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2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books

#AtoZChallenge – P (A) Place Where Sunflowers Grow

it’s P Day!!!!

Today is a busy day so let’s get started.

On my LETTER day you’ll be thrilled to know that I’m in two places:

Here and over at the A to Z Challenge website.

After you check out my book here, pop over to the Challenge site and see the beautiful book I have for you there.

today’s book is:

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee- Tai

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow by Amy-Lee Tai, illustrated Felicia Hoshino

Under the harsh summer sun, Mari’s art class has begun. But it’s hard to think of anything to draw in a place where nothing beautiful grows — especially a place like Topaz, the internment camp where Mari’s family and thousands of other Japanese Americans have been sent to live during World War II. Somehow, glimmers of hope begin to surface — in the eyes of a kindly art teacher, in the tender words of Mari’s parents, and in the smile of a new friend. Amy Lee-Tai’s sensitive prose and Felicia Hoshino’s stunning mixed-media images show that hope can survive even the harshest injustice.

There is so much to love about this book. At a time when America did not treat it’s Japanese inhabitants very well, comes a

beautiful tale of a little girl and her growing talent.  This is a book you’ll need to read several times, because the first couple times you’re in shock when you imagine that this was being done in our own country (at a time when Jews faced similar opposition). After the initial shock, you are left with a loving appreciation of childhood no matter where it takes place.

Have you read this book? Any books you can recommend about Japanese internment?

Don’t forget, I’m on the blog today. Show me some love!

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Books

FOUND! 3 Multicultural Children’s Books for You!

Wow. I read so many books I sometimes forget to post my reviews; can you believe that?  That’s why you should follow me on Goodreads AND YouTube to make sure you get all of my reviews!

Last summer I had the pleasure of visiting Lee and Low books while in New York City for BEA13.  Thanks to my roomie Thien-Kim From Left to Write for letting me tag along.  Here’s a snap of us.  I don’t know why I look like a GIANT Amazon woman person in this photo but whatever!

Leeandlow2

 

While we were there, were were graciously gifted with goodies! Here are my brief but nonetheless heartfelt reviews posted previously on GoodReads.com

 

Rainbow Stew

rainbow stew

 

 

Three children and their grandfather pick fresh vegetables in his garden and then cook and share a meal of healthy vegetable stew.

MY REVIEW: Is there a better way to spend the day than with your Grandpa? No! The story is made even better because children of color will see themselves as the main characters. And finally, African American grandpas are shown as young and vibrant; not old, crotchety, and boring.

 

Hot Hot Roti for Dada-ji

hot hot roti for Dada-ji

Aneel’s grandparents have come to stay, all the way from India. Aneel loves the sweet smell of his grandmother s incense, and his grandfather, Dada-ji, tells the world s best stories. When he was a boy, adventurous, energetic Dada-ji had the power of a tiger. Hunh-ji! Yes, sir! He could shake mangoes off trees and wrangle wild cobras. And what gave him his power? Fluffy-puffy hot, hot roti, with a bit of tongue-burning mango pickle. Does Dada-ji still have the power? Aneel wants to find out but first he has to figure out how to whip up a batch of hot, hot roti Overflowing with family, food, and a tall stack of fun, Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji is sure to warm the heart and tickle the tummy. Hunh-ji! Yes, sir!

MY REVIEW: Quirky tale of young Aneel who lives to spend time with his grandfather. I love the mixture of cooling into the story, as kids often relate to food. There’s a certain magical realism about Indian storytelling that is delightful. So many teachable moments in this book.

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow

a place where sunflowers grow

 

Under the harsh summer sun, Mari’s art class has begun. But it’s hard to think of anything to draw in a place where nothing beautiful grows — especially a place like Topaz, the internment camp where Mari’s family and thousands of other Japanese Americans have been sent to live during World War II. Somehow, glimmers of hope begin to surface — in the eyes of a kindly art teacher, in the tender words of Mari’s parents, and in the smile of a new friend. Amy Lee-Tai’s sensitive prose and Felicia Hoshino’s stunning mixed-media images show that hope can survive even the harshest injustice.

MY REVIEW: This title is an easy way to teach even the smallest child about Japanese history, internment, and human dignity.

I just realized that besides the main characters being children there is a strong grandparent presence in the books. SWOON!

Many of these great titles are being features as part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.  Here’s the link to the fun!

Have you read any of these titles? Are there other multicultural titles you can share?