Tuesday, June 24, 2008


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Lisa L. Rollins, lrollins@mtsu.edu or 615-494-8857

Traditional Folktale Adapted for U.S. Readers, Illustrated by Franklin Designer

(MURFREESBORO)—Dr. Jan Hayes, an award-winning educator and professor emeritus at MTSU, has published her first children’s book, “The Split Tongue Sparrow,” a traditional Japanese folktale, that is was illustrated by Franklin-based graphic designer Bobby Dawson.
Now available from O’More Publishing, the hardcover book was adapted into English by Hayes, who also created haiku poems to begin and conclude the folktale. Once Hayes completed her English adaptation of the title, she said it was suggested that the book also include the “The Split Tongue Sparrow” in Kanji, one of the three scripts used in the Japanese language that first introduced to Japan in the 5th century via Korea. In turn, Eri Redfern, the wife of one of Hayes’ former students, translated her adaptation back into Japanese.
A member of MTSU’s educational leadership faculty from 1973 to 2007, Hayes said she first learned of the sparrow folktale in 1988 during a trip to the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. Enamored with the story, Hayes—who is a longtime storyteller of folktales—said she requested that the tale be written down, in Kanji, for her to one day have translated.
Much later and back in her Murfreesboro hometown, Hayes said, “I took the story to a friend at the Japan Center of Middle Tennessee State University … (who) roughly translated the story into English. Then, I researched Japanese folktales so that the retelling would maintain the flavor of a Japanese folktale.”
It was at this point, Hayes added, that she decided the story should begin and end with a haiku poem, a style of poetry that originated in Japan and is always 17 syllables in length and about nature.
Although she taught children’s literature for more than three decades and has authored books for educators and administrators on positive self-concept development, “The Split Tongue Sparrow” is Hayes first children’s book.
The book, $14 per copy, is currently available from its publisher, O’More Publishing (http://www.omorepublishing.com/), which began in 2002 as an avenue for publishing art, design, and educational research documented by O’More professors. Since that time, the company has grown to now include authors outside of O’More College’s employment.
Dawson, the book’s illustrator, is a graduate of the O’More School of Design and senior graphic designer for Cold Tree Press and Hooded Friar Press publishing.
Hayes said all proceeds from the book will benefit the Hilliard Institute for Educational Wellness, a new center at O’ More that is based on whole teaching and learning research and the application of innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
• ATTENTION, MEDIA: To request an interview with Hayes or Dawson, please contact Lisa L. Rollins at lrollins@mtsu.edu or by calling 615-494-8857. A jpeg of the book’s cover also is available for editorial use upon request.

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