Posted by: jeannineatkins | October 8, 2011

Celebrating Masha Rudman’s Contributions to Children’s Literature

Masha Rudman taught for more than forty years in the UMass-Amherst School of Education. I knew her as the force behind the Perspectives in Children’s Literature conference, which ran for 24 years. Upon recently retiring, she donated her collection of more than 8,000 books for children to the W.E.B. Du Bois Library http://www.library.umass.edu/, asking that they’d be kept available for circulation. They’ve been arranged in accord with Masha’s textbook, Children’s Literature: An Issues Approach, with categories such as our green and threatened earth, gender, special needs, and many by heritage. You can search the Masha Kabakow Rudman Issues in Children’s Literature Collection here.

I’ve always sent students to the 11th floor of tall library (“get out of the elevators, and head away from the campus center, toward the football fields/sunset.”) But now there is so much more. Before Saturday’s program honoring Masha and her gift, many people checked out the stacks.

I said hello to Barbara Elleman, writer, educator, and founder of Book Links  , an amazing resource for teachers, with Rosemary Agoglia, curator of education at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

It was wonderful to hear Masha reminisce a bit and read from some picture books.

Speakers thanking Masha included librarians, professors, writer Jane Yolen via Skype, and writer Jacqueline Woodson, who recited from memory the text of her picture book, THE OTHER SIDE.

Her words of hope for a changed world precisely fitted Masha Rudman’s spirit.

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