Celebrate children’s literature with illustrator Selina Alko at 2021 Books to Treasure

Tulsa City-County Library (TCCL) treasures books, but treasures children even more. TCCL’s annual Books to Treasure program makes the power of art and literature accessible to children of all ages with a live event highlighting a beloved children’s book creator and a select piece of their work.  Btt 2021 Card

This year’s program features author and illustrator Selina Alko, who will give a virtual presentation on Friday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. on TCCL’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/tulsalibrary. Visit that channel to view a special video Alko made for TCCL with a glimpse into her art studio (available here).   

Sponsored by the Tulsa Library Trust through a grant from the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation since 2003, the free Books to Treasure program has grown into a Tulsa tradition for all second-grade students in Tulsa County. Through the program, each second grader receives a free copy of the featured illustrator’s book, plus the chance to get a custom library card with an illustration from the book. This year’s featured book is “Why Am I Me?” written by Paige Britt and co-illustrated by Sean Qualls and Alko.   

Other celebrated works illustrated by Alko include “Can I Touch Your Hair?” written by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, co-illustrated by Alko and Qualls; “Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass” by Dean Robbins, co-illustrated by Alko and Qualls; and two titles co-written by Paul DuBois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender, “My Taxi Ride” and “My Subway Ride.” 

Titles written and illustrated by Alko include: “I Is for Immigrants”; “Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell”; “The Case for Loving,” co-illustrated with Qualls; “One Golden Rule at School: A Counting Book”; “B Is for Brooklyn”; “Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama”; “I’m Your Peanut Brother Big Brother”; and “Every-day Dress-Up.” 

Find titles by Alko in the library’s catalog at www.tulsalibrary.org/books-music-movies 

To enhance the author’s virtual presentation, TCCL’s children’s librarians have developed specific lesson plans using Alko’s books focusing on curriculum areas such as identity, uniqueness and individuality, celebrating differences, adjective study, diversity, social justice and injustice, sensory poetry and more. Find them at www.tulsalibrary.org/kids/books-to-treasure 

Previous recipients of the Book to Treasure award include: Zachariah OHora (2020), Christian Robinson (2019), Shadra Strickland (2018), Hannah E. Harrison (2017), Rafael Lopez (2016), Derek Anderson (2015); Philip C. Stead (2014), Peter Brown (2013), Mo Willems (2012), Grace Lin (2011), Steve Jenkins (2010), Brad Sneed (2009), Jim Arnosky (2008), Floyd Cooper (2007), Lisa Campbell Ernst (2006), Janet Stevens (2005), Arthur Howard (2004) and Marla Frazee (2003).

Visit www.tulsalibrary.org/kids/books-to-treasure or call 918-549-7323 for more information about Books to Treasure.

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