As promised in our “Made in Illinois” post, we’d like to share updated information about SCBWI’s Read Local website and resource for anyone looking to collaborate with authors and illustrators from Illinois. Here is their launch video:
We invite local librarians and educators to use Read Local in their programming and instruction, and don’t forget to visit Butler Children’s Literature Center to see what’s new in board books, picture books, nonfiction, early readers and chapter books, middle grade fiction, and young adult fiction! We are open Monday-Thursday from 12-4 pm, or by appointment (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Butler Children’s Literature Center was pleased to host local author Sarah Aronson last week Thursday, September 20th, for her “Made in Illinois” presentation. Aronson, who has written several books for children and teens, including the Wish List series for middle grade readers and an upcoming Rube Goldberg picture book biography, is originally from Pennsylvania, but now calls Evanston home. She shared with our audience various ways teachers and librarians can incorporate local authors and illustrators into their programming, from brief but impactful Skype conversations, to writing or illustrating workshops, or as enhancements to various STEAM curricula. Aronson also suggested collaborating with authors and illustrators to introduce more difficult conversations. “Books are a safe place to have a bigger discussion,” she said, whether that be about “bullying, the loss of a loved one, or talks about community and empathy.”
However educators want to work with authors and illustrators, the important thing, Aronson reminded everyone, was that the kids and their interests and imaginations be at the forefront, and that it be a collaborative effort between all parties: “When kids meet authors and illustrators, something happens. The book comes alive.” All it takes to make this magic happen is reaching out. Many authors have contact information on their websites, and there is an online resource launching this fall that will help connect local creators with local educators (look for announcements here and on our social media!).
Thanks again to Sarah, and happy collaborating to all!