First of all, Happy New Year! Here’s to an enriching, rewarding 2013 filled with lots of reading
I’ll be back on the blog properly later this week but today I’ve got a handful more TED talks to share with you. All of them have links to children’s literature, reading or literacy and each of them has inspired me as well as giving me food for thought. Let me know which ones resonate most with you!
First up is Carol Tilley talking about how “Kids Need Comic Books”, with some interesting historical background.
If you enjoyed Tilley’s historical background, then you might also enjoy Scott McCloud (author of “Understanding Comics”) talking about comics and their evolution. He explores the opportunities going digital presents over paper versions of comics.
In my third video today Patrick Carman (author of over 25 children’s books including “The 39 Clues”) explains how his children’s books cross over and through different media – how his printed books have been written and designed to make the most of the internet and social media. He’s a good presenter and I suspect we’ll be seeing more books like this in the future – not just printed books, not just eBooks or Apps but a mixup of all three.
Next up is Illustrator David Macaulay, creator of The Way Things Work, talking about how he created Rome Antics, his illustrated homage to the historic city. The talk includes lots of images from his work.
In this talk JK Rowling makes a few Harry Potter jokes, but actually it’s mostly about the importance of empathy, caring for people in worse situations than our own, and not being afraid of failure. Although she mostly reads from notes, it’s a moving speech.
In this next TED talk Chip Kidd talks about how he goes about designing book covers. Most of his talk is about books for adults (and some of the content of this talk might not be considered child-appropriate), but he’s a tremendous presenter on stage – a real character – and what he’s got to say about physical book design is engaging for anyone who loves to hold paper book in their hands.
Covers, this time for the New Yorker, also feature in the TED talk given by author and illustrator Maira Kalman. She talks about her life and work including her books for children.
In this moving talk, British playwright and poet Lemn Sissay opens up about his experience of being a fostered child and child in care in the 1960s and 70s in the UK. This talk is of interest for kidlit fans not just because Sissay has written for children (“The Emperor’s Watchmaker”), but also because he references lots of cared-for, fostered and orphaned children in children’s literature at the start of his talk.
Following on from Chimamanda Adichie’s talk on The Danger of a Single Story which I highlighted last week, a fun (and short than usual) TED talk about multiple perspectives in children’s books (eBooks and Apps) comes from Indian artist Raghava KK. He says “Art and creativity are very essential tools in empathy..I can’t promise my child a life without bias — we’re all biased — but I promise to bias my child with multiple perspectives.”
My thanks go Keith Kron, Annette Goldsmith, Yukari M, Thaddeus Andracki, Diane deGroat, Jane Yolen and Patrick Cox to for helping me draw together this list of TED Talks. I hope you’ve found one or two which have struck a chord for you.