: two which they have wanted read to them over and over again are Jo’s Storm by Caroline Pitcher, illustrated by Jackie Morris and Cloud Nine by Norman Silver, illustrated by Jan Ormerod, which are both out of print now and need to be sought out second hand… I can see that Orson Blasts Off! will be joining them on their bit of the bookshelf.

These books all star boys; there must be picture books out there which take girls off on amazing flights of the imagination too: any suggestions, anyone?

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