Raising Readers Literacy Collaboration

Ever since I was a kid, Picture Books have always been my friends, I write about my favorite ones here. They include The Carrot Seed, A Hole Is To Dig & The Little Brute Family. I bet some of them are your friends too.

A few favorite friends: The Carrot Seed, A Hole Is To Dig & The Little Brute Family

When I made my first collaborative book of illustrated poems in Miss Kenniston's 4th grade class, it changed my life. The group experience opened me up and allowed me to express myself & draw my own story. What a remarkable gift. 
I'm an author & illustrator because they - along with my parents - cared about & nurtured a deep love for books, making and learning. 
Picture Book author & illustrator Cynthia Jabar in primary school.
This is my primary school picture. I'm wearing my favorite mustard colored dress my Mom made me. - Cynthia Jabar
Since then, connecting kids, books & book making has been a life long passion of mine. I've created collaborative book making workshops with The Horizons Initiative, Voices Louder Than Words, Hinge Gallery, The DeCordova Museum & different schools in Boston & Maine. I make digital books & zines with kids now in New York City.

Photos: @NycBookNerd Instagram collage, girls hanging out & making in my NYC studio & Mozilla Story Makers event at Brooklyn Public Library
I want to to make sure I try to pass along what a few wonderful teachers & my parents gave me: A LOVE OF BOOKS. Books are important. 

Studies have shown that children whose parents read to them twenty minutes a day are more likely to find reading enjoyable, enter school with important literacy skills intact, be skillful readers themselves, which in turn makes them more likely to stay in school, and enjoy success later in life.

I'm  honored to to be part of The Libra Foundation's  Raising Readers initiative established in 2000 to give all of Maine's children at least a dozen beautiful new books to call their very own. Books are shipped directly to hospitals & given to every newborn & parent to take home. Then, at each additional well child doctor's visit, parents get another specially selected book to add to their home library. No signup is required, and there is no cost to either families or healthcare providers to participate. Raising Readers has given away more than 2 Million Books.  

"The program reaches the state's 16 counties thanks to a successful collaboration between MaineHealth and EMHS, and the 1,200 healthcare providers that give books to their young patients.
Now entering its fourteenth year, raising readers has reached over 214,000 children and distributed 2 MILLION BOOKS! It is the largest health and literacy program ever undertaken in a single state and is a model for similar efforts across the nation." -The Raising Readers website

Other Literacy Initiatives include:
Collaborating With The Libra Foundation, Raising Readers & Candlewick Press
1.  RAISING READERS: A Treasury of Tales From Maine Candlewick Press (ISBN: 9780763652203) An anthology of five picture books by authors and illustrators who create books in Maine. Dance with Me' by Charles R. Smith Jr. and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones; 'One Frog Sang' by Shirley Parenteau and illustrated by Cynthia Jabar; 'The Bugliest Bug' by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Scott Nash; 'In the Wild' by David Elliott and illustrated by Holly Meade; 'The Circus Ship' written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen.

One Frog Sang published by Candlewick Press written by Shirley Parenteau & illustrated by yours truly Cynthia Jabar is included in the first Raising Readers Anthology, A Treasury Of Tales From Maine.


A Counting Picture Book: One Frog Sang Written by Shirley Parenteau & Illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

One Frog Sang written by Shirley Parenteau & illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

2. RAISING READERS: A Collection Of Stories From Maine  
Candlewick Press (ISBN: 9780763664893)
This book is an anthology of six picture books, each created by an author or illustrator from Maine. It contains the wonderful picture books The Big Meow, illustrated by the artist Cynthia Jabar who was raised in Maine; The Bugliest Bug, illustrated by Peaks Island artist Scott Nash; Farmer Will, written and illustrated by the picture book creator Jane Cowen-Fletcher; That's What Friends Are For, illustrated by Maine artist Holly Meade; Weslandia, illustrated by Gorham artist Kevin Hawkes; and Zachary's Ball, written and illustrated by Maine picture book creator Matt Tavares.
The Big Meow, written by Elizabeth Spires, illustrated by Cynthia Jabar
& published by Candlewick Press
Page 12-13: The Big Meow, Written by Elizabeth Spires & Illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Endpapers for The Big Meow, Written by Elizabeth Spires & Illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

If we collaborate & share our gifts as storytellers, teachers & publishers we can ensure all our kids learn to read and have a library of their own. We'll empower them to tell their own stories, stories we can't even imagine.

Thanks for reading my notebook. Come join my PLN {Personal Learning Network} on twitter: @cynthiajabar.

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