In this guest blog post, Monica Kleekamp, a PhD candidate in the department of Learning, Teaching & Curriculum at the University of Missouri-Columbia, discusses the importance of inclusive children’s literature and how to critically select texts with regards to representations of disability experiences.
What is inclusive children’s literature? What is it not? Why is it important?
As students look to the shelves in their classrooms and school libraries, they seek representations of themselves—characters who look, feel, and experience the world in similar ways. The field of children’s literature continues to problematize the ways our bookshelves perpetuate representations of white, cisgender, heterosexual, and middle-class characters. A term often added to the end of this list is “able.”
Inclusive children’s literature that features characters who are either physically and/or intellectually diverse—characters who have been labeled as disabled—remain few and far between. Additionally, those texts that do exist often follow tropes of pity or dehumanization. These texts have also been heavily critiqued for their over-representation of white male characters who access prosthetics. Continue reading
In part 1 of this post, I spoke about my experience teaching in a nonverbal autistic classroom and its most meaningful takeaways. Part 2 explores respectful, useful resources for people on the autism spectrum, their family members, and educators.
Just released last month, our newest picture book, King For a Day, takes readers on a colorful journey through the spring kite festival Basant. From a rooftop in Lahore, Pakistan, Malik is determined to take his kite Falcon out and win the most kite battles to earn the title of “King of Basant.”
Illustrator Christiane Krömer used paper and fabric collage to create the gorgeous illustrations you see below:
I always take photos of the many stages. That way I can see what a picture looked like earlier on, experiment with many choices and then maybe go back to an earlier option. The fun with collage is that you can always push all the paper pieces and fabrics around until they are in the right spot. But there is also a big danger that all the 1000 loose pieces go flying, so it’s a good idea to have a photo that tells you exactly how it was when it looked good. I always have real fun to look at all the stages once the illustrations are finished. I hope you do, too.
This cold weather makes us want to sip on hot chocolate under a warm blanket with a brand new book. And what better book than King for a Day, out today from Lee & Low Books!
In this beautiful story, Rukhsana Khan takes us to Lahore, Pakistan for Basant, the springtime kite-flying festival. Guiding his kite into leaps and swirls, our hero Malik slashes strings to capture the other kites in the sky, including those flown by the bully next door.
Happy Baseball Season, readers! As Major League Baseball is gearing up for another rousing year, Lee & Low is releasing a picture book biography about a little talked about baseball legend who made a powerful impact. William “Dummy” Hoy was a talented player with a standout record who made an immense impact on the way that the great American pastime was played. Hoy’s stats are even more impressive when you consider that he was also one of the first deaf players in Major League Baseball.
80 years ago today—September 23, 1930—Ray Charles was born, and over his 74 years of life he overcame segregation and blindness to become one of the most famous musicians in the country.