A Blog Announcement

As a precautionary measure, Princeton University closed the gallery of the Cotsen Children’s Library until further notice, and our children’s programming as been suspended during this closure. This means there will be less content for the blog.

So! As of today, Pop Goes the Page will be posting once a week until our library reopens and our programming resumes. Every Tuesday, please check in to see what we’re up to…from story time projects to awesome interviews.

We’ll see you Tuesday, March 17th!

The BiblioFiles Presents: Jewell Parker Rhodes

Author Jewell Parker Rhodes with Ripley, Gurgi. Menlo Park, CA | Kirkpatrick Foundation

Just posted! A webcast and podcast with multiple award winning, and New York Times bestselling author Jewell Parker Rhodes.

Already an author of adults works, Rhodes penned Ninth Ward, her first novel for children, in 2010. This led to two additional books in her Louisiana Girls’ Trilogy: Sugar, and Bayou Magic. In 2017, her work shifted to more urban settings – New York City for Towers Falling, Chicago for Ghost Boys, and Boston for her newest novel, Black Brother, Black Brother.

Both beautiful and hard hitting, Rhodes’ books are about family connections, identity, racism, prejudice, violence, growth, pain, and hope. From a young girl fighting to survive Hurricane Katrina, to a 12 year-old ghost struggling to overcome his brutal shooting in Chicago, Rhodes writes with honesty and a powerful empathy. She is a truly gifted storyteller who takes us into the difficult lives of people, connects us to them through her words, and then invites us to carry that new understanding into the real world, and change it.

Rhodes’ books have won a Coretta Scott King Honor Award, an EB White Read-Aloud Award, a Walter Award, and have been New York Times bestsellers and Junior Library Guild selections. She holds a Master’s and a Doctor of Arts from Carnegie-Mellon and the Piper Endowed Chair at Arizona State University, where she also teaches writing and literature.

Follow this link to the BiblioFiles interview

Seeds of Love

It’s a simple project bursting with love…a mama tree hugging her baby seed!

We read The Little Tree, written by Muon Van, and illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi.The smallest tree in the forest watches time pass, the land change, and wonders what will happen to her little seed. Finally, with the help of a world-traveling brown bird, she releases her little seed to the skies. Then she waits and worries about her little seed. Then one day, a gift arrives…a leaf that belongs to the tallest, strongest, and brightest tree the brown bird has ever seen. Yes, it’s the Little Tree’s precious seed, grown up strong and beautiful!

You’ll need:

  • 1 small box
  • 1 paper towel tube
  • Brown poster board
  • Green poster board
  • Tree decorating supplies (more on this below!)
  • Scissors and glue for construction
  • Markers for decorating
  • Hot glue

First, cut 2″ off a paper towel tube, then hot glue it to the top of a small box. Glue 2 circles of green poster board to 2 sets of brown poster board branches (our branch template is here), then hot glue everything to the top of the paper towel tube. Add a pair of brown construction paper arms to your tree, and tuck a green poster board “seed” into them. Finally, decorate your tree with markers, or use green construction paper, embossed foil paper, fabric flowers, gold mirror board, and shimmer ribbon like we did. Done!

The Little Tree is a very touching book. In fact, Katie and I had a bet that I wouldn’t be able  read it aloud without crying (it was a draw – I did choke up at one point!). Even more touching, however, is the author’s note at the end…

The book is a tribute to Muon Van’s mother, who fled the post Vietnamese-American war regime with her two children. In America, she gave birth to five more children. Even though she only had a third grade education, she put them all through college, and in some cases, grad school. Van lovingly praises her mother who, like the Little Tree, was brave enough to override her fears, doubts, and limitations and provide her children with a life she could not imagine for herself.