The itch. The Hula-Hoopin’ itch. My fingers start snappin’. My feet start tappin’. My hips start swingin’.
The Hula Hoopin’ Queen was selected by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation for the first read aloud of 2019 on Storyline Online, an interactive literacy website where world-renowned actors and celebrities read popular, award-winning children’s books to help students fall in love with reading.
The Hula Hoopin’ Queen was written by Thelma Godin, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, and is now read by Oprah Winfrey on Emmy-nominated Storyline Online.
Today we are pleased to share this guest post from Librarian and Diversity Coordinator Laura Reiko Simeon on ageism in children’s literature. Welcome, Laura! Continue reading
Thelma Lynne Godin is the debut author of The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen, which received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Shelf Awareness. She lives with her husband in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In this post, we asked her to share advice on believing in your dreams for those submitting to the New Voices Award and other aspiring authors.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”― Eleanor Roosevelt
As a child I was an avid dreamer and reader. I lived in the world of books. Sometimes I was the little girl in the Cat in the Hat enjoying the fun, but worrying about the mother coming home and finding out about the chaos. Other times I was Laura Ingalls Wilder, sleeping in a covered wagon with Pa, Ma, and Mary out on the prairie. As I grew older I dreamt of being a writer and creating worlds for kids to lose themselves in. But I let that dream drift as grown-up life became a reality. My careers as a mother, a librarian, and a social worker took up much of my time and energy, even though I continued to read and enjoy books for children. I was working as a school librarian and struggling with both my kids leaving for college when I noticed a picture book writing class being offered at a local art college. And suddenly, I was back in that drifting dream. Taking that class and being with people who shared the same dream was a giant step forward in my twisty road to publication. Sometimes I could glide on effortlessly, and other times I would round a curve to find a huge hill that I had to toil up.