The Power of One Writer
Back Yards, Ethiopia and Children's Books
author • speaker • teacher • volunteer

And another simple story for Ethiopia

Our challenge to ourselves–a third grader, a fifth grader and me–was to think of American sayings or proverbs or idioms that we could turn into simple, easy-to-read stories.  These will be translated into various local languages. And of course part of the collection, ultimately, will be stories made from Ethiopian sayings or proverbs or idioms,

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The swirl of travel

As my Vermont College semester winds to a close, two new adventures loom in my imagination: the January residency, where I will be leading a workshop focusing on picture books, and a trip to Ethiopia where I will be leading–am trying to invent–a workshop for creating some super simple, playful, patterned, culturally appropriate books that

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Drinking water???

I like global projects that leave everyone surprised and a little more open-hearted. This photo is from a day when artist Stephanie Schlatter and her artist friend Aklilu decided to show kids in Ethiopia that anything can be a canvas–including YOU. Today my neighbor was telling me about a time when he was a young

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Catching up with myself

On May 24, I was in Washington DC to be honored by SEED for my work in spreading literacy through my books and my volunteer work with Ethiopia Reads.  As you notice, the invitation says the ending time of the event = 12:30 a.m. That Ethiopian oration is not for the fainthearted!  And it actually

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Family on the hot, hot savanna

It only takes me a second or two to bring back the delicious sensations of the hot, hot savanna. When I was speaking at an Ethiopian heritage and culture camp this summer, I showed this picture. Someone asked me, “But aren’t there crocodiles in some of the rivers in the warm part of Ethiopia?” Um…yes.

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Back to School in Ethiopia and always

Not long after we got to Ethiopia, my big sister got to go to kindergarten.  Her teacher was so fond of her, she even gave her a lovely, big doll. I was probably mildly jealous of my sister’s having such a doll, but I was REALLY jealous that she got to go to school and

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