The UC Davis School of Education and its partners, Sutter Health/Sutter Children’s Hospital, Sacramento, and the Sacramento Public Library, host the annual Words Take Wing event, a celebration of children’s literature as art. The focus is on the diversity of stories and characters found in works by authors from different cultures who explore and create settings that reflect a wide range of perspectives and world views.
Sheila Hamanaka has been illustrating children’s books since 1987. She is best known for her books on peace and multiculturalism. Her award-winning book “The Journey” is based on a five-panel mural she painted about the history of the Japanese in America, focusing on the concentration camps in which her parents were jailed during World War II. Her popular “All the Colors of the Earth” celebrates the diversity of children and parents. Hamanaka’s work with the Animal Welfare Institute reflects her deep concern for all sentient beings and for our home, earth.
We know from our partnerships with schools and districts throughout Northern California that many children need more opportunities to experience literature. Unfortunately, the school day is often too full to promise the reading of books, and many children live in homes where reading is not a priority.
Words Take Wing provides teachers, children and parents with an opportunity to experience the power of a great story to move children, to introduce them to worlds they would not otherwise encounter, and to inspire them to share their own stories.
Words Take Wing, featuring Native American children’s writer Joseph Bruchac, was featured in the Davis Enterprise on February 12, 2015.
“This is the kind of program I wish occurred in more places,” the author told The Enterprise. “As an inspiration to teachers and students, it is second to none. I can’t think of a more enthusiastic audience. You can see the excitement.” Read the full article by Jeff Hudson.
Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children’s Literature (WTW) celebrates children’s literature and values its capacity to inform, inspire, and empower by giving voice and forum to the creators of children’s books. The WTW committee endeavors to highlight notable authors and illustrators of diverse backgrounds and to make the program available to those children with whom the experience might strongly resonate.
It is our intent to deepen and expand our local children’s literature community through mutually beneficial partnerships, increased publicity, classroom presence, and additional children’s literature events. In the above ways, WTW will continue to build and sustain relationships with those who work earnestly to nourish the lives of children and who recognize the excellence and importance of children’s literature.