Poetry, Race, and Art: A Conversation with Selina Alko, Sean Qualls, and Nina Crews

By Carol Hinz, Editorial Director of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books

While working on the books Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship and Seeing into Tomorrow: Poems by Richard Wright, I couldn’t help noticing commonalities between the two.

Both are volumes of poetry and both explore race and identity. Yet the books differ as well—Can I Touch Your Hair? is primarily for kids in grades 4 and above and has multiple contributors—it’s co-written by Irene Latham and Charles Waters and co-illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko—and Seeing into Tomorrow could easily be shared with preschoolers on up and was compiled and illustrated by Nina Crews. Read More

Can I Touch Your Hair? Webcast + Q&A with Selina Alko, Charles Waters, and Irene Latham

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 Horn Book‘s Roger 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

Poetry Picture Book Cover Reveal: CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR?

Happy cover reveal day to Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship! This poetry picture book was written by Charles Waters and Irene Latham and illustrated by Selina Alko and Sean Qualls.

Can I Touch Your Hair? poetry picture book

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.

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