Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jacqueline Woodson

One of the many highlights of my day at the National Book Festival was seeing Jacqueline Woodson. I have heard her speak many times before, but it is always a pleasure and this time she recited from memory several selections from many of her books. As a reader, I have fallen in love with so many lines from beautifully written children's books and I have often wondered if those words are emblazoned in the minds of the authors who wrote them.

In the poetry section of The Joy of Children's Literature, I included a verse from Locomotion in which Miss Edna's constant "Be quiet!" keeps Lonnie from thinking:

But when Miss Edna's voice comes on, the ideas in my
head go out like a candle and all you see left is this little
string of smoke that disappears real quick
before I even have a chance to find out
what it's trying to say. (p.1).

Hearing this verse recited in Woodson's own voice brought me such joy!

The Reading Rockets site has an interview with Jacqueline in which she talks about "juggling manuscripts, avoiding boredom, and where her ideas come from." Enjoy!

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