Not Just for Kids: How Children’s Books
Inspire Bold Adult Conversations
A Free Program from Humanities Washington,
hosted by the AAUW Seattle and Edmonds SnoKing Branches
(Doors open at 9:30 am for no-host coffee and social time followed by a brief AAUW meeting at 10:00 am)
Location: THIRD PLACE COMMONS
17171 Bothell Way NE,
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
Children’s books such as Curious George and Goodnight Moon are often beloved by children, sparking their imaginations and providing warmth and comfort. But books like these can also inspire adults— helping us to imagine ourselves in a new way and think about society from a new perspective. Humanities Washington Speaker, Dr. Anu Taranath, will discuss the messages children take from books written for them in her presentation, Not Just for Kids: How Children’s Books Inspire Bold Adult Conversations, on Saturday, November 10, 10:30 a.m., Third Place Commons theater. The presentation is free and open to the public.
In this talk, Dr. Taranath will showcase children’s books from around the world as well as diverse communities in the United States, inviting audiences to take a closer look at kids’ books, and suggesting ways we adults might also learn some new lessons about how to navigate our complicated world. Within these seemingly simple stories are important messages about how we think about our differences, and importantly, how we might rethink our similarities.
“Many people I talk to think child’s literature is cutesy — that it shouldn’t be political or inflammatory,” Taranath says, “when in fact there’s a whole lot happening in children’s literature itself.”
“There are so many good-intentioned people who want to be more inclusive these days, and books represent one way to do so. I know many teachers, librarians, community center staff, who have realized many of the books they have are not representative of all the people that they serve, and they would like to have their books reflect more of the people. … I wanted to take that very sweet notion and try to take it one step further by creating a program around children’s literature that asks, who’s been published? Who’s not being published? What do you think that means? Can books help us get along better, and if we think so, how? If not, what do we do?”
Anu Taranath is a senior lecturer at the University of Washington specializing in global literature, identity, race, and equity. She is the recipient of University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award and a “Best of Seattle” designation from the Seattle Weekly, as well as multiple national Fulbright awards and fellowships. She also works as a consultant for schools, colleges, libraries, community organizations, and government agencies on social justice and global issues.
The talk is sponsored by the Humanities Washington and the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Seattle and SnoKing Branches. There will be opportunity for discussion after the presentation. For more information, contact AAUW at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Humanities Washington sparks conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across our state. For more about Humanities Washington, visit www.humanities.org.
AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research.