Black Ice now on iTunes!

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Thanks to sound editor Zach Carduner at Wexler Studio in Kelly Writers House at the University of Penn for helping me to record Black Ice. Years ago, the director of The Price of a Child audiobook told me that reading into someone's ear is not so much performance as storytelling made intimate by technology. Almost like imagining the book into being again, this time with a friend. I tried to remember that as I read Black Ice all the way through for the first time in 25 years. Can't access iTunes? Here's the link to the recording on the Writers House site: http://writing.upenn.edu/wh/involved/groups/ bookgroups/materials/Black-Ice.php

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The Ugly Duckling and Over The Rainbow

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Jerry Pinkney Day in Philadelphia gave me a chance to interview the amazing Caldecott/King-Hamilton/Wilder-award winning Norman Rockwell Museum laureate at the Free Library. Click below (where it says Read more...) to see the video, especially the moment when 15-year-old jazz pianist Eme Eskaros, studying with trombonist Brent White at the Kimmel Youth Jazz program, plays "Over the Rainbow," to capture the yearning of Pinkney's Ugly Duckling.

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Jerry Pinkney, SafeKidsStories.com, and summer school

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"Childs Play with Pinkney: A deep reading of “The Grasshopper and the Ants” with third- and fourth-graders." Come to summer school with me--the first in a few years in Philadelphia--and "read" Jerry Pinkney's pictures with the children and I. A dyslexic child before it was diagnosed, a black boy during segregation, Pinkney wrote for SafeKidsStories.com that drawing was his safe space. And now his more than 100 books are safe spaces for our kids, too!

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From Jerry Pinkney, featured SafeKidsStories.com author for Summer 2016

"There were no police sirens in my illustrated world, either, or city curfews, or newspaper headlines detailing the lynching death of Emmett Till, just two years younger than I was. Real life was scary, but in drawing, I felt safe. To this day, as the world gets more complicated, with more stress on me, my family, my community, and our world, I can retreat to my safe place: the imagination and the act of making pictures."