Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Quvenzhané Wallis Hopes to Reach Young Readers With Her New Books

Quvenzhané Wallis the 12 year actress who has starred in the remake of the movie, Annie, and in the movies Beasts of the Southern Wild, Twelve Years a Slave, and the animated film, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet will now turn her talents to publishing.  Publishers Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers have announced that they have made a deal with Miss Wallis to publish a chapter-book trilogy and a picture book to be released between January 2017 and Summer 2018. The picture book will be loosely based on her life experiences and the chapter books will be based on the adventures of a spunky talented third grader. The talented Wallis who is the youngest actress ever to receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress hopes to reach readers ages six and older. “Reading is very important,” Wallis said. “It allows people to form a visual experience in their minds of what is going on in the story. I hope all readers enjoy using their imaginations along with me and take a journey into my books.”

Dawn Davis, VP and publisher of 37 INK, a division of Atria added, “The characters Quvenzhane has portrayed have an alluring mix of self-possession and vulnerability. We look forward to her bringing that same electric combination to the page. We also hope these books will help expand the diverse array of voices in the children’s book space.” 

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture Celebrates 90 Years!

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, one of the most important resources  for information on African- American history is celebrating its' 90th Anniversary.  If you live in New York or are visiting Harlem this is the place to introduce young  people to the rich cultural heritage of people of African descent. They offer a Young Scholars program for young people and educational programs for educators.

The Center was started with the collection of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg,  an Afro Puerto Rican who was challenged to start his collection when his teacher told him Africa had no history. Throughout his life he collected books, art, photographs, slavery narratives, and founded a historical society on Africa.  Now one man's dream has been been a source of wealth and information for many generations. Scholars, students, writers, artists, activists have flocked to the center to be inspired and informed. As a young girl I was introduced to the center, and as a student I spent hours pouring over fascinating stories on African American culture.  The Schomburg was also where I first met Langston Hughes.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Doc McStuffins Goes to Washington

First Lady Michelle Obama joins Doc McStuffin as an animated character for the upcoming episode of “Doc McStuffins Goes to Washington.” The episode premieres Monday, October 5 at 9AM on the Disney Channel for Child Health Day. Doc McStuffin who fixes broken toys in her backyard playhouse clinic will be invited by the First Lady to make a difference in her community.  Fans of the series will later see her honored in a special ceremony, where the First Lady appoints Doc to official “toy doctor” for the White House.

Child Health Day is a United States Federal Observance Day observed on the first Monday in October. On Child Health Day the president invites "all agencies and organizations interested in child welfare to unite on Child Health Day in observing exercises that will make the people of the United States aware of the fundamental necessity of a year-round program to protect and develop the health of the children of the United States." The holiday was enacted by Congress in 1928, and was first celebrated on May 1, 1929.

See "Doc McStuffin Goes to Washington" starting on Monday, October 5 at 9AM on Disney Channel and at 7:30PM on Disney Junior Channel.