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CCB Newsletter
April 2011


In this Newsletter…



Edible Book Festival - CCB GA Creation 

Edible Book Festival: Two Special Awards

The Center for Children’s Books is one of a group of sponsors for this year’s Edible Book Festival at the University YMCA on Tuesday, April 5 th. We expect another tight race for the “Best Entry Based on Books for Children or Teens.” There is also a special award this year for “Best Use of Local Ingredients.” For the Edible Book Festival schedule and pictures of past creations visit (Image is of this year's CCB grad assistants' edible book creation)

Web Resource Profile: American Indians in Children’s Literature

How are stereotypes of American Indians perpetuated in children’s literature? Professor Debbie Reese, UIUC professor of American Indian Studies, tackles questions like this and posts critiques and recommendations of children’s books on her blog. Community Informatics and the Center for Children’s Books will be sponsoring a lecture by Professor Reese entitled “American Indians in Children's Literature: An Indigenous Scholar's Use of Social Media” at GSLIS in Rm 46 on Wednesday, April 13th. Take a minute to visit Professor Reese’s blog ( and we hope to see you at the lecture!

Center for Children’s Books T-shirts

The Center for Children’s Books has royal blue t-shirts for sale featuring our beautifully illustrated gryphon reading with a child. If you pre-ordered a t-shirt, your shirt is now available for pick-up. T-shirts can be purchased for $12 at the CCB during our open hours; just ask whoever is at the front desk!



April Calendar

Tuesday, April 5, 10am-1pm: Edible Book Festival. Visit the University Library website for schedule details.

Thursday, April 7, 5-6pm: Youth Literature Book Club. We’ll be discussing Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde.   

Wednesday, April 13, 4pm, GSLIS Rm. 46: “American Indians in Children's Literature: An Indigenous Scholar's Use of Social Media.” Lecture by Professor Debbie Reese, American Indian Studies, UIUC.  

Saturday, April 16, 7-9pm, GSLIS Rm. 126: Storytelling Festival   

Monday, April 18, 4-5pm: Graphic Novel Book Club led by Lauren Chambers   

Thursday, April 21, 5-7pm: Story Coach Game Night    

Events take place at the CCB unless otherwise noted. For complete descriptions of calendar events, visit the calendar on our website.



Our Affiliates Out and About

April 1-3, Comics Arts Conference, San Francisco, CA. Lecture by Professor Carol Tilley about DC Comics' reading promotion efforts during the 1930s and 1940s. More information at



New Bibliographies on the CCB Website

Bibliography: Books With Recipes and Other Delicious Selections!

Created by CCB Volunteers, April 2011



Storytelling at the Center for Children's Books

By Miriam Larson, CCB Outreach GA

The Eighth Annual Storytelling Festival is fast approaching and the Center for Children’s Books is looking forward to a night of adventures and laughter. We also have taken this opportunity to ask a couple of CCB affiliates how the emphasis on storytelling at the CCB began.

Former Bulletin Editor and CCB director Elizabeth Hearne played a significant role in establishing the emphasis on storytelling at the CCB. When I asked her about how the storytelling focus at the CCB began, she first pointed out that librarians have long used storytelling in programming and literacy initiatives in public libraries. But in the 1980s there was a resurgence in folklore, particularly folktales adapted for children.

Professor Hearne became editor of the Bulletin in 1985 when the Center for Children’s Books and the Bulletin were still housed at the University of Chicago. In 1992, Hearne facilitated a move to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Interest in storytelling from students helped fuel the growth of storytelling at the CCB and in GSLIS youth services education. At one point, Professor Hearne was teaching three sections of storytelling! Professor Hearne also started a monthly storytelling guild, which is now known as Story Coach. In 1996, Janice del Negro took over as editor of the Bulletin and initiated several storytelling events at GSLIS that eventually grew into the annual Storytelling Festival.

Professor Hearne points out that, in recent years, storytelling has taken a back seat to test-driven educational practice sustained by policies like No Child Left Behind. This is unfortunate given that, as Professor McDowell says, storytelling is “an especially important tool in educational settings because we learn better when facts have contexts.” However, Professor Hearne says with confidence that “ storytelling has had an adult Renaissance and will circle back into children’s lives through a renewed recognition of its fundamental lifelong relevance.”

The upcoming Storytelling Festival on Saturday, April 16th is one way GSLIS participates in the storytelling Renaissance. The Festival will feature stories from around the world and will bring to life some eclectic characters including a Goldilocks turned vigilante, a farcical group of brothers on a camping trip, and a man who has no stories to tell until he stumbles upon an adventure. Stories will be performed by a select group of GSLIS students, alumni, and faculty, including new storytellers and seasoned professionals.

And if you cannot make it to the Festival, we invite you to visit the CCB’s storytelling and folktale collection. Because of our research and educational focus, we maintain a diverse collection of books that include old volumes dating as far back as 1912 as well as contemporary collections from around the world. The worn books in our collection are perhaps a reminder that storytelling has been significant for a long time. We hope you will join us in helping storytelling traditions carry on!



New Books We Just Had to Read

Every month, the CCB Graduate Assistants highlight books reviewed in the most recent issue of the Bulletin that we were excited to read. These decisions are based on personal preference, but all books listed are Recommended by the Bulletin. For complete reviews, visit the Bulletin website ( to learn how to subscribe.

Ayanna’s Choice: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Reading Level: Gr. 6-9

Pages: 472

Publisher and Year: Greenwillow Books, 2011

ISBN: 978-0062001030

Price: $17.99

Azalea, the oldest of 12 alphabetically named daughters to the King, loves to dance. Her mother taught her everything she knows and she passes down her growing expertise ever so patiently to her sisters. Unfortunately, after Azalea’s first ball, her mother succumbs to an illness and Azalea is left with only her mother’s silver embroidered handkerchief and the responsibility of caring for her sisters. The queen’s death requires a year of mourning, which means no bright dresses, no walks in the garden, no sunlight in the palace, and worst of all, no dancing. Only a short time into their mourning captivity, the princesses discover a secret passageway; it leads to an enchanted garden presided over by the Keeper who is, to say the least, quite dashing. In the garden, the girls can dance the night away without being caught…but there is a catch. Readers will find that they will be able to identify with at least one of the many vivid characters and also will have to fight the urge not to attempt the princesses’ dance moves. Fans of fractured fairy tales will not be disappointed in the least.


Laurel’s Choice: A Time of Miracles by Anne-Laure Bondoux tr. from French by Y. Maudet

Reading Level: Gr. 6-10

Pages: 180

Publisher and Year: Delacorte, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-385-73922-1

Price: $17.99

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, seven-year-old Koumaïl and his beloved guardian Gloria, begin an arduous five-year journey across the war-torn region of the Caucascus hoping to find safety in France. They seek refuge in camps and towns along the way and Koumaïl witnesses both the generosity and cruelty of humankind. Although the journey is difficult, Koumaïl finds solace in hearing Gloria tell about how she found him. She says that she was witness to the derailment of a train and when she approached, a seriously injured French passenger with a baby asked Gloria to take the baby because the woman did not think she would survive. As the story unfolds, Koumaïl eventually learns that this is not the true story. He is separated from Gloria at the French border, is taken in by French authorities, attends a school for refugees and grows into a young man. But he never finds a trace of the mother Gloria told him about and he finally returns to the land of his childhood where he finds Gloria in a hospital and learns the truth of his origins.


Miriam’s Choice: Princess Posey and the Perfect Present by Stephanie Greene

Reading Level: Gr. 1-2

Pages: 85

Publisher and Year: Putnam, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25462-8

Price: $12.99

This book is the sequel to our Gryphon Honor Book Princess Posey and the First Grade Parade. It tells another story about Posey and her attempt to give the perfect birthday present to her beloved teacher Miss Lee. Posey finds the perfect present but then discovers that her best friend Nikki got the same thing – flowers – and got to Miss Lee first. She is crushed that Miss Lee will not know how much Posey likes her and Posey is angry at her friend. With supportive adults around to help her through her emotional turmoil, Posey eventually thinks of a new idea for an “after-birthday” present and gets over her anger at her best friend. Kids who like tutus, gardens, and their teachers will sympathize with Posey’s ups and downs and be proud readers of an accessible transitional readers’ chapter book.



Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

Winter, Jeanette. Josefina. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1996. ISBN 978-0152010911.

This is a story about Mexican potter Josefina Aguilar as well as a counting book in English and Spanish. Josefina sculpts what she sees in the world around her and counts: “One sun, two angels . . .”

For more book selections or to order this one, visit the CCB’s Amazon Wish List.



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The Center for Children's Books | Graduate School of Library and Information Science | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
501 E. Daniel St. | Champaign, IL 61820 | 217-244-9331 |