The Jody Thurston Northwest Center for Children’s Literature is the brainchild of a group of children’s literature educators, authors, illustrators, book dealers, and enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest who came together in Portland in the spring of 2003. The initial leadership included Kathy Dunbar, Barbara Swanson-Sanders, and Peggy Sharp. The NWCCL held its grand opening in October of 2004. The Center is named in honor of Jody Thurston and pays tribute to her work with and love of children as a teacher at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Preschool in Beaverton, Oregon.
The Mission of the Jody Thurston Northwest Center for Children’s Literature (NWCCL) is to inspire a love of children’s literature.
- To collect, preserve, present, and celebrate children’s literature.
- To archive and preserve the manuscripts and original art work of children’s literature authors and illustrators.
- To bring together experts in the field of children’s and young adult literature to share their expertise and knowledge and inspire the love of children’s literature.
- To provide permanent collections of distinguished contemporary, historic and retrospective books for children and young adults and reference materials that support research into and use of children’s literature.
- To underscore the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of children’s literature through educational programs, seminars, and events.
Drawn Together ... in Art ... in Love ... in Friendships: The Biography of Caldecott Award-Winning Authors Berta and Elmer Hader
Sybilla Avery Cook
For nearly a century, children have been enchanted by the picture books of Berta and Elmer Hader without knowing anything about the fascinating lives of this Caldecott Award winning authorillustrator couple (The Big Snow, 1949). Elmer fought the fires that erupted in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and earned enough money as a vaudeville actor to study impressionist art in France. Berta was a Mexico-born fashion illustrator who met Elmer in San Francisco while living on Telegraph Hill. After marrying and moving to Nyack, New York, they hosted parties with journalists, artists, and Broadway’s elite, EVERY weekend in the home they designed and built with their own hands (and the hands of their many friends). Years later they rallied their neighbors and forced a change to the construction path of the Tappan Zee Bridge that saved their little community. A unique and interesting story unfolds as author Sybilla Cook takes you on a journey with the Haders – through two World Wars, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and vast changes which occurred in the first half of the twentieth century to the education system and the children’s book publishing industry. The Haders’ lives and their work are quintessential and timeless examples of how the power of children’s art and literature affects the world for good.