Categories
Books NaBloPoMo

Multicultural e-books for kids

If your kids are online and looking for books to read, why not try a digital library?

Here’s one I think is interesting:

International Children’s Digital Library

located at

http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

The mission of the International Children’s Digital Library Foundation (ICDL Foundation) is to support the world’s children in becoming effective members of the global community – who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas — by making the best in children’s literature available online free of charge. The Foundation pursues its vision by building a digital library of outstanding children’s books from around the world and supporting communities of children and adults in exploring and using this literature through innovative technology designed in close partnership with children for children.

Ever want to read a book in Farsi or Croation? They have it!

Check it out sometime if you have a minute!

Categories
NaBloPoMo

Sarah, Plain and Tall and Feminism

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

“Did mama sing every day?” asked Caleb. “Every-single-day?” He sat close to the fire, his chin in his hand.  It was dusk, and the dogs lay beside him on the warm hearthstones.

Somehow in my reading lifetime I missed Sarah, Plain and Tall; I recently discovered this gem and can see why it is so beloved.  After Papa is left a widower with small children at home, he puts an ad in the newspaper for a wife.  What he gets is Sarah.  Sarah is a perfect match for Papa and the children and the delightful tale of their growing relationships gently unfolds during the story.

No matter how much I enjoyed the story (and the possibility of reading the sequels) I cannot help thinking that there is no ethnic diversity in the story.  But not nonexistent.  The author very slyly imposes a feminist approach to Sarah’s character.  Sarah is smart and physically strong and is able to perform many tasks around the farm that are traditionally male and forces the family to understand that these abilities are part of her character.  Naturally, Papa has trouble adjusting to this type of woman. These-strong minded female character traits are important for young readers to be exposed to.  This viewpoint provides diversity with Sarah is a role model.

Diversity benefits this entire family as Sarah decides whether she will stay and become Papa’s wife.

This book is a re-read and counts toward my YA books of the 80s and 90s challenge.

I give this story four paws!

Edited to add: Check out what happened when I read this gem!

 

 

 

 

Edited to add: Check out what happened when I read this gem!

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Books

My Book Nook

my new little students love books! the problem is, they don’t take proper care of them.

To be sure, I am constantly giving them proper book behavior lessons and opportunities to practice.

I moved the “library” into a quiet corner of the room and called it a book nook.  The kids seem to love the book nook idea but still have trouble treating the books properly.  So while I work to teach proper book handling skills, I try to keep only a few books in the nook as possible. I put most of the books up out of reach, hoping to eliminate the need to grab a handful of books and walk on them or throw them around the room.  Having most of the books out of reach does not make me happy but neither does taping up ripped books or picking them up off the floor 3 skillion times.

The children often ask for “teacher books”, which for the most part, they care for properly. I want the same level of respect for kids books as for teacher books.

Anyone have any advice?

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award winners Books NaBloPoMo

2011 Caldecott Medal Winner!

I am adding these books to my want gotta have list as well. The information was taken from ALSC.

The 2011 Caldecott Medal winner is A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead, written by Philip C. Stead. A Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing.

In this tender tale of reciprocity and friendship, zookeeper Amos McGee gets the sniffles and receives a surprise visit from his caring animal friends. Erin Stead’s delicate woodblock prints and fine pencil work complement Philip Stead’s understated, spare and humorous text to create a well-paced, gentle and satisfying book, perfect for sharing with friends.

“Endearing, expressive characterization in spare illustrations rendered in muted tones distinguish this timeless picture book.  It’s a great day for Amos McGee!” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Judy Zuckerman.

2011 Honor Books

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Collier’s arrestingly beautiful artistic interpretation of Hill’s poetic text reveals Dave the potter’s artistic process while also conveying the dignified triumph of his humanity in the face of oppression. Lush, earth-toned, multimedia collages are illuminated in soft, ethereal light that focuses the eye on the subject of each spread.

Interrupting Chicken, written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein, published by Candlewick Press.

Stein’s hilarious story presents Little Chicken and her long-suffering Papa, who just wants to get through a bedtime story without his daughter’s metafictive disruptions. Exuberant artwork shifts media and style, taking readers into three fairy tales, culminating in Little Chicken’s “Bedtime for Papa,” but truly delivering a story for all.

I’m so excited about these books I don’t know which one to get first!!

Categories
Books

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother – WANT GOTTA HAVE

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua has been getting a lot of press lately. And since PammyPam is not one to miss out on a party, I had to check it out.  I heard a piece on NPR the other day and the story sparked my interest; in fact, NPR is usually my go to source for book and music recommendations. Chua’s story didn’t surprise me. What surprised me was ALL of the press she was getting on her book. And since no press is bad press, she must be pleased with the attention the book is getting, right?

Here’s the product description:

An awe-inspiring, often hilarious, and unerringly honest story of one mother’s exercise in extreme parenting, revealing the rewards-and the costs-of raising her children the Chinese way.

All decent parents want to do what’s best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children’s individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua’s iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, her way-the Chinese way-and the remarkable results her choice inspires.

Here are some things Amy Chua would never allow her daughters to do:

* have a playdate

* be in a school play

* complain about not being in a school play

* not be the #1 student in every subject except gym and drama

* play any instrument other than the piano or violin

* not play the piano or violin

The truth is Lulu and Sophia would never have had time for a playdate. They were too busy practicing their instruments (two to three hours a day and double sessions on the weekend) and perfecting their Mandarin.

Of course, no one is perfect, including Chua herself. Witness this scene:

“According to Sophia, here are three things I actually said to her at the piano as I supervised her practicing:

1. Oh my God, you’re just getting worse and worse.

2. I’m going to count to three, then I want musicality.

3. If the next time’s not PERFECT, I’m going to take all your stuffed animals and burn them!”

But Chua demands as much of herself as she does of her daughters. And in her sacrifices-the exacting attention spent studying her daughters’ performances, the office hours lost shuttling the girls to lessons-the depth of her love for her children becomes clear. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is an eye-opening exploration of the differences in Eastern and Western parenting- and the lessons parents and children everywhere teach one another.

I’m interested in this book for obvious reasons:

  1. it is a tale of a diverse multicultural family (also: I think her husband is Jewish)
  2. it is a parenting tale
  3. there is a chance for great discussions

While I haven’t read the book I can already see pros and cons for each argument. Every parent wants the best for their children and naturally sometimes their tactics aren’t always the best; that’s why there’s therapy.  Secretly, I have always wanted my children to be prodigies; but have often wondered when children become prodigies, what, if anything, suffers because of it.

Has anyone read it? Thoughts?

Categories
award winners Books NaBloPoMo

Newbery Award Winner 2011

The 2011 Newbery Awards were announced this week and I’m excited to see what they are (and of course, get my hands on them).  Here’s what the ALSC had to say:

The 2011 Newbery Medal winner is Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

The town of Manifest is based on Frontenac, Kan., the home of debut author Clare Vanderpool’s maternal grandparents. Vanderpool was inspired to write about what the idea of “home” might look like to a girl who had grown up riding the rails. She lives in Wichita with her husband and four children.

“Vanderpool illustrates the importance of stories as a way for children to understand the past, inform the present and provide hope for the future,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Cynthia K. Richey.

2011 Honor Books

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm, published by Random House Children’s Books, a div. of Random House, Inc.

Sassy eleven-year-old Turtle finds her life turned on end when she is sent to live with her aunt in Depression-era Key West. With vivid details, witty dialogue and outrageous escapades, Jennifer Holm successfully explores the meaning of family and home… and lost treasures found.

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus, published by Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams.

Shipwrecks, whaling, a search for home and a delightful exploration of cultures create a swashbuckling adventure. This historical novel is based on the true story of Manjiro (later John Mung), the young fisherman believed to be the first Japanese person to visit America, who against all odds, becomes a samurai.

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen, published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Welcoming her readers into the “wild, enchanted park” that is the night, Joyce Sidman has elegantly crafted twelve poems rich in content and varied in format. Companion prose pieces about nocturnal flora and fauna are as tuneful and graceful as the poems. This collection is “a feast of sound and spark.”

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

The voices of sisters Delphine, Vonetta and Fern sing in three-part harmony in this wonderfully nuanced, humorous novel set in 1968 Oakland, Calif. One crazy summer, the three girls find adventure when they are sent to meet their estranged poet-mother Cecile, who prints flyers for the Black Panthers.

Surely you noticed the multicultural vibe, here non?

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you think!

Categories
NaBloPoMo poems

Wordless Wednesday – Hey Diddle Diddle

Categories
Books NaBloPoMo

It’s My Birthday and a Secret…

In honor of my birthday I am sharing a secret.  I am a Jane Austen devotee. Yep, I said it. I love me some Jane Austen. Mostly I love Pride and Prejudice. I am a big fan of the book and I even like some of the movie versions that are out there.  Now I know what you’re thinking: PammyPam, these books are just about as UN multicultural as they come, how could you?

My answer: I know. I can’t explain it except that it appeals to my secret love of romance (Darcy), period novels, and girl power. And after all, it’s just pure de good reading.

And girl power is all me, right?

Categories
Books NaBloPoMo

Multicultural Holiday Books – Kwanzaa

Sure, the holidays are over but you can always keep this multicultural holiday book in mind for future use:

My First Kwanzaa Book by Deborah M. Newton Chocolate, Illustrated by Cal Massey

My https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0439129265/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=Unconventionallibrarian-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0439129265&linkId=fd25636f14fd74e23687d41605f7b317 First Kwanzaa Book by Deborah M Newton Chocolate

The illustrations in this delightful book are reminiscent of the bright colors of Kwanzaa.

This picture book should be shared with children of all ages and cultures because it’s a wonderful

way to highlight other holidays. And according to the way I think, one more way to enjoy good food and good friends!

“When mama says, ‘It’s Kwanzaa time,’ we tell family stories each night to make the holiday special.”

p.s. The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa listed in the back of the book seem like

a good practice to live by:

Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith

I give this book 4 paws!

Categories
Books NaBloPoMo

Multicultural e-books for kids

If your kids are online and looking for books to read, why not try a digital library?

Here’s one I think is interesting:

International Children’s Digital Library

located at

http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

The mission of the International Children’s Digital Library Foundation (ICDL Foundation) is to support the world’s children in becoming effective members of the global community – who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas — by making the best in children’s literature available online free of charge. The Foundation pursues its vision by building a digital library of outstanding children’s books from around the world and supporting communities of children and adults in exploring and using this literature through innovative technology designed in close partnership with children for children.

Ever want to read a book in Farsi or Croation? They have it!

Check it out sometime if you have a minute!