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Conference Presentations Connected to Books

Conference Presentations Connected to Hope Somewhere in America

Click here or on the book cover for more information about the book.

Hope Somewhere in America: Telling Stories About African-American History and Culture Using a Historical Fiction Picture Book as a Springboard

Author Sydelle Pearl will describe how her book, Hope Somewhere in America: The Story of a Child, a Painting, and a President, can be used to tell stories about African-American history and culture for the elementary grades. She will discuss the inspiration for her book—the 1934 painting of a little African-American child entitled “Somewhere in America” by Robert Brackman and she will then show other New Deal works of art that relate to the lives of famous African-Americans: Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Marian Anderson, and Zora Neale Hurston. Sydelle will demonstrate her multidisciplinary storytelling approach that involves singing, moving, creative dramatics, reading, writing, and drawing. A brief question and answer period follows.

Hope Somewhere in America: How a Picture Book Connects to the World

Author Sydelle Pearl describes how she has used her book, Hope Somewhere in America, to engage children in learning activities such as creating self-portraits, writing hopes for the future, traveling around the world through multicultural stories while charting the journey on a map, and exposing the children to a cross-cultural art and writing exchange. A brief question and answer period follows.

Marian Anderson in the Classroom: The Power of Multicultural Storytelling

As a storyteller at two Boston schools, Sydelle was profoundly affected by a first grade teacher’s words, “These children need stories about African-Americans.” Sydelle demonstrates how she incorporated the life story of Mathew Alexander Henson and then Marian Anderson—both famous African-Americans who traveled around the world—Mathew as an explorer and Marian as a singer. Sydelle’s storytelling model includes multicultural folktales, geography, writing, art, movement, singing, and books in other languages. Sydelle also describes how she used this model at a school in Pittsburgh. A brief question and answer period follows.

Click here to view Sydelle’s article, “Around the World with Marian Anderson: The Power and Magic of Multicultural Storytelling” in the Spring 2012 issue of the PCSS Journal, page 73. PCSS refers to the Pennsylvania Council on the Social Studies.

For examples of artwork and writing by students connected to Marian Anderson, please click here.

Click here to learn about the Multicultural Approach of Storypearls.

Conference Presentations Connected to Books for Children of the World

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Books for Children of the World: The Story of the International Youth Library

Jella Lepman was a Jew who fled her native Germany during World War II but returned after the war because she believed that children’s books in different languages could be ambassadors for peace. Author Sydelle Pearl will share Jella’s story and her own journey to write Books for Children of the World: The Story of Jella Lepman. A question and answer period follows her presentation.

Three Books that Changed My Life and Inspired Me to Write About Jella Lepman

Sydelle will discuss three children’s books that impacted her life as a child, children’s librarian, and storyteller and how they influenced her to write Books for Children of the World: The Story of Jella Lepman. A question and answer period follows her presentation.

Conference Presentations Connected to Dear Mr. Longfellow

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The Children’s Poet

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s portrait hung upon classroom walls in schools across America and his poems were memorized by generations of students. Sydelle Pearl, author of Dear Mr. Longfellow: Letters to and from the Children’s Poet, will discuss how an armchair given to Henry by the children of Cambridge for his seventy-second birthday in 1879 inspired her to research the story behind this special gift. Along her journey, she discovered letters that children wrote to Henry and she incorporated some of them into her narrative to help her tell the story of his life. A question and answer period follows her presentation.

Conference Presentations Connected to Elijah’s Tears

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The Prophet Elijah and His Disguises

The prophet Elijah is a unique character to examine because he represents the ever-changing process of folklore. The beloved prophet Elijah belongs to the Jewish people and they have created him the way they wanted and needed him to be. We will discuss Elijah tales and explore his various personas, such as beggar and magician, as well as his role in Jewish tradition. Sydelle will also discuss her journey to write her original collection, Elijah’s Tears: Stories for the Jewish Holidays. A question and answer session follows her presentation.