November 17, 2017

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Letters to the Editor: SLJ’s new Spanish column is just what librarians and teachers need | November 1, 2012

Thanks SLJ for providing Tim Wadham’s new bimonthly Spanish column, “Libro por libro.” I’d love to see how we can encourage each other in our bilingual programming and also give publishers ideas for themes and stories we want to see. I’d love to find Bolivian, Colombian, and Peruvian folktales for children. I haven’t found anything published in either language for children.

We also need books that provide rhythm and rhyme in Spanish for our youngest learners, like Denise Fleming’s Mama Cat, Beetle Bop or Linda Sue Park’s Bee Bim Bop. These are great examples of rhythm and rhyme, but of course I’m not expecting translations to work. No, I’m asking authors and publishers for authentic rhythm and rhyme. Maybe Jorge Argueta could take his poetry like “sopa de frijoles” and make a picture book out of it. Hmm, makes me hungry!

Desiree Fairooz
Youth Services Librarian
Columbia Pike Branch
Arlington (VA) Public Library

I am thrilled to see this new approach for Spanish/bilingual literature in your new Spanish column. I wonder if you could broaden the focus to include titles for high school English students who typically begin their first Spanish class in ninth grade. What materials can we provide to these new learners, who are older and may not be interested in the easier books, even though that is the level they can read? Is there material for this group? Thanks for always being a step ahead.

Jane H. LeBlanc

Wilmington District 209U, IL

Tim Wadham’s Spanish column is just what I have been longing for! Please know that you are providing such an important service to librarians and teachers who want the best of the best for their students! I look forward to following your column!

Shari Shaw
Library Media Specialist
Riley Elementary
Livonia, MI

A look at our Constitution

As editor and contributor to Our Constitution Rocks by 14-year-old Juliette Turner, I wanted to let you know the final copy of the book addresses the concerns brought up in your review (Oct. 2012, p. 60). Most importantly, we had several constitutional scholars go through, line by line, and check and correct all facts. We removed all comments based on opinion and not fact. Our goal was to create a non-partisan look at the Constitution, its creation, and how it continues to govern our country today—in a way kids could understand. We wanted to make sure not to attach a political agenda, but instead make the Constitution relevant to everyone.

The mention of President Obama and his refusal to back the Defense of Marriage Act was removed, but many specific examples of past presidents and political figures were referenced throughout, nonjudgmentally. The “What has it done for me lately” section was meant to link current events with related clauses in the Constitution. We wanted to get kids thinking about how certain actions (taken by government officials) might compare to the original intent of our Founding Fathers when they created specific clauses, and show how the Constitution still governs today. In addition to President Obama’s “Twitter Town Hall,” we mention how President George W. Bush exercised his right to veto 12 times, the clause that enabled Representative Gabrielle Giffords to step down from her office, and many more.

Though constitutional scholars helped with the original content, unfortunately, because of the time frame, we were not able to have these same scholars go through line by line before the galley was produced. I believe Our Constitution Rocks has a place in classrooms and libraries for many years to come. My hope is the book will speak for itself.

Kim Childress
Acquisitions Editor

Kill Dewey?

Thanks for Christopher Harris’s article, “Summer Project: Kill Dewey” (August 2012, p. 14). I have been gearing up to tackle reordering our own elementary animal books. It’s great to know I’m not alone, both in taking the project on and in running into many challenges along the way! The online link to Harris and Miller’s complete classification system was especially helpful for comparing arrangements I’ve been considering.

Robyn L. Case

Library/Media Specialist
The Miami Valley School
Dayton, OH

School Library Journal welcomes Letters to the Editor of 300 words or less. They may be edited for clarity and length. When submitting letters, please include a daytime telephone number. Please email letters to Rebecca Miller at