I’m thrilled to be presenting on a panel at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Josh Funk put our panel together. It’s called, “Food: The Universal Language that Connects Us All.” I’ll be joining Josh Funk, Mindy Yuksel, Jen Seiler, and Lisa Wyzlic on Friday, November 17th at 11:00 a.m.
Josh Funk is a software engineer and the author of books like the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, the It’s Not a Fairy Tale series, the How to Code with Pearl and Pascal series, Dear Dragon, Dear Unicorn, and more. Since the fall of 2015, he has visited (or virtually visited) over 700 schools and libraries around the world.
The Great Caper Caper by Josh Funk, illustrated by Brendan Kearney
A heist is afoot and the great light in the refrigerator has gone missing. Is Count Caper to blame? Lady Pancake and Sir. French Toast is on the case. They journey to Las Veggies to solve this mystery and discover that friendship can solve all problems. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Jenny Seiler is an educator, secondary ELA content coordinator, and library coordinator in Colorado. She has participated in children’s literature committees and has presented at local, state, and national conferences.
Mia Wenjen is the author of Food for the Future: Sustainable Farms Around the World, Sumo Joe, and more. She blogs on parenting, children’s books, and education at PragmaticMom.com and is the co-creator of Read Your World celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
Food for the Future: Sustainable Farms Around the World by Mia Wenjen, illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng
Go on a tour of eco-friendly farms around the globe! From urban gardens to farms under the sea, discover the many different sustainable ways people have been growing food for centuries, and new innovations that are battling the effects of climate change on farming. Rhyming text and inset boxes with definitions for new vocabulary words make the topic accessible to young learners. The end matter includes detailed information about each country’s farming practice, sustainable farming, and more. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
Lisa Wyzlic is a debut picture book author of Harold the Iceberg Melts Down about the importance of friendship and self-care, perfect for any young reader worried about their planet’s future.
Harold is an iceberg of the lettuce variety, but because a sticker covers the “lettuce” part, he thinks he’s an iceberg. And things do not look good for icebergs as Harold discovers! Harold tells his friends in the refrigerator, and they let him know that he’s actually an iceberg lettuce but that doesn’t stop Harold’s concern. It is such a big problem and they are so small. But Harold realizes that they can still make a difference, both in preventing emotional meltdowns and the kind that affects icebergs. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
M.O. Yuksel is the award-winning author of picture books In My Mosque (ALA Notable Book), and One Wish: Fatima al-Fihri and the World’s Oldest University (NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended 2022). Her forthcoming books include Ramadan Kareem, and Sami’s Special Gift: An Eid Al-Adha Story.
In My Mosque by M.O. Yuksel, illustrated by Hatem Aly
“In my mosque, the imam tells us stories of living in harmony, together as one…
In my mosque, we pray for peace, love, and joy … just like my friends who worship in churches, temples, and synagogues.”
Everyone is welcome in a mosque and there is also food involved! There are also piles of food donations as well as naan, samsa, and sweet melon slices to eat after prayers. The wonders of the mosque are celebrated in this gentle primer about the Islamic religion. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Back in 800 CE in Tunisia, Fatima al-Fihri had a wish. She wanted a school for all. She held on to that wish even as her family fled war to immigrate to Fez, Morocco. When tragedy befell her and her husband and father died, Fatima decided to build the Andalusian Mosque in Fez, now, one of the oldest mosques and institutions of higher learning in the world. It was open to all, including women!
This inspiring story also has ties to food. Fatima’s father was a merchant in a souk, and she accompanied him. The illustrations depict them enjoying mint tea while selling spices, fabric, and fruit. [picture book biography, ages 4 and up]
If you will be at NCTE, I’d love to connect with you!
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Food for the Future: Sustainable Farms Around the World
- Junior Library Guild Gold selection
- Selected as one of 100 Outstanding Picture Books of 2023 by dPICTUS and featured at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair
- Starred review from School Library Journal
- Chicago Library’s Best of the Best
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.