Junko Yokota, Ph.D.

Dr. Junko Yokota is Professor Emeritus of Reading and Language at National College of Education, National Louis University (Chicago) and Director of the Center for Teaching through Children’s Books. She was an elementary classroom teacher and school librarian for the first ten years of her career. Her research focuses on visual narratives in picture books, multicultural and international literature, digital literature for children, and literacy instruction through quality literature.  Publications include five editions of a coauthored college textbook, Children’s Books in Children’s Hands, children’s literature review columns, over 60 journal articles and over 20 chapters in edited books. Professor Yokota is past president of USBBY, the U.S. national section of the IBBY. She served on the American Library Association’s Newbery Committee, chaired the Batchelder Committee, and chaired the Caldecott Committee and she served two terms on the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen Award jury. She received the Virginia Hamilton Award for Contribution to Multicultural Literature and the Reading the World Award. Born and raised in Japan, Junko is an active participant in the international children’s literature community. She has held research fellowships at the International Youth Library in Munich, as well as at the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin. In 2015, she was at the University of Wrocław as a Fulbright Scholar. 

Toby Rajput, NBCT

Toby Rajput, National Board Certified Teacher,(renewed 2012), directs the School Library program at National Louis University and is the Children's and Youth Literature Librarian for the University and for the Center for Teaching through Children's Books. Toby has experience in public, school and academic libraries; she served as Area Library Coordinator in the district office for Chicago Public Schools, overseeing over a hundred libraries in the system. She has presented at conferences, in classes, and for colleagues on reading motivation, nurturing engaged readers and evaluating children's books for racism and bias. Toby has served as an audiobook judge for the Audio Publishers' Association for a number of years. Most recently, she served as a member of the 2012 American Library Association's Sibert Medal committee to select the most distinguished informational book of the year. A published scholar in the area of authenticity in books, Toby reviews children's books for School Library Journal. 

Katie Wooten Raby

Katie Raby is the general secretary for The United States Board on Books for Young People. As a high school English teacher, she has presented in numerous conferences on reading education, particularly using international literature and graphic novels in the high school classroom.

Sue Conolly

Sue Conolly had lived half her life in her native Australia and half in Japan with her bicultural family when her family was transferred to Illinois in 2012. With a love of all things multilingual and multicultural, she is currently working on a Masters in Education (Teacher-Librarian) through Queensland University of Technology. Sue manages the international picture book collection maintained at CTCB, and is developing ways in which the collection will be of most relevance for educators and researchers.

Jana McNally

Jana developed the website for CTCB and a graduate student in the Reading and Language Doctoral Program at National Louis University.  She has taught middle school language arts for the past 9 years and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Elmhurst College and North Central College. She is an avid reader of children’s and adolescent literature and is continually striving to create a community of motivated and passionate readers in her classroom.

Christina Moorehead

Christina is one of the CTCB Program Coordinators and SCBWI liaison for CTCB.  Christina has been a teacher for nearly 25 years with her primary experience in Early Childhood and Kindergarten. Christina holds a Multiple Subject California Teaching credential as well as Montessori Certification and has experience teaching upper elementary, junior and senior high, college, ESL/EFL, PYP and project-based language and science as well as in international (Japan) and accelerated programs.   Her personal and lifelong love for story telling in all forms fuels her desire to help spark the love for reading in children of all ages.  

Ashley Poertner

Ashley Poertner is the Social Media Manager at the Center for Teaching through Children's Books, and is pursuing a degree in Microbiology.  She has worked with developmentally challenged individuals, and continues to donate her time to the remarkable people of that community. Ashley also volunteers at Yale's Marsh Gardens. She is a published author of short stories and poems, and an awarded acrylic painter.



Federal Work-Study Student Employment Opportunity!

The Center for Teaching through Children’s Books is offering a Federal Work-Study (FWS) student employment opportunity for graduate students wishing to work in a children’s literacy environment. The FWS program pays you an hourly wage on a bi-weekly basis and is a need-based form of financial aid. Eligibility is determined by the information you provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).