At MindsEye Designs art studio in Dover a small group of student artists sat around a paint-splattered table, discussing the life and work of Georgia O’Keefe. They were about to read Georgia in Hawaii: When Georgia O’Keefe Painted What She Pleased by Amy Novesky and Yuyi Morales. This wonderfully-accessible book, with its simple narrative and striking illustrations, tells the story of the artist’s seminal trip to Hawaii.
Children’s literature is full of heroes. And for good reason: young children live in the imaginative world of who they will become, taking example from the strongest model at hand. But what role does the hero play for adult learners, especially those who are challenged by immigration, poverty or incarceration? Do the heroic subjects of children’s literature convey meaningful messages for these readers, as well?