Message from the Dean

Winter 2016

Mary_Anne_Prater

There is no app to replace your lap!

Read to your child every day. — Kim Bonnell

I have always enjoyed reading! As a child I would mark my family’s juvenile books the way I saw books labeled in the library, and I would place cards inside so the neighborhood children could check them out. About 20 years later I found myself resuming the role of children’s librarian as I worked part-time in the Salt Lake Public Library’s juvenile collection. I had returned to my love of children’s literature, and I was captivated again.

After becoming a university professor in special education, my love for children’s literature expanded in new directions. Years earlier I had heard this quotation: “Find something for which you have passion; then find a way to get paid for doing it.” This quotation motivated me to return to my passion for children’s literature, and I found a way to make such literature part of my research agenda. Knowing that children and youth can learn about their world from fictional as well as factual books, I wanted to identify the best fiction for teaching about disabilities. This motivation generated a series of investigations that I have shared over many years with colleagues, particularly Tina Dyches and Melissa Heath, both professors in the McKay School of Education.

So I am particularly pleased to introduce this issue of McKay Today that features children’s literature. All of us can remember a book that we have read or had read to us that touched our hearts, minds, and spirits. May we always seek after the best books, both for ourselves and for the children and youth in our families, schools, and churches.

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