Meet Sandra Horning, James Marshall Fellow for 2014

Sandra Horning, of Chaplin, Connecticut, is the author of three children’s books:  The Biggest Pumpkin, a picture book illustrated by Holly Stone-Barker and due out later this year; Chicks!, a beginning reader illustrated by Jon Goodell and published by Random House in 2013; and The Giant Hug, a picture book illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev and published by Knopf in 2005.  The Giant Hug won several awards and has been translated into Dutch, Italian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

Ms. Horning is studying the Papers of James Marshall to support the completion of a new beginning reader with the working title Crab and Snail.  She is researching word choice and length, Marshall’s revision process and his creative process from the first idea to publication.  This is Ms. Horning’s first of three blog posts in fulfillment of the Marshall Fellowship.  Welcome, Sandra!


Blog Post 1: Kids are Really Smart These Days


Most people think of James Marshall as an illustrator and vividly remember his characters, George and Martha, Miss Nelson, and Fox, among others, but I, as a children’s author myself, think of his words and how well crafted his stories are.  Since he wrote many of his stories under the name Edward Marshall, there may be people who don’t realize the large number of stories he wrote and illustrated. I’m thrilled to now have an opportunity to research how James Marshall may have created such memorable stories and characters.

As I dig into the collection, which is quite vast, I’ve been looking at story plots and character development, but Marshall’s endings are what keep jumping out. One of the reasons his books can be read over and over again is that his endings are always satisfying and funny. Since I am currently in the midst of writing a beginning reader, for the last few weeks I’ve been closely looking through drafts and dummies of Marshall’s beginning reader stories of Fox. I’ve noted several times how Marshall made a small comment in the margin near the ending: “Funnier ending” and “Make better.” When I compare the dummy to the final version in print, indeed, Marshall has always made a change to a better and funnier ending, just as he noted.

For example, in the story “Monday Morning” in the book Fox All Week, Fox jumps out of bed eager for the school field trip. When he looks out the window it is pouring down rain. He says, “This isn’t funny.” Fox is sure the field trip will be canceled and it will be school as usual. He then pretends to be sick so he can skip school.  Reading comics and having his mom wait on him, Fox is having a great time in bed when he hears voices outside his window. The last page of the story reads,

It was Miss Moon and the class.

“We are off on our field trip!” called out Carmen.

“A little rain can’t stop us!” said Miss Moon.


Marshall had many different lines ending the story:

“That’s just dandy!” said Fox.

And Fox felt just awful.

Fox couldn’t believe his ears.

“I could just die,” said Fox.


James Marshall dummy pg. 10.  All rights reserved.

James Marshall dummy pg. 10. All rights reserved.

A page from the dummy for the story “Monday Morning’ in  James Marshall’s book Fox All Week. Note “funnier ending?”  in the margin above the number 10. (James Marshall Papers:Box 7:Folder 131).  All rights reserved.  No reproduction of any kind allowed.





The ending in the final version is “This isn’t funny,” said Fox.  It is simple and subtle, and it ties into the beginning of the story, repeating Fox’s line when he thought the rain canceled the trip. It lets the reader know how Fox felt without saying it. It assumes the reader has the ability to get the understatement and humor.


In another story, “The Friday Dinner,” from the same book, Fox’s mother burns the dinner. Fox steps in and announces that he will make dinner. Then he clears everyone out of the kitchen. The reader hears Fox banging pots and pans. The last page of the dummy reads,

When dinner was served it was simply delicious. 


The last page as it was printed reads:

 Finally dinner was ready.

 “Fox,” said Mom, “These peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are simply delicious.”


The dummy ending was funny, but it is much funnier to have Mom refer to the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Plus, the illustration  might not be able to make it clear that it is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Again, as in the first example, the child reading it has to understand the humor: you don’t need pots and pans to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

In my final and favorite example, “Tuesday’s Lunch,” again from the same book, Fox and his friends are sick of the tuna sandwiches their mothers give them for lunch. They decide to teach their moms a lesson and throw the sandwiches over the schoolyard wall. Of course, later they are hungry and unhappy. As they leave school, the dummy with “Make Better” in the margins ends with the following:

On the way home Fox and his friends met a poor old cat.

“You look hungry,” said the cat.

“Would you like a tuna sandwich?”

“Oh yes!” They cried.

And they ate every bite.


James Marshall dummy pg. 16.  All rights reserved.

James Marshall dummy pg. 16. All rights reserved.

A page from the dummy for the story “Tuesday’s Lunch” in  James Marshall’s book Fox All Week. Note the “Make better” at the end of the text. (James Marshall Papers:Box 7:Folder 131).  All rights reserved.  No reproduction of any kind allowed. 




Below is the ending in print:

 On the other side of the wall they met a poor cat.

“I’m so happy,” said the cat.

“A nice lunch fell from the sky.”

“Three tuna sandwiches?” said Fox.

“Gosh,” said the old cat. “Kids are really smart these days.”


Once again, Marshall successfully made a better and funnier ending, one with additional meaning. Fox and his friends were not too bright when they decided to throw out their tuna sandwiches. The line “Kids are really smart these days.” adds an ironic note to the humor.

 So what is the secret behind his perfect endings? I think the secret is that Marshall trusts that the child reader is intelligent enough to understand the humor without spelling it out in a didactic way.  Children love to be in on a joke. Books with great endings are the books children remember and read again. This has led me to review some of my unpublished manuscript endings. Reading through them, I am taking a lesson from James Marshall and writing “Make better” and “Make funnier” next to my endings that need it! And, of course, I will keep in mind what Marshall himself stated: “Kids are really smart these days.”

Insights on a Fellowship

Glastonbury, Conn., English teacher David Polochanin was recently awarded the James Marshall Fellowship, as he pursues to write young adult literature as part of a yearlong sabbatical. During his research, he will write an occasional series of blog posts, based on his observations and insights relating to the contents of the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Connecticut.   This is the second in the series.

Blog post 2: On The Psychology Of Writing

“You may think that this is the first Newbery acceptance speech I have ever made. But it isn’t. Long ago, before I ever wrote a book, when I was a children’s librarian and first aware of the Newbery Medal, I used to often put myself to sleep at night making speeches accepting this coveted award. These speeches were all exceptionally good and I wish I could remember them now. After I started writing, I stopped this pleasant habit, for my mind busied itself with wayward excursions creating chapters for… books.”

           Excerpt from Eleanor Estes’ 1952 Newbery Medal speech for her book Ginger Pye
 Eleanor Estes Newbery speech pg. 3

 Eleanor Estes Newbery Speech pg. 4

Within the publishing industry, there is a genre subset that exists mainly because of the uncertainty, mystery, and pressure that all writers face – the self-help writing guide. New books are sold every year, offering expert advice on such writerly, often impossible, things as how to summon the muses, where characters come from, the best ways to begin and end a story, if outlining is necessary for everyone, as if these were insider secrets only known to a few. Still, we learn that some authors write early in morning; others late at night. Some claim the best ideas come while taking long walks; others write what they dream and form stories around that.

To prove the marketability of such books, there is still a shelf at your local Barnes and Noble and the UConn Co-op reserved for such titles as John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction, Ray Bradbury’s Zen In The Art Of Writing, Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft, Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones: Freeing The Writer Within, Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, and Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, among others.

As a writer, especially at the beginning, during those fledgling phases when you’ve got 40 pages of something and it isn’t going so well, it’s hard not to look at these books. They are indeed tempting to read. Teachers at the college level routinely assign them as class texts, and the content is often useful, if not entertaining. I’ve bought a bunch of them myself, and every now and then, I return to them for inspiration or direction.

So, what makes me bring up the self-help industry for writers? A progressive-minded document from 1952.

Browsing through the Eleanor Estes papers recently I came upon several drafts of her Newbery Medal speech, given in 1952 for her book Ginger Pye, which stopped me in my tracks. As I read the draft, complete with cross-outs and edits, I stopped at the excerpt at the top of this post and had to reread it. I copied it verbatim on my yellow legal pad. Estes, a former librarian in New York City, said this was not her first speech. She had given many of them, in her head, putting herself to sleep at night imagining that she had won the award. What she was saying could have easily been included in a how-to-write guide; it still could.

With so much written about the psychology of writing – directly or indirectly – the truth remains elusive. What works for some will not work for all. I know for a fact that I do not have the motivation to write at 4:30 a.m., as some writers do. My most productive work time is sometime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. It used to be from 9 p.m. to midnight, before my kids entered the picture. I have had numerous ideas come to me while on bike rides and while driving my car, though I would hesitate to say there is a direct correlation between generating writing ideas and movement. Perhaps through doing these activities, my mind has an opportunity to clear out some space for creative thought. But who really knows.

Reading from superior examples in the genre you’re writing seems to help warm up the brain. Perhaps it’s nothing more than mere imitation. But is this scientifically based? I doubt it, or know if it can be. Still, Ted Kooser, the Pulitzer Prize winning poet who has been the U.S. Poet Laureate, in interviews says he has done this, as have many other writers. When I was a journalist at the Providence Journal, before a major assignment an editor once sent me a handful of front-page feature stories from the Wall Street Journal before I started to write one of my own. I did “channel” something from those stories, but I think I was too young to figure out how the articles she sent could help me.

Nevertheless, I guess the Estes comment surprised me because of the time period in which she wrote it, and also because it still makes so much sense today. How could it not help to imagine doing the very thing you want to do? Isn’t visualization/imagery the most primitive version of positive psychology? Estes was priming her brain to write great works, and her nightly fantasizing ritual ultimately gave her a tight focus and, quite likely, a motivation.

It worked for her. Could it work for others?

Sifting through boxes of manuscripts in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection, I suppose, can have a similar effect: to gain a psychological edge in the writing process. It’s easy to forget sometimes that writing is truly an art form, and that artists need inspiration and particular conditions in order to do it well. Whether it’s writing near the window at Starbucks, which seems to be a favorite for many, or in a secluded study room at a library, I’m not sure if there are any big secrets that will work for everyone. The trick, I think, is discovering what will work for you.

“Timmy Trapped on Mars”: What Makes Failed Pitches “Bad”? by Tanya Rose Lane

For almost two years, I have been blessed with the incredible opportunity to work under Terri Goldich, the curator for the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection located in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. That’s right– not only do I get to work hands-on with sketches, dummies, and correspondence from children’s authors and illustrators but I also get paid for it! My most interesting assignment, by far, has been performing the box inventory and description for the Mo Willems Papers. Hailing from New Orleans and a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Mo Willems is a wildly successful children’s author, illustrator, animator, and Caldecott Medal recipient. With animation credits that include Sesame Street, shows on both Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, plus the popular Pigeon book series, it is hard to believe that Mo Willems has entire boxes within his collection here dedicated to failed pitches. Why did some of Mo’s seemingly most fun and interesting ideas get rejected by editors and animation networks? But, alas, there must be reasons why some artists’ creative ideas never quite come to life and I set out to investigate those reasons.

The possible answer to my question lies within an overcrowded box deep within the shadows of the stacks (let me just note that, as a library assistant, the storage technique authors often use of stuffing every document they’ve ever owned into boxes that won’t hold all of them is both irritating and humorous). After I managed to yank the folder entitled “Failed Pitches” out of one of Mo’s boxes, I came across an interesting set of sketches and animation designs that were clearly from the beginning stages of an animated T.V. show. The show in question, “Timmy Trapped on Mars” was an idea that Mo pitched in 1998. The plot is essentially this: while on a walk through his suburban neighborhood, Timmy and his pet goldfish are abducted by a passing UFO. When taken to Mars, the aliens there identify Timmy’s fish Cleveland as a superior being. Cleveland soon is out to get Timmy for drowning him and feeding him nasty flakes daily while on planet Earth. Timmy’s only new friend, Bubba, is his guide while he is trapped on Mars. 

Artwork and animation: Willems, Mo. “Timmy Trapped on Mars”. May 1998. Mo Willems Papers, Box #4, “Failed Pitches”. Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction of any kind allowed. 

When I went through Mo’s notes that accompanied his artwork, I soon saw how he tried to identify possible aspects of the animated show that might not have “worked” with networks.  It seems that in order to get the green light on this T.V. show, Mo would have had to find a way to have Timmy act as an active protagonist instead of a sad main character constantly “pining” for planet Earth. He would also need to find a way to make the main dynamic of Cleveland vs. Timmy interesting and turn their relationship into one that is more complicated and complex. In his notes, Mo mentioned that he wanted to explore the role reversal with the fish as the ruler and the boy as a pet. This is where I think things could have gotten complicated and potentially unattractive to television networks. Mo Willems is known for his dark, satirical work where he satirizes adult authority and rules, something that definitely works in projects like the Pigeon books. However, the idea of role reversal here and challenging rules might not have gone over well with T.V. producers. The outer space setting also brings attention to another topic wrought with tension, that being the environment. By going to outer space and switching things up, Timmy’s situation makes me think, at least as an adult, that perhaps we earthlings are the ones who have things backwards. All of this might have been viewed as too political for an animated show for children or, maybe, producers just thought the plot had no lasting power. Maybe there were too many animated shows in 1998 about outer space or goldfish; it could have been absolutely anything. What do you think?

Insights on a Fellowship

Glastonbury, Conn., English teacher David Polochanin was recently awarded the James Marshall Fellowship, as he pursues to write young adult literature as part of a yearlong sabbatical. During his research, he will write an occasional series of blog posts, based on his observations and insights relating to the contents of the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Connecticut. Polochanin’s work has been widely published in major newspapers in New England, including The Boston Globe, Providence Journal, and Hartford Courant. His education writing has appeared in Education Week and Middle Ground, and his poetry has been included in an anthology by Native West Press, and will be published in the prose poetry journal Sentence.

Archives & Special Collections stacks

Photo in Archives & Special Collections stacks @ David Polochanin 2013

 Blog Post 1: On Production

Combing through the archives of this collection has been fascinating, and an extraordinary opportunity. Since my days as a reporting intern for the Boston Globe nearly 20 years ago, I’ve been interested in authors’ behind-the-scenes writing process – perhaps because the art of creation is typically so mysterious. After all, when authors are interviewed by admirers, one of the first questions they are asked is, “How did you write this?” or “Where did the idea come from?”

I am not so much interested in where ideas come from, but I am intrigued with the process of writing itself.

In a way, I am learning that it is not so complicated.

While I have examined only a fraction of what the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection holds, I am struck by the sheer production of some of these authors, the volume of work they have created, and that, it would seem, an author’s ability and determination to produce such large amounts of work are major factors leading to publication, success, accolades, fame. This drive ultimately distinguishes a recreational writer, I think, from writers who earn a living by writing, particularly as a creative writer, for adults and children alike.

Their success is not reliant upon talent, alone.

It takes tenacity to produce. I am reminded of an interview I read recently with Newbery Medal winning author Kate DiCamillo, posted on the website She said, “I’ve been in so many writing workshops, writing classes, and to the right of me and to the left of me, there’s always somebody much more talented than I am. And what I figured out is they’re not willing to go through the rejection, which is enormous, and then the compromise that comes with editing your work. I decided a long time ago that I didn’t have to be talented. I just had to be persistent, and that that was something that I could control — the persistence. I’ve always been kind of persistent.”

Again and again in author interviews, this is a common refrain. In order to publish your work, one must work hard. Sounds simple. But the determination involved when there are dozens of things vying for our time, is remarkable. It means casting these distractions – the Internet, TV, the laundry, the long shower – aside to sit somewhere and write for extended periods of time. In today’s society, a place where patience is underrated, this kind of discipline is increasingly difficult.

So when I look through boxes of drafts, notes, and manuscripts by such celebrated children’s authors as Eleanor Estes and Ruth Krauss, whose works are well represented in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection, seeing the sheer amount of their work stacked in box after box on the shelves in the back room, you begin to get a sense of why these are noteworthy writers and why their work is housed in a university archive.

Writing is a way of life. And you can tell that many of the writers here have dedicated their lives to the craft, to creating stories, poetry, or nonfiction. They have been prolific producers. It’s not unlike any other line of work that requires intense focus and discipline in order to rise to the top of a profession. The best physicians are often board-certified, keep up with current research, and teach young doctors in training; the best NBA players spend hours beyond their usual practice and game time to practice three-pointers and free throws and watch video of their games.

‘Consuming’ is the right word to describe this sort of dedication.

In his book The Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell theorizes that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at a craft, including reaching the highest levels of achievement in business, technology, sports, and music. I’d argue the same goes for writing. Over 10 years, that’s 1,000 hours a year, or 83 hours a month, 19 hours a week, or about three hours a day. Of course, this is provided that you write every day.

Poring through this collection’s files and folders and the sheer volume of production included here makes it clear, at least in my mind: the more a writer produces, the more likely they are to get published, and the more likely one is to eventually publish work of enduring value. Kate DiCamillo has it right: First comes a stubborn persistence, then comes talent.

Katie Davis exhibit

The Katie Davis exhibit in the Dodd Research Center Gallery will be coming down on February 22, 2013, in the early morning.  So if you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll want to come in soon.  It’s a wonderful exhibit documenting Katie’s creative process.  And, trust me, is she ever creative.

Tomie dePaola featured in latest Kearsarge magazine

One of our favorite NCLC donors, Tomie dePaola, is the cover guy for the winter 2012/2013 Kearsarge magazine, with a great article inside written by John Walters accompanied by lovely photography by Tom McNeill.  Now 78 years old, Tomie has published something like 250 books.  His newest book, The birds of Bethlehem, is a retelling of the Nativity story from a bird’s perspective.  John Walters interviewed Tomie about his life and love of reading and art, his teaching career, and his outlook on the many awards he has received.  His favorite, Walters reports, is that his hometown of Meriden, Connecticut, named its children’s library after him.

The Angel for Tomie’s 2012 Christmas card is a re-imagining” of one of his designs for a hand-screened greeting card business in Vermont in the late 1950’s.  Tomie has changed the background, added color and lettering, and reports, “It’s an interesting thing to take an image that is fifty-plus years old and re-visiting it.”

Tomie’s house is full of ornaments he has designed himself, in addition to a large collection of folk art from around the world.  And, Walters reports, “plenty of poinsettias.”

Katie Davis exhibit opens at the Dodd Center

The Katie Davis exhibit is up and running in the Dodd Center Gallery.  Original materials from the Davis Papers for her books The Curse of Addy McMahon, Party Animals, Mabel the Tooth Fairy, Who Hoots and Who Hops are featured as well as books and some great “Scared Guy” items.  The exhibit runs from October 29, 2012 to February 22, 2013.  There will be a reception and gallery talk by Katie on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 2-4 in the Dodd Center.  Her books will be for sale at the Book Fair.  For more information to go

Katie Davis exhibit, Dodd Center Gallery

Katie Davis exhibit, Northeast Children’s Literature Collection

Tomie dePaola receives Society of Illustrators’ Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations, Tomie!  According to the Society’s home page, “The Lifetime Achievement Awards were established in 2005 by past chairs of The Original Art. Nominees must be judged to have a body of work that documents an innovative and pioneering contribution to the field of children’s book illustration, and final selection is made by artists whose work has been juried into the previous year’s show. ”

Oliver Button is a Sissy (pg. 5)

From an early age, Tomie and his parents knew he would be an artist. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where he studied Art. His Master of Fine Arts degree was received from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. He has also been awarded three honorary Doctorate degrees from separate Universities and Colleges.

Tomie’s career as a professional artist and designer, former teacher of art, children’s author and illustrator is expansive. He has designed greeting cards, posters, magazine and catalogue covers, record album covers, and theater costumes and sets. He has illustrated over two hundred books, and written over seventy. Tomie has won numerous awards, including the prestigious American Library Association’s Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona (1976), the University of Minnesota’s Kerlan Award (1981), the Catholic Library Association’s Regina Medal (1983), and the Smithsonian Institution’s Smithson Medal (1990).

Tomie dePaola

Tomie’s books have been published world-wide in fifteen different languages and he has over five million copies in print. Many of his books are largely autobiographical such as Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs, Tom, and The Art Lesson. Tomie currently resides in New Hampshire.

The Tomie dePaola Collection contains artwork, sketch books and paintings from the beginning of his career, as well as many different editions from each book he wrote or illustrated, including foreign editions. Some of the languages represented are Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, French Canadian, German, Afrikaans, and even Zulu. Original illustrations from books, as well as paintings and other art work spanning from his childhood years are included. The Collection also contains marketing items from his books, such as towels, porcelain jewelry containers, music boxes, paper goods (wrapping paper, cups & plates), quilts from schools, and a large selection of Christmas tree ornaments designed by Tomie for the Marshall Fields Christmas trees in Chicago.

Little Tomie

Well done, Tomie!

–Terri J. Goldich, Curator



New book on Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson out!

Dr. Philip Nel’s newest work, Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss:  How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature, has been published by the University Press of Mississippi.  This book is the culmination of years of work to bring to light the lives and times of the man who created Harold and the purple crayon and the woman who, with Maurice Sendak, created A Hole is to dig.  Over the course of their marriage and collaborations, they created over 75 books and influenced some of the best in the business, including Chris van Allsburg who thanked Harold and his purple crayon in his Caldecott acceptance speech in 1981.  Nel points out that while Krauss and Johnson were “never quite household names…Their circle of friends and acquaintances included some of the  important cultural figures of the twentieth century” (pg.7) .   This impeccably researched work which literally took Nel a decade to write, is arranged in 28 chapters, with extensive notes, bibliography, index and illustrations, some reprinted from published works and some from the three dozen archives he visited including the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection.  In his epilogue, Nel writes, “Crockett Johnson shows us that a crayon can create a world, while Ruth Krauss demonstrates that dreams can be as large as a giant orange carrot.  Whenever children and grown-ups seek books that invite them to think and to imagine, they need look no further than Johnson and Krauss.  There, they will find a very special house, where holes are to dig, walls are a canvas, and people are artists, drawing paths that take them anywhere they want to go” (pg. 275).

Congratulations, Dr. Nel, on an exceptional work of scholarship.

Philip Nel, Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss (Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, 2012).  ISBN 978-1-61703-624-8.  EBook 978-1-61703-625-5.


Paul Galdone greeting card illustrations donated to NCLC

Ms. A. Siegel of Illinois has donated four illustrations for greeting cards created in the 1960s by Paul Galdone. Galdone was born in 1907 in Budapest, Austria-Hungary and immigrated to the United States in 1921. He studied art at the Art Student’s League and New York School for Industrial Design. After serving in World War II in the U.S. Army, Engineers, the author and illustrator of children’s books worked as a bus boy, electrician’s helper, and fur dryer, in addition to four years in the art department at Doubleday (NY). His work was awarded runner-up for the Caldecott Medal (Eve Titus, Anatole, 1957 and Anatole and the Cat, 1958) and was selected by the American Library Association for its Notable Books program (The Little Red Hen, Winter Danger, and Flaming Arrows). He died of a heart attack on 7 November 1986, in Nyack, NY.


Webster-Doyle Papers hold key to ending bullying

Established in 2004, the Terrence Webster-Doyle Papers contain materials having to do with bullying prevention, conflict management, peace studies, emotional response, and how psychological conditioning prevents peace and creates conflict, individually and globally.  Influenced by Jiddu Krishnamurti in 1968, Webster-Doyle began to teach classes at Sonoma State University in the search for understanding the cause, nature, and structure of conditioning.  Webster-Doyle also studied the work of Dr. David Bohm, a physicist who studies the relationship between thought and reality; A. S. Neil, the founder of the Summerhill School, an intentional community in England; and Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World which explored the nature and effect of negative conditioning.

Webster-Doyle is a sixth Dan in Take-Nami-do karate, and utilizes his extensive martial arts experience as a focus for the exploration of the nature of conflict and its ramifications for the individual, schools, society and the world.  With his wife Jean, they founded the Atrium Society and its subgroups, Martial Arts for Peace, Youth Peace Literacy Project, and Education for Peace (  His published works usually contain not only a main work but also guides for students, teachers, martial arts instructors, and parents, with worksheets, group and individual activities, with tools to chart progress in conflict resolution.


Webster-Doyle’s books, archives, and audiovisual materials are held by the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection.  His books are also on permanent display at the International Museum of Peace and Solidarity in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, the Commonwealth of Independent States and at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan.

–Terri J. Goldich, Curator, Northeast Children’s Literature Collection

Claudia Rueda wins Nati Per Leggere Award


Claudia Rueda

Claudia Rueda, a former Billie M. Levy Travel Grant recipient, reports some very good news:

The Italian edition of my book NO (published in English by Groundwood) has been the recipient of this year’s Nati Per Leggere (Born to Read) Award!!! This award aims to support the best editorial production for preschoolers in Italy and to recognize the creativity and commitment to the Born to Read project.

The national programme “Nati per Leggere” is meant to inspire an early interest in books and reading. The project is supported by the Italian Library Association (AIB), the association of pediatricians (ACP) and the child health centre (Centro per la Salute del Bambino, CSB).

Here’s the link to their site

Congratulations, Claudia!