Writing for Children

Art © Summer Edward 2014

As a Children's Literature Consultant and Childhood Literacy Specialist, I provide literacy support in childhood learning communities, advise individuals and organizations who want to set up or enhance existing childhood and youth reading/writing programs, review children's books, develop children's literature curricula, provide professional development for children's authors, advise on Caribbean children's literature issues, and edit children's/YA books. My children's book editing portfolio is here. I've enjoyed interviewing children's authors and illustrators all over the world and founded Anansesem Caribbean children's literature ezine. I also perform a form a Japanese storytelling called kamishibai and run kamishibai workshops for kids.

Below is a snapshot of some of my work. Click on the [+] to explore.


Whaleheart: Journey into the Night with Maya Christina Gonzalez
and 23 Courageous ArtistAuthors

Click on image to view the promotional

flyer for this book.
The Heart of It Anthology #1
Coming in 2015 from Reflection Press.

Written & Illustrated by Maya Gonzalez
With 23 New & Emerging Diverse
Children’s Book ArtistAuthors
Intended Audience: Ages 4-10/Grades K-4
Paperback, 84 pages

By the light of the moon, the storyteller stands in the river and gathers what the storyfish bring her, but the wind promises something more…

*My poem 'Grannie's Coal Pot' as well as an illustration

of mine appears in this exciting international anthology

featuring new and emerging diverse voices in children's books.

Charlotte Huck's Children's Literature: A Brief Guide (2nd Edition)

Edited by Barbara Kiefer and Cynthia Tyson
McGraw Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
Hardcover, 416 pages

Now in its 2nd edition, Charlotte Huck’s Children’s Literature: A Brief Guide provides essential information for designing pre-K-to-8 literature programs. Expertly designed in a vibrant, full-color format, this streamlined text has a strong emphasis on researching, evaluating, and implementing quality books in the classroom, the critical skills needed to search for and select literature. Kiefer’s guide gives readers the tools they need to evaluate books, create curriculum, and foster a lifelong love of reading for students.

*My article on Choosing Multicultural Children's Literature

appeared in this guide to the classic Charlotte Huck textbook.

Children's Literature Web: Books to Discuss Spirituality and Religion with Kids

Children's literature experts like Charlotte Huck and Karen D'Angelo Bromley proposed webbing/mapping as a useful resource device for sharing literature with children— helping develop their organizational skills and fostering greater understanding and appreciation of literature.

I created this themed, pluralistic literature web which provides a visual overview of possibilities to be explored when using children's books to help children understand and appreciate spirituality, as well as learn about world religions.
Lists children's books grouped by the following themes:

Spirituality: Celebrating Nature & Humankind Prayer
The Nature of God Spirituality & the Child Religious Figures/Leaders
Creation Stories Religious Holidays Religious Folklore
Religious Symbols & Objects Religion & Morality

Also includes:

Extension & enrichment activities to promote further, in-depth learning
Note to caregivers & educators
Additional resources

                                                 Lists books suitable for: Ages 6 & up
                                                 *You will receive a printable .pdf of the web.


 "In a Blue Hotel," a poem in Balloons Lit. Journal

 "Shakespeare Goes to Trinidad," a nursery rhyme in the Story & Verse section of the Children's Writer's Guild (CWG) website, selected for CWG Online's author spotlight

 "Flight of the Pigeons," a short story in the Story & Verse section of the Children's Writer's Guild (CWG) website, selected for CWG Online's author spotlight

 "Blue," a short story in Mirrors Windows Doors, with art by Romanian illustrator Diana Cojocaru

 "Sugarcane Dance," a poem in Anansesem

 "The Earth's Water," a poem in Anansesem

 "Wish Quilt," a poem in Anansesem

Stories and poems published under my pen name "Wardsy":

 "Something New for Bettina Barcue," a rhyming story reverse-illustrated by Romanian artist Dan Vuletici. Highlighted as a "Featured Story" by Storybird.com

 "The Forever Rain," a story reverse-illustrated by American artist Nidhi Chanani. Recognized with the "New & New Noted" distinction by Storybird.com

 "This Land," a rhyming poem reverse-illustrated by Metis artist Leah Marie Dorion.


Lifting the Invisibility Cloak of Culture: Why Caribbean Children Don't See Themselves Enough in Books - article forthcoming in Horn Book Magazine

The Impact of Negative News on Young People: Harnessing Literacy for Healing in Divided Political Times - article forthcoming on Literacy Daily, the official blog of the International Literacy Association

Caribbean American Heritage Month 2017 Book List - in Horn Book Magazine

Cultural Authenticity in the Emerging Caribbean Picturebook Aesthetic - essay in sx salon

Challenging the Hidden Curriculum: A Middle School Teacher’s Use of Multicultural Literature in the Classroom - article in WOW Stories: Connections from the Classroom journal

Ten Tips for Selecting Multicultural Children's Literature - article in Charlotte Huck's Children's Literature: A Brief Guide (2nd Edition) edited by Barbara Kiefer and Cynthia Tyson, McGraw-Hill (2013)

Children's Literature as a Vehicle for Peace - article published on Medium.com

What’s Important to Us?: On the Value of Books, Libraries & Children's Literature in Caribbean Societies - article in Anansesem ezine

An Introduction to Culturally Relevant Reading Instruction - feature on K12reader.com

International Educational Development: Why Freedom Matters Most - article on LinkedIn Pulse

8 Ways to Foster Reading Growth in Multilingual Learners - feature on K12reader.com

10 Annotated Bibliographies of Multicultural Children’s/YA Books - feature on K12reader.com


Interviews Given:

 Caribbean Research Empowerment Network - CREN's Advocacy Works! Spotlight: Anansesem Caribbean Children’s Literature Ezine

 Commonwealth Education Trust guest speaker interview (part one, part two and part three) for the online course, 'Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest'

 Duotrope Digest's Editor Interviews: Anansesem

Here are a few children's authors, illustrators and publishers I have interviewed:

 Deborah Ahenkorah, co-foundress and Executive Director of the African children's literacy NGO, The Golden Baobab (in Horn Book Magazine)

 Baronnes Floella Benjamin, presenter of the British children's program, Play School and author of Coming to England (in Anansesem)

 Benrali Ali, author of Manni: From a World Beyond Stars (on my blog)

 Brianna McCarthy, Trinidadian illustrator (on my blog)

 Carmen Milagros-Torres, Puerto Rican children's literature scholar and Puerto Rican English Writers Association Board Member (on my blog)

 Donna Marie Seim, author of Where is Simon, Sandy? (on my blog)

• Ibi Zoboi, Haitian speculative fiction author and runner up in the Lee and Low Books New Visions Award competition (on my blog)

 James Hackett, Trinidadian illustrator (on my blog)

 Joanne Gail Johnson, author of Ibis Stew? Oh, No! (on my blog)

 Mario Picayo, Owner at Editorial Campana and author of A Caribbean Story from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) (in Anansesem)

 Marsha Gomes-McKie, Regional Adviser for the SCBWI Caribbean South Chapter (in Anansesem)

 Melanie Schwapp, author of Lally-May's Farm Suss (on my blog)

 Nancy Viau, author of Look What I Can Do!Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head, and Storm Song (on my blog)

 Nicholas DaSilva, creator of the Dread and Alive Jamaican graphic novel series (on my blog)

 Nicholas Gillard, publisher at Macmillan Caribbean Publishers (in Anansesem)

 Olive Senior, Commonwealth Writers Prize winner and author of Birthday Suit (in Anansesem)

 Peta-Ann Smith, author and illustrator of Charlene's Quest (in Anansesem)

 R. Gregory Christie, Coretta Scott Honor Award-winning illustrator (on my blog)

 Ramin Ganeshram, author of Stir It Up! (in Anansesem)

 Stephanie Shaw, author of Bedtime in the Meadow (on my blog)

 Tracey Baptiste, author of Angel's Grace (on my blog)

 Uma Krishnaswami, author of The Grand Plan to Fix Everything, The Problem With Being Slightly HeroicMonsoon and more (on my blog)

 Zetta Elliott, author of A Wish After Midnight, Bird and Ship of Souls (on my blog)

Me with my butai (wooden stage)
before a kamishibai (paper theatre) performance

I have enjoyed working, advising, volunteering and being a teaching artist with these organizations, lending my expertise in childhood literacy and (Caribbean) children's literature:

 Horn Book Magazine
 Caribbean Cultural Theatre
 Commonwealth Education Trust
 Anansesem Caribbean children's literature ezine
 Please Touch Children's Museum
 At Summit Asia Pacific Ltd.
 NGC Children's Bocas Lit Fest
 Childspace Cooperative Development, Inc.
 Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School
 Southwest Leadership Academy Charter School
 A.R.R.O.W. Foundation
 Mighty Writers South
 ESF Dream Camp Foundation
 The Golden Baobab
 Editorial Campanita/Little Bell Caribbean


Here are just a few of the dozens of children's book reviews I have written over the years:

 A Coconuts Life for Me by Jonathan de la Rosa - Reviewed on Anansesem

 Eighth-Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich - Reviewed on K12reader.com

 For the Love of Soccer by Pelé - Reviewed on K12reader.com

 My Brain Won’t Float Away/ Mi cerebro no va a salir flotando by Annette Pérez - Reviewed on K12reader.com

 A Place Where Hurricanes Happen by Renee Watson - Reviewed on K12reader.com

 A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) by Mario Picayo and Earleen Griswold - Reviewed on Anansesem

I review books on NetGalley where I have earned the
Professional Reader and 80% ratio badges.
Members who provide feedback for 80% (or more)
of their approved titles receive this badge.
 Around Our Way on Neighbor’s Day by Tameka Fryer Brown - Reviewed on K12reader.com

 The Caribbean Adventure Series by Carol Ottley-Mitchell - Reviewed on Anansesem

 Drummer Boy of John John by Mark Greenwood - Reviewed on Anansesem


Here are some illustrations I created while taking children's illustration courses through the Highlights Foundation and the School of the Free Mind. Click on illustration to zoom in.

Art © Summer Edward 2014 - Images on this site are original works by Summer Edward and are not to be used without permission.


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