By Carol Hinz, Editorial Director of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books
Happy National Poetry Month! Poetry is wonderful, but sometimes it’s also intimidating—especially if you’re reading a poem aloud to a group of people. So I asked poet and actor Charles Waters to give all of us non-actors a little advice. Read More
In January of 2015, editor Carol Hinz had an idea for a children’s poetry picture book that discussed race in a way that would be accessible to middle-grade audiences. She reached out to poet and children’s author Irene Latham and asked her to suggest a partner for the project. Irene chose poet Charles Waters to write with her, and many drafts, phone calls, and revisions later the book became Can I Touch Your Hair?.
Can I Touch Your Hair? has received two starred reviews and has been used in grade school, middle school, and even high school classrooms across the country to facilitate open and honest conversations about race. I asked Irene, Charles, and Carol to share how they created this incredible, sensitive book and also how the book has been received by young readers. Here is their conversation.
Last week, three of the four creators of Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship took part in a special Horn Book live webcast. Charles Waters, Irene Latham, and Selina Alko discussed how their new picture book came to be with The HornBook‘sRoger Sutton. You can listen to the webcast here.
They also answered audience questions, but there were quite a few questions they didn’t have a chance to answer in the 45-minute webcast. We thought they’d make a great blog post! So, here are their answers along with a few spreads from the book. Read More
The book will be released on January 1, 2018, and Irene and Charles are sharing two of the poems from the book today. Visit Irene’s blog to read the first poem in the book, and Charles’s blog to read the second.
Plus, keep reading for the Can I Touch Your Hair? authors’ and illustrators’ notes and photos of the final art.