Posts from the ‘multicultural’ Category

#FindYourPark #NationalParkWeek

It’s National Park Week – April 21-29!

Dreaming about summer vacation? Ready, set, go!

This week, you are invited to explore the parks of our National Park system. This year’s theme is “Park Stars.” There are many resources to help you explore the dozens of ways that you can explore our national parks throughout the country this year.

Here are three resources to bookmark:

National ParkWeek.org to detail special programs and discounts for this week.

National Park Calendar Service calendar of events will alert you to special events all over the country and the exact dates they are featured.

National Park Foundation offers free guides for hikers, historians, family excursions, or a romantic stroll.

The Little Miss HISTORY Travels to…book series will enlighten and inspire everyone in the family and prepare you for that once in a lifetime family vacation. Check out the whole series at http://LittleMissHISTORY.com

 

 

#WinnerWednesday

Two more winners in the Easy Reader and Early Chapter categories:

Easy Reader

ONE SENTENCE SAYS IT ALL

I Like the Farm

Written and illustrated by Shelley Rotner

 

 

 

 

This book is a Step A Guided Reading book which features one sentence I like the…… Blanks are filled in with the names of familiar farm animals. There are full-page multicultural photographs of a child with the associated animal. Especially recommended for preschool and kindergarten children just beginning to read who love animals.

 

 

Early Chapter Book

No Need to Be Perfect

Princess Cora and the Crocodile

Written by Laura Amy Schlitz

Illustrated by Brian Floca

Poor Princess Cora is a victim of parents who are obsessed with her development into the role of future ruler of the kingdom. Cora is beset with a nanny who is obsessed with cleanliness and forces her to take three baths a day, a mother who forces her to read boring books all day, and a father who wants her to be strong and forces her to skip rope every day. When Cora requests a dog for a pet, her parents are horrified. She writes a note to her fairy godmother asking her to intervene. To her surprise and dismay, the next day a crocodile is delivered to her in a cardboard box.

This crocodile assures her that he will take charge and teach her tormentors a lesson. He demands only to be fed cream puffs as payment. So, Cora escapes into the woods for a day of adventure, climbing trees, eating strawberries, picking buttercups, and getting dirty. In the meantime, her pet crocodile is taking revenge on the nanny, the queen, and the king. At the end of the day when Cora returns she makes her request once more. What has happened at the castle? Have the adults learned a lesson? How will Cora be treated in the future?

This story presents the inner conflicts of Cora, and the adult versus child conflict clearly. Cora is a strong female role model, who is also obedient and respectful. The soft watercolor illustrations with a vintage feel are soft and appealing. The crocodile character adds humor and a hint of naughtiness. I would especially recommend this chapter book for second and third graders who are comfortable with the seventy-page length and some challenging vocabulary.

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21 Tips for Teachers Who Want to Write

#Interview #Publishing #Marketing #Teachers

Christine Calabrese, author of The Little Pencil book series, and I put our heads together to discuss how teachers who are interested in writing for children can gather ideas on how to organize, write, publish and market.

Christine Calabrese was raised on the North Shore of Long Island by a Polish father and Sicilian Italian mother. Her father, who was a great storyteller, captivated his daughters each night with delightful bedtime tales. Her mother enjoyed nurturing and helping other children along with her own. As a child, Christine enjoyed running and playing more than sitting and reading. Her father sent her to a lovely summer camp in New Hampshire where she enjoyed horseback riding, tennis, archery, drama, swimming, sailing, singing, and friendship.

The first story she wrote in elementary school was about a little raindrop. Her favorite pastime was making inanimate objects come to life as a tease to her younger sister. Goodness! 🙂

Christine loves teaching and working with little ones! She still likes to make up stories about inanimate objects, presently, however, the objects often teach useful skills.

Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator. She writes historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner “Passages.” Using the whimsical Little Miss History character, Barbara hopes to inspire children to learn about historical people and places. Little Miss History’s antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages.

The series has garnered more than a dozen awards including Eric Hoffer, B.R.A.G. Medallions, Book Excellence Award, Reader’s Favorite and Independent Author Network Awards.

We hope that teachers will find the video informative and useful.

 

#Cybils2017 #Finalists

Proudly presenting two more books that were finalists in the contest this year:

EASY READER CATEGORY

FRIENDS FINDING SOLUTIONS…

My Kite Is Stuck! And Other Stories

Written by Salina Yoon

 

All three stories feature the same three main characters, Little Duck, Big Duck and Porcupine. In the first story, Big Duck gets his kite stuck in the tree. His two friends try to help, but only make the problem worse. Children will laugh at the silly solutions the characters invent.

The second tale revolves around Porcupine making friends with a bug. Big Duck and Little Duck discuss the qualities needed in a friend and try to persuade Porcupine why he can’t be friends with a bug. There is a surprise ending.

In the third story, the three friends decide to build a lemonade stand. They model cooperation, patience and hard work. Of course, there are a few hiccups and lots of humor when the friends forget about the main ingredient needed for their success.

These stories employ speech balloons with dark text and brilliant digital illustrations that fill the page. I would recommend it to preschoolers and kindergarten beginning readers. Each story can be enjoyed separately for beginning readers with shorter attention spans.

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK CATEGORY:

SCIENCE, MAGIC, AND GIRL POWER…

Zoey And Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows

Written by Asia Citro

Illustrated by Marion Lindsay

 

What a charming way to combine science, a bit of magic and a strong female role model in an interesting story! Zoey is an inquisitive, intelligent, sweet girl. One day she discovers her mother holding a photograph that appears to be glowing. Her mother attempts to hide it, but when Zoey reveals that she can see the glowing creature, her scientist-mother reveals her secret.

As a child, her mother discovered a purple glowing frog that was severely injured. To her amazement, the frog named Pip began talking to her. Ever since that day, Zoey’s mom had been helping other magical creatures who needed assistance. She installed a hidden doorbell in the barn. Zoey’s mom thought she was the only one who had this ability, but now she understands that Zoey also has the gift.

When Zoey’s mom must travel to a scientific conference, Zoey hopes that she will receive a call for help from one of these magical creatures. Zoey studies her mom’s journals, notes, and photos. Sure enough, a few days later, she hears the bell and finds a small reptile near death in the barn. Zoey gets to work, but there is so much to learn. She sets forth a hypothesis and sets out her materials. Like a true scientist, she uses trial and error and controls in her experiments. Together with her cat, Sassafras, they work to save the creature. Who is this creature? Will Zoey be successful?

I found lots to like in this chapter book. Large print, beautiful black and white drawings, and a table of contents that lists the subject of each short chapter. Citro carefully crafts a multicultural, curious and hard-working female protagonist who is empathetic and appealing to young readers. Children quickly become engrossed with the plot, while hardly realizing they are learning about the scientific method and the reptile species. The glossary reinforces understanding of unfamiliar vocabulary. Highly recommended for beginning readers, but certainly challenging enough for middle-grade readers.

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CYBILS BLOGGING AWARDS 2017

This year I had the honor of participating on a panel of judges to determine the winners in the Easy Reader and Early Chapter Book categories of the 2017 Cybils Blogging Awards for Children’s Literature.

Today I would like to share my reviews of the winning books in the Easy Reader and Early Chapter Books. I will share reviews of the finalists in each category in the next few weeks.

EASY READER WINNER!

King and Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code

Written by Dori Hillstead Butler

Illustrated by Nancy Meyers

This is the first book in the mystery series featuring Kayla and her golden retriever, King. I enjoyed the author’s approach of first introducing the dog and later his human, Kayla. King is frustrated that he cannot communicate to his owner in words, so he uses actions to express himself. By the end of the tale, readers learn more about King’s intelligence.

Kayla and King answer the doorbell. No one is there but a letter has been left on the doorstep. When Kayla’s friend Mason comes to visit, he reveals that he has received a letter as well. Neither of the friends can read the letter because it is written in secret code. Kayla and Nathan set out to decode the letters. They find that only the second word is different. King is sure he knows the author, but the humans don’t understand what he is saying. A chance meeting with Jillian, who lives a few houses away may hold the key to the mystery.

I would consider this book more of a chapter book than an easy reader. Children in second and third grade will better understand the nuances and messages of the plot. This book presents multicultural characters and interactive learning opportunities. Recommended for boys and girls in the seven to nine age range.

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK WINNER!

Wedgie & Gizmo

Written by Suzanne Selfors

Illustrated by Barbara Fisinger

Book 1 of a new series featuring a cavy named Gizmo and a corgi named Wedgie. Gizmo introduces himself as a Genius with an Evil Plan. Gizmo has recently been uprooted once again. He began his life in a pet store where a parrot taught him to read. His human, Elliot, chose him and brought him home. But Elliot’s dad has remarried and now Gizmo must learn to live in a new human house. Elliot now has a stepsister named Jasmine and a stepbrother named Jackson. Worst of all, Wedgie, their corgi pet, wears a cap and thinks he is the protector of the family.

The book hilariously describes how Gizmo and Wedgie compete for control and human attention. Gizmo gets seriously ill when he attacks a cereal box in the pantry, and Gizmo hatches a scheme to get Wedgie in trouble with Jasmine. Selfors artfully weaves the animal conversations into the story. Children who feel displaced by moving or becoming a part of a blended family will empathize with their situation. Gizmo undergoes serious trauma when he learns the grandmother comes from Peru where caves are eaten. There are a lot of twists and turns, laughter, and tears, as the new family learns to live and love each other.

The illustrations are fun and humorous. My favorite illustration depicts grandmother (abuela) sleeping in bed with curlers in her hair while Gizmo places a delivery label addressed to Peru on her head. The story is almost two hundred pages and that might be a challenge for beginning readers. While the plot moves along quickly and is really entertaining, I believe it better suited to a third to a fifth-grade audience. Can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

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#ReadYourWorld Multicultural Book Day 2018

I am delighted to have been a part of Multicultural Book Day since its inception. This year,  I received two wonderful books from the publisher and author. If you enjoy reading these reviews, please consider following my blog by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed Button in the upper right-hanc corner of this post.

THE PUMPKIN PROTECTOR

Pattan’s Pumpkin: A Traditional Flood Story from Southern India

Written by Chitra Soundar

Illustrated by Frané Lessac

I am delighted to share a Southern Indian flood tale story for 2017 Multicultural Book Day. Pattan and his wife, Kanni, lived on their farm alongside the Sahyadri Mountains. They tended goats, bulls, and elephants. Their crops included peppers, rice, nutmeg, and bananas, which they generously shared.

One day Pattan discovered a sickly plant so he decided to care for it next to his hut.  Due to his tender care, the plant miraculously grew into an enormous pumpkin. When a terrifying rainstorm did not abate, the couple decided they must flee with every living thing that lived on their farm. Where could they hide? Pattan made the decision to harvest the pumpkin. All the animals pitched in to hollow out the pumpkin as Kanni filled sacks with food supplies. When they were finished, the animals dove into the pumpkin as Pattan cut the stem holding it in place. Kanni sang a lullaby to soothe the young animals as the storm thrashed outside.

Eventually, the rains let up, and the pumpkin came to a halt. Pattan peeked out and discovered that the sun had appeared. They began their journey home. Pattan had kept one seed from the pumpkin savior. Ever since that day Pattan and his descendants look after their animals and pumpkin crop in the Kerala valley.

This hardcover book is richly illustrated in primitive folk style. The colors are brilliant and rich. I would recommend the book for young readers in preschool and the primary grades who will appreciate the narrative that unfolds through the pictures. Suggested as a bedtime story or read aloud.

 

SHELLY BEAN, SPORTS QUEEN

Shelly Bean the Sports Queen plays a game of catch

Written by Shelly Biyum-Breen

Illustrated by Marieka Heinlen

Shelly, her brothers, Matt and Ben, and her friends Audrey and Maya, are having fun attending a softball game in which Shelly’s cousin, Olivia is playing. As the game continues Shelly decides that she would like to learn how to play. Shelly eagerly accepts Olivia’s invitation to play catch with other teammates after the game. At first, Shelly throws and catches underhand, but Olivia urges her to progress to overhand throws. Soon Olivia can do both.

Olivia arrives home and proudly adds another “jewel” to her paper sports crown. Olivia sets realistic goals for herself and rewards herself for achieving them. At the end of the tale, the author includes tips on how to throw and catch a softball with a mitt. She also provides a glossary of basic baseball terminology.

The book teaches readers the values of determination and good sportsmanship. It encourages girls to pursue competition in sports.  Colorful and simple pictures with large print text allow primary grade readers to follow along easily. Recommended for girls who want to become players as well as princesses.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal Bowe, Gokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

 

2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo,  Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles,  Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen,  Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

CELEBRATE A NEW BEGINNING

“If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I’d like to wish all my friends and followers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Wherever you are, no matter which way you celebrate with family and friends, I hope that the end of this year brings you joy and happiness. My wish for each of you is that 2018 will bring good health and prosperity to you and those you cherish.

In 2017, I added a Coloring/Activity book to allow readers the opportunity to put their own creative touch to Little Miss HISTORY and become familiar with words of wisdom from historical characters. I listened to teachers and homeschool parents who requested a book that contained multiple adventures in one book so The Adventures of Little Miss HISTORY included her trips to The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. This bargain book offers three books for the price of two individual books. Last, but not least, Little Miss HISTORY journeyed back to The Ice Age in her latest trek to La Brea Tar Pits & Museum in Los Angeles, California.

The Little Miss HISTORY Travels to….picture book series added four new juvenile/nonfiction awards in 2017. A Gold Global EBook Excellence Award, International Book Excellence Award, Independent Author Network Award, and Reader’s Favorite International Book Award.

I closed out the year with a revised one page, one click website. Just hover over my name, book cover or link to preview or purchase a Little Miss HISTORY book, merchandise or to connect. Visit the website at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com I am eager to meet many more of you in person next year. Simply click on the word CONTACT to message me to schedule school visits, book signings or speaking engagements or we can just chat through email. I will be glad to answer questions or suggest resources if you subscribe to my newsletter.

Looking forward to January, I will again be participating in Multicultural Book Day the week of January 27 and will be busy reading and judging finalists in the EasyReader/Chapter Book Category of the Cybils Awards. Results will be announced in February. My family-friendly book reviews will continue each Wednesday and Sunday on my blog. If you have not subscribed, I urge you to sign up.

Hold on to your hats! Little Miss HISTORY has many surprises in store for 2018, including a trip to The North Pole before next Christmas arrives.

Stay tuned….talk to you in The New Year.

 

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