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Little Voices, Big Ideas: The Giving Tree

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The Giving Tree has been the subject of many interpretations since it was originally published in 1964.

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Credit Thomas M Walsh / WWNO
/
WWNO

Episode 2 of “Little Voices, Big Ideas,” makes the case for discussing the big ideas found in the book that everyone loves to love--or loves to hate--Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.

Criticized for its seeming endorsement of feminine/maternal stereotypes, the book, argues our panel, nonetheless presents parents and children with a unique opportunity to hone critical thinking skills, and to discuss sustainability.

Mother and daughter Beth Rosch and Celeste Lavender again join the podcast to illustrate the big ideas that can emerge through discussing “little” books.

This podcast is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is a partnership project of PRIME TIME Family Reading, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, WWNO New Orleans, and WRKF Baton Rouge.

Sarah DeBacher is the Director of Curriculum and Content Development for PRIME TIME Family Reading at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Originally from Atlanta, she has lived in New Orleans for 23 years, where she has taught English and writing at the University of New Orleans, Tulane University, and the Bard Early College program. Her publications include “Making it Up as We Go: Students Writing and Teachers Reflecting on Post-K New Orleans” (Reflections: A Journal of Writing, Service Learning and Community Literacy, 2008), “First, Do No Harm: Teaching Writing in the Wake of Traumatic Events” (Composition Forum, 2016), and several essays on living in New Orleans. She is mother to two young sons, three chickens, two cats, and a rescue dog.
Freddi Williams Evans is the author of three historical and award-winning picture books: Hush Harbor: Praying in Secret (Carolrhoda, 2008), The Battle of New Orleans, the Drummer’s Story (Pelican Publishers, 2005), and, A Bus of Our Own (Albert Whitman, 2001). She is also internationally recognized for her scholarship on Congo Square, a historical landmark of African American culture in New Orleans. Along with over a dozen published essays and countless presentations, her books on the subject are Come Sunday, A Young Reader’s History of Congo Square (ULL Press, 2017), and Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans (ULL Press, 2011), which received the 2012 Louisiana Humanities Book of the Year award and has been published in French.

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