Dr. Yokota is Professor Emeritus of Reading and Language at 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 digital literature for children, multicultural and international literature, and literacy instruction through quality literature.
Her publications include five editions of a coauthored college textbook, Children’s Books in Children’s Hands, two children’s literature review columns, numerous journal articles as well as chapters in edited books.
She is a frequent speaker internationally, most recently on topics related to the digital world of literature for children. She particularly enjoys the role of panel moderator, orchestrating a conversation on a topic among people of varying backgrounds and perspectives. Junko is past president of USBBY, the U.S. national section of the IBBY. She served on the American Library Association’s Caldecott and Newbery Committees, chaired the Batchelder Committee, and served two terms on the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen Award jury. Junko received the Virginia Hamilton Award for Contribution to Multicultural Literature, Reading the World Award and is an active participant in the international literature community.