Monday, August 19, 2013

Take Part in Make-a-Park-Day!

In hundreds of cities all over the world, and . . . maybe your town, too (thanks to you)? . . . September 20th is Park(ing) Day. It might seem a long time away, but if you want a free permit, you probably need to apply by . . . like . . . next week (EEK!)! Here's the Seattle application as an example; you could show it to your city hall if you want to start this in your town.

Take a turn at urban planning and get your neighbors thinking! Maybe you'll inspire a whole group of you to create a permanent park!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Twelve Years Old!

This 12-year-old boy in Egypt has some strong opinions—the result of what seems to be a lot of reading, researching, listening, talking, and thinking. In this video, I felt that I was being introduced to a future world leader.

If you are a parent or teacher, watch this with your kids and talk about how they can become more informed about politics.

If only we all cared this much about our government!

Mid-August Update: as you probably have seen on the news, Egypt is in a state of chaos. Each week seems worse. So many deaths, so much destruction. I hope that the young man in this video is safe and keeping his faith in the power of positive change.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Make Your Voice Heard

You want to make the world a better place.

You want the President to know what you think.


Sign a petition.

Or create a petition of your own.

Several gun control petitions were filed with the White House after the Newtown tragedy yesterday.

Make your voice heard.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Time to Work

Time to get to work.

Let's think up new "impossible" promises and ask our candidates to consider them during the next election.

While we're at it, let's convince the people we respect and admire to run for office. How about your school librarian? How about your soccer coach?

No homework? President Hollande of France has proposed that; let's make it happen here!

Longer school lunch periods and more nutritious lunches? Why not?

There's a lot we can do—together. It might have been a campaign slogan, but we can make it more.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What Can You Do?

There are 3 days left until the election.

What can YOU do to help create the outcomes that you want?

For you, the most important part of the election might not be choosing our president. Maybe the most important part of the election to you is making sure that there is money for parks. Maybe it is getting your congressman re-elected because he has always taken care of the needs of your neighborhood. Maybe it is a marriage amendment. Maybe, for you, it's all about our judges.

Whatever your priorities, whatever your views . . . now is the time to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.

Authors and Illustrators for Children is a political organization that my good friend April Halprin Wayland started in 2004 with fellow author Bruce Balan. They reached out to children's authors and illustrators all over the country and gathered us together to turn our individual voices into one great big loud political cheer. I really admire what April and Bruce did. They had a vision and worked to make things happen.

Please take a look at our group's website and, if you like what we're doing, share our link. Take a look at the impressive list of authors and illustrators; I'm sure that you'll find some of your favorites there. Just THREE more days until the election. Jump in!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shoes and Socks and . . . Wait a Minute!

In my poem "How Do You Choose?" I joke that you can choose a President based on his shoes—and socks.

How Do You Choose?
by Janet Wong

Uncle Al once told me
you can judge a man
by his shoes.
Or shiny and slick?

But of course it's not enough
to look at shoes
when you're choosing
a president.


We need a close look
at the socks, too.

Thinking about all the undecided voters still out there, I decided this morning to search for "Romney socks." This great photo popped up. I thought: "Look at you, George Bush! And maybe Romney's not as square as everybody thinks?"

But then I looked a few images over and saw the same setting, with George Bush in his same purple socks and white turtleneck, Romney in his same suit and tie . . . but this time wearing serious all-black socks. They could be the same socks, but the stripes seem to show rather high on the foot (and not show in this photo). Wait a minute! What happened there?

Was Romney wearing striped socks and someone told him to change to "conservative socks" for the photo-op, or was he wearing the conservative socks until someone gave him the striped socks to wear for the photo-op?

I am seriously puzzled. Good thing I'm not an undecided voter!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Don't Be Scared - Share!

Wouldn't it be great if, in the week-long period before the election, everyone wore something that shared their choices with the world? If you find yourself too ashamed to wear a campaign t-shirt or button for your candidates, then maybe you need to ask yourself why you're voting for those people.

Go, Katy Perry!

Maybe you don't have any "election clothes." That's OK. Just ask your friends, your relatives, and your neighbors: "Who are you voting for?" I don't understand why some people think voting is a private matter. Elected officials have the power to affect our lives in huge ways. If you're going to vote for someone who might take my rights away, I'd like you to be brave enough to tell me why you're voting for that person. And if I'm voting for someone that you don't like, please give me a chance to change your mind. Don't be scared to talk about the election—share your views!