This was a difficult task for my parents, especially during the 1980's. There were plenty of birthdays that I begged and pleaded for...
...anything remotely Barbie related. (I would have even settled for the Great Shape girls.) Nope. As a testament to my mother's commitment to gender neutrality, she instead chose:
Christmas, circa 1984? What little girl wasn't hoping to find a Cabbage Patch doll under the tree?
A soft sculpture doll, which came with "adoption papers."
Through it all, my Mom remained steadfast. Each birthday and Christmas brought not only gifts that none of my friends were jealous of, but also books, many, many books.
Today, my Mom works as a lecturer for the UC Davis School of Education. She has managed to turn her lifetime commitment to children's books and reading into an annual event: Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children's Literacy.
The Words Take Wing series invites notable children's authors and illustrators to share a glimpse into their art of crafting words and images. This year, the series will feature Francisco Alarcón, a Chicano poet, children’s author, and professor at UC Davis, and Maya Christina Gonzalez, a children’s book illustrator, who has collaborated frequently with Alarcón.
I have attended the lecture at the UC Davis Modavi Center for the past several years. The event is geared towards kids and allows both adults and children to interact with the author during the book signing, which takes place after the talk in the lobby of the Mondavi Center.
It is a great way to introduce your kids to the authors and illustrators behind the books that you read together each day.
Date: Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Time: 10:30 am and 7:00 pm
General admission: $10.00; students and children: $7.00
Tickets are available through the Mondavi Center. For information on tickets, visit the Web at mondaviarts.org or phone (866) 754-ARTS.