The Light Still Shining

Ashley Wolff

Like everyone else, I am sheltering in place. Because I have taught classes online for years, I have been fortunate to not experience much disruption in my classes. However, as a writer, it has been more challenging to make my art during this time of anxiety-producing calamity and deluge of bad news.

While staying informed is a necessity to surviving the crisis, it becomes all too easy to become overwhelmed by it. To be swept away by it. To be defeated by the despair of it.

“The arts are … a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

The light still shining amid all the darkness, however, is the harboring community of writers and artists that share my space. Remember the Taoist principle, noted by Chuang Tzu, “When you open your heart, you get life’s ten thousand sorrows, and ten thousand joys.”

Over these many weeks, with all the ten thousand sorrows we’ve experienced as a nation and world community, many artists – writers, illustrators, storytellers, musicians, editors, librarians, teachers, and more – have started to share their art in all its many forms. And in so doing, they became the ten thousand joys, the candles of light amid the dark night. For example:

Illustrator Ashley Wolff and her incomparable Rufus reminded everyone in every state to Be Strong.

Storyteller Kevin O’Malley invited those in his Facebook sphere to send him ideas, whether about their favorite people or their favorite things, and he responded to making every wish come true! 

Kevin O'Malley

Book Riot offers a list of children authors posting videos of reading their books and offering activities for their young audiences.

O! And look at this treat! Master Storyteller Eric Kimmel reads folktales from around the world!

The great Tomie dePaola reads the story he wrote about his Grandpa Tom!

One of my favorites reads my favorite, Rafe Martin reads his The Rough-Faced Girl!

At Publisher’s Weekly, Alex Green showcases How Kids' Lit Is Responding to the Coronavirus .Updated for the April 14 issue, this list includes Follett’s free e-book platform for schools, Capstone’s interactive web resources, Epic’s free digital library, and more.

Storyline Online streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners.

We Are Teachers offer The Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read-Alouds & Activities. With kids at home and parents looking for educational activities, many of our favorite authors are offering online read-alouds and activities on social media. The list includes over 50 of the best virtual author activities below!

Share your favorite videos and inspirations, whatever it may be. Let's add to the ten thousand joys that bring light in this time of darkness!

--Bobbi Miller


  1. Awesome links and online sites. Thanks for sharing Bobbi.

  2. Totally agree with this, Bobbi. I've been amazed at the talent (and joy) offered online.


Post a Comment