Showing posts from May, 2019

Identity Markers in Educational Material for Language Arts

by Alma Rivera Collazo
The development of language arts skills is essential for learning and schooling. In some cases, the only experience children and young people have with print material – and the meanings contained therein – occurs in the classroom through curricula that has been chosen as part of an educational and language policy or planning process.

Lo Bianco (2010) states that it is “in the transfer from home to school [that] the language of learning is decided, and the messages, overt and covert, which this transfer signifies, are conveyed” (164). Since language is intrinsically linked to identity, the texts presented to children could include markers for the construction of their own identities. The educational authority can use text selection to influence the process of identity-formation in students.

After working in the educational publishing industry in Puerto Rico for more than eight years, I have become increasingly aware of the complexities of this process. Effective …

The Caterpillar That was Afraid of the Cocoon

by Latoya Wakefield

Once upon a time there was a caterpillar named ‘Irie’. Irie loved his name, although he did not know why it had been given to him. One starry night, he asked his grandma.

 “Good evening, Grandma, why was I named Irie?” he asked.

Grandma smiled and told him, “Your mother gave you that name because instead of crying when you were born, you laughed. Irie means that everything is all right. When you laughed, we knew you were alright.”

And mon, did Irie love to laugh!

However, there was one thing that didn’t make Irie happy. The idea of going into a cocoon. His older cousins all went into cocoons so that they could become butterflies, but Irie was afraid of being in that silky stuff all by himself.

One day, he asked his mother, “Mom, can I just stay a caterpillar forever?”

But his mother replied, “Irie, there are some things that are inevitable in life.”

“In-every-table?” he repeated, confused.

She laughed.

“Yes, my Sunshine. That means that there some things in lif…

Announcing #Caribbeankidlitchat

On April 2, 2015 (International Children's Book Day), Anansesem hosted its first ever Twitter chat with guest authors Lynn Joseph, Ramin Ganeshram, Tracey Baptiste, and moderator Summer Edward. The chat focused on diversity, diversifying Caribbean children's lit narratives and the (often problematic) relationship between Caribbean children's literature and US publishing.

The first #Caribbeankidlitchat was enthusiastically received. The Tweet Reach analysis of the chat below confirms the impact of using a social media forum like Twitter to reach and engage the kid lit community:

#Caribbeankidlitchat (that's the official hash tag) is a twitter chat, held about once every two months, for anyone involved in the writing, editing, reading, marketing or publishing of Caribbean children's literature. We welcome readers, librarians, teachers, parents, booksellers, packagers, etc. to engage in discussions concerning the market, craft, the classroom, children, shelving, conte…


by Tyrin Culmer. 12 years old

“Latisha, get your behind out of bed and go to school!” mom yelled from the other room.

“Alright, geesh!” I screamed back, holding my blanket which was thinner than paper and painted by me.

Should I have said that? Probably not, because the next thing I felt was a SMACK! My face was red and Angela’s massive hand-print was left on my right cheek.

I live with just my mother. I will never forget when I received the worst call ever: finding out that my daddy was dead. Ever since then my mom and I have never been the same.

I got out of bed, got dressed, and headed for school.

“Bye!” mom said angrily.

“Bye!” I answered in a sassy voice, with my hand on my hip as I walked out on my tippy toes.

This was my first time in a new school so I looked for the door with the number six on it and I walked into the class quietly. Click clock.

“Good morning… Latisha?” asked Mr. Daniels.

I put my hand on my kimba, leaned to the side and said “Ummm….. You’re the teacher, aren’t…

Self-Publishing Journeys: Bish Denham

A Journey to Self-Publishing
For 23 years I worked at a home for abused and neglected children. For eighteen of those years I was the assistant editor of the newsletter that went out to about ten thousand people across the United States and various countries in the world. Over the course of that time I wrote hundreds of articles and stories.

When I retired from my job I decided it was time to wake up my own writing dreams, dreams of writing for children. They were dreams I’d had for a long time but had been unable to pursue. To that end I took all three correspondence courses at The Institute of Children’s Literature which included two on learning how to write short stories and articles and submit them to children’s magazine and one on novel writing.

I had some success getting stories and articles published in children’s magazines like Spider, Fun With Kidz, My Friend, and Wee Ones to name a few. I also had a couple of lower middle grade novels under my belt that …