Sunday, April 17, students in Assistant Professor Colin Dalton’s Language and Literacy Development course and members of the Urban Educators Literacy Society (UELS) attended a presentation by famed children’s author Kate DiCamillo.
DiCamillo, the Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, read from and discussed her newest novel Raymie Nightingale. After the presentation, DiCamillio answered questions from the audience and signed copies of her books, allowing University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) students the opportunity to visit with the multiple award-winning children’s author.
The well-attended event, held at Johnson Middle School in the Bellaire area, was hosted by Inprint, a Houston-based nonprofit organization that supports and engages readers and writers of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction.
Dalton explained that the purpose of attending the presentation was, “to allow the future teachers to better understand the importance and impact of incorporating children’s literature in their future teaching practices.”
Lauren Thomas, a teacher candidate in the UHD teacher preparation program, said she was particularly impressed with the poetry buskers creating personalized poems on the spot, and the audience’s enthusiasm for children’s literature, especially the young readers of DiCamillo’s novels.
Thomas also purchased several of DiCamillo’s novels for her future classroom library, saying, “They’re all personally signed by the author!”
DiCamillo’s award-winning books include The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, a New York Times best seller; the Newbery Medal-winning The Tale of Despereaux (made into an animated feature film); The Magician’s Elephant; the Newbery Honor Book Because of Winn-Dixie (made into a feature film); the National Book Award finalist The Tiger Rising; and the Mercy Watson and Bink & Gollie series. She received a second Newbery Medal, a rare honor, for her 2014 novel Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures.