Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Name is Sangoel and Americanah

My Little Sangoel has been paired with Americanah by Chimamanda Ngoci Adiche for the Greenwich Connecticut Read Together Celebration this October.  

WOW!  What an honor for Sangoel, for me.

I might even get to go to Greenwich.  Not far from where I grew up, another connection.  stay tuned to this blog for more about that.

Just when an author least expects it her books make new friends and connections in unexpected places.

See more about Americanah, a story about race, immigration and identity and the Greenwich reading Celebration here:

And a big shout out to Greenwich teachers, librarians, parents and community for promoting READING!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Tale of a Beach Tail

Thirty years ago my husband, Steve and I were at the beach in New England with our son Peter who was five.  We told him he could play in the sand but he could not go in the water without one of us.

We settled back on the beach blanket to watch him build castles and throw rocks into the ocean.  And we saw the exact moment when he looked back to find us and then the sudden moment when he panicked and began running wildly down the beach.  From his vantage point all the umbrellas and towels and blankets must have looked the same.  Steve jumped up and ran down the beach to "rescue" Peter.

So 25 years later I had a story idea, something about a child who finds his way home or back on the trail by being observant.  The original draft took place in the woods but it wasn't working.

Then I remembered Peter on the beach.  The rest is history.  Except any writer knows it is not that easy.  It took some time.

And now Peter has a son who is five.  We spent some time at the beach recently.
This beach was in Hawaii.   Back at the house we took a break from sand and sun and ocean and I read A Beach Tail to my grandson, Ethan.  What a joy to share this tale inspired by his dad to my grandchild.

But then something else happened.  That afternoon back at the beach I gave Ethan a stick and suggested he write his name.

He did and then...

He drew a lion.   (A nod here to Floyd Cooper)

 And then he drew a tail!
He followed it back to his lion.

Later he read A Beach Tail again.

An unexpected pleasure for this Grandma who had not carried this tale so far when she first wrote the book.  An author never knows whose hands her books will end up in and what they will inspire.  What a journey we take when we begin on a fresh page for a new tale..

And what pleasure!

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Beach Tail and Four Feet Two Sandals Travel to Wisconsin!

I went too.

Thanks to the Wisconsin International Outreach Consortium.

Two great events.  A workshop for teachers,  “Exploring Global Stories Locally: Migration Histories, Children’s Literature, and Wisconsin Experiences”

And Story Hour with some jellyfish inspired by A Beach Tail.

Here's a shout out to Wisconsin!  Doing great work for children, literature, teachers and immigrants and more.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Galimoto: 25 Years of Creative Sharing!

From this to that:

Found wire recycled into
this:  sharing, working together, imagination, creativity, ingenuity and perseverance.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Summer reading! A Beach Tail.


Look what Read On Wisconsin has selected for their summer reading list.

A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Boyds Mills Press, 2010.
Swish-swoosh.” The sound of waves washing the shore repeats throughout an engaging picture book in which a young African American boy is the architect of his own adventure. After Gregory draws “a Sandy lion” in the sand at the beach, his dad cautions, “Don’t go in the water, and don’t leave Sandy.” And Gregory doesn’t, but as the tail he draws on Sandy gets longer and longer, it takes him farther and farther away from his dad: over an old sand castle, around a horseshoe and a ghost crab, all the way to a jetty. “But Gregory did not go in the water, and he did not leave Sandy.” It’s only when he finally looks up that Gregory realizes how far he’s gone. He turns a moment of worry—which one of those distant figures sitting on towels is his dad?–into masterful problem solving when he follows Sandy’s tail over and around all the objects, back to his dad’s welcome smile. Floyd Cooper’s sun-washed, sandy illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to this terrific picture book narrative. Highly Commended, 2011 Charlotte Zolotow Award(MS) ©2010 Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Check it out here:

I will  be taking A Beach Tail to Hawaii to read with my grandson, Ethan.  We plan to make a lion in the sand with a long tail, hoping for a journey down the beach with adventure.

His dad, Peter will be with us, the very boy who left the safety of the family umbrella and inspired this story all those years ago.  I watched him wonder down the beach and panic when he could not find his way back.   That experience resurfaced to become A Beach Tail.  Little did I know I would be sharing it with my grandchildren one summer.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Galimoto 25 years and now part of the Center for the Collaborative Classroom!

Galimoto is 25 this year!  Still appreciated

Still going strong.

Still chosen.    The Center for the Collabortative Classroom has added Galimoto to their curriculum.

It is an honor to have Galimoto join the ranks of this program that uses so many fine books.  A non profit organization that uses literature in their mission, dedicated to students' growth as critical thinkers who learn from, care for and respect one another.

Learn more here:
And see the interview with the author here:

Interview with Karen Lynn Williams

Saturday, May 16, 2015