Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015!




2015 was a blast.

We reviewed quite a few wonderful stories here at the Family-Ship Experience. Listed below are some of my favorite finds of the year. Here is looking to a brighter new year filled with books, laughter and love! Happy Reading everyone!!!!


Mouse and the Moon 

Flora and the Flamingo

Flora and the Penguin 

A Kiss Means I Love You

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses

Every Little Thing

Freedom Summer

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker

What was your favorite book finds in 2015?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Hiawatha and the Peacemaker


Title: Hiawatha and the Peacemaker

Author: Robbie Robertson

Illustrator:David Shannon

Publisher: Abrams, Sept 8, 2015

Topic: Native American history, Iroquois Confederacy,  

Age: 8 +

Opening: A fierce scream echoed through the woods....Was it a dream?

Summary: Hiawatha was a strong and articulate Mohawk who was chosen to translate the Peacemaker’s message of unity for the five warring Iroquois nations during the 14th century. This message not only succeeded in uniting the tribes but also forever changed how the Iroquois governed themselves—a blueprint for democracy that would later inspire the authors of the U.S. Constitution.

Resources:
A guide for educators can be found here. It covers a wide range of topic from the creation of the Iroquois Confederacy, the history of the various nations, native life at that time and the 'clan' system and how it was run, the peacemaker's story, the tradition of the wampum and Hiawatha belt, and so much more.

Why I Like the Book:
It is always a joy to read about history told from the perspective of the native people of America. So much is lost and rewritten when someone else tells or writes your story, as is evident when the author hears Longfella's poem describing Hiawatha and even as a child he knew the man got the story wrong.

Told in first person from Hiawatha's point of view, it tells of his journey towards peace and forgiveness as he joins the peacemaker to unite the five warring Iroquois nations: Mohawk, Cayuga, Onodaga, Seneca, and Oneida tribes into the People of the Long House. Having suffered heavily by the hands of the cruel chief of the Onodaga tribe, Hiawatha is chosen to help the peacemaker spread the word of a new great law to help govern the tribes and bring peace and unity to the nations.

Native Americans have a tradition of oral storytelling and this book is a written manifestation of that culture and heritage of passing down stories and histories of their great past. So much information is packed in the author's note in the back of the book, it prompted me to go further and look into the story of Hiawatha and the peacemaker and how they formed the Iroquois Confederacy and bringing peace to their warring nations.

The illustrations were bold and beautiful. Note: some of the illustrations could be disturbing for young (non)readers, such as the white-painted face of the peacemaker, the first page shows the carnage Hiawatha finds his village after it was raided, and the picture of the villain, Chief Tadodaho, represented as a hideous creature with scaly skin and snakes on his head.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Boats Float! George Ella Lyon, Benn Lyon and Mick Wiggins


Title: Boats Float!

Author: George Ella Lyon and Benn Lyon

Illustrator: Mick Wiggins

Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books: September 1, 2015

Topic: Boats, Rhyming fiction

Age: 4-8

Opening: Boats have keels. Boats have hulls lifted by waves, followed by gulls. Boats float!

Summary: In rhyming text, the reader is introduced to all different types of boats floating on river, lakes, oceans and ponds.

Resources:
Boat Bingo: learn to recognize different types of boats
Build a boat that floats activity: Children will strengthen science, math, creative-thinking, and problem solving skills as they explore boat making.
Lesson on Buoyancy can be found here.

Why I Like the Book:
A great book for even the youngest boat enthusiasts. Children are introduced to a wide variety of boats of different shapes and sizes across various cultures. Written in rhyme, this is sure to please young children while still offer slightly older children a taste of a voyager's life.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles


Title: Freedom Summer

Author: Deborah Wiles

Illustrator: Jerome Lagarrigue

Publisher: Antheneum Books for Children

Topic: African Americans, Race relations, Friendship, Prejudice and Racism

Age: 4-8

Opening: John Henry Waddell is my best friend.

Summary: In 1964, Joe is pleased that a new law will allow his best friend John Henry, who is colored, to share the town pool and other public places with him, but he is dismayed to find that prejudice still exists.

Resources:

Discussion questions at Teach Peace Now website.

4th grade lesson plan with activities for the classroom: 

Lesson plan template with activities for the classroom: 

Why I Like the Book:

This is a touching and simply written story that tackles the very complex issue of racism and prejudice in the south and the 1964 civil movement that would change the south, Freedom Summer. The story is written in first person and told by Joe, a young white boy who is friends with John Henry, an African-American boy. Freedom Summer follows two best friends in a time and place where segregation and racial inequality ruled. When a law is finally passed that ensures the two boys could finally visit public places together, they realize, it takes more than just a new law to change old ways of thinking. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Maple & Willow Together


Title: Maple & Willow

Author: Lori Nichols

Illustrator: Lori Nichols

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books, November 4, 2014

Topic: Sisters, Friendship, Nature

Age: 3 - 5

Opening: Maple and her little sister, Willow, were always together.

Summary: Nature loving sisters, Maple and Willow smooth over a rough patch in their friendship in their own unique way.

Resources:

Check out this story hour kit from the author’s website 

Why I Like the Book:


The author illustrator captures sisterhood perfectly! Having younger sisters myself, I saw so much of myself and them in Maple and Willow. I cracked up when Maple came out of hiding to correct Willow’s counting. The sweet pencil illustrations wonderfully shows the relationship between sisters and siblings in general. Siblings play together, and learn from each other. Siblings argue, siblings fight, but most importantly, siblings love each other and at the end of the day, want need each other. This story shows young children how to appreciate their sibling’s similarities and differences in all of their interactions. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley

Title: Every Little Thing

Author: Cedella Marley (adapted from the song, Three Little Birds by Bob Marely)

Illustrator: Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2012

Topic: Birds, Being Positive, Family, Friends.

Age: 4-6

Opening: Rise up this morning, smile with the rising sun.

Summary: An illustrated version of Bob Marley’s song, a young boy, with the encouragement of three little birds, enjoys life and does not let anything bring him down.

Resources:
Listen to the song by Bob Marley. Learn about Bob Marley and his music. 
Learn about Jamaican culture.
Printable images here. (buy sticker or tattoo paper for creative fun)

Why I Like the Book:

A wonderful way to introduce children to Jamaican music and culture. This song has a wonderful message that children need today. There are so many obstacles today that make it hard for children to have a carefree, stress-free life. But with the love, support and encouragement of family and friends, nothing will keep them down forever. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

Title: Flora and the Penguin

Author: Molly Idle

Illustrator: Molly Idle

Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2014

Topic: Friendship, Ice skating, Penguins

Age: 4-6

Opening: this is a wordless book. The opening page shows Flora putting on ice skates and a penguin poking its nose out of an ice hole.

Summary: Flora and her friend penguin enjoy ice skating together, but when Flora misunderstands penguin’s gift of a fish, there are hurt feelings on the ice. They have to work together to mend their friendship.

Resources:
In this story, Flora and her dance companion are ice skating. Since this is a wordless book, have your child(ren) learn the names of the different ice skating techniques and moves.

Create dialogue for the illustrations.

Discussion topics:
1.       Why do you think penguin gave Flora a fish?
2.       What was Flora’s response?
3.       How did penguin respond to Flora’s rejection of the fish?
4.       Why do you think Flora rejected the fish?
5.       Have you ever not like a gift a friend gave you? What did you do?
6.       What are some polite ways of accepting an unwanted gift?


Why I Like the Book:

The illustrator Molly Idle did another fantastic job telling this story through pictures. She has created a lovable character in Flora and the penguin. The illustrations are soft and muted. I loved the various layers in the illustrations. While Flora and penguin danced above the ice, the fish below also danced with them, following the movements. On one page, I could tell Flora did a figure 8 because of the fish.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses by Don Tate


Title: Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

Author: Don Tate

Illustrator: Don Tate

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers: (expected publication date: Sept 1, 2015)

Topic: Biography, African-Americans in History, Slavery,

Age: 8-10  (the publisher suggests 6-10, read my comments below)

Opening: George loved words. He wanted to learn how to read, but George was enslaved.

Summary: In the nineteenth century, North Carolina slave George Moses Horton taught himself to read and earned money to purchase his time—though not his freedom. Horton became the first African American to be published in the South, protesting slavery in the form of verse.

Resources:

The publisher provides a comprehensive teacher's guide for the English Arts Standards

Why I Like the Book:

I love learning about unfamiliar people in African-American history.

George Moses Horton was a slave poet, who taught himself to read, earned his own money, and sold and published his work, all while he was still a slave.

The story is about his journey. It does not dwell too much on the pain and hardships of his life, even though we know they existed, but it shows George Horton's love for words, desire to read and the will to not give up on his life long dream, to be a free black poet.

I love the illustrations. Don Tate is one of my favorite illustrators.

What I did not like: The text was very heavy and while I loved the illustrations, they did not mesh well. The illustrations created a mood that young children k-1 would be attracted to. However, the text was definitely geared toward older children 2-3 grd and up

Friday, August 14, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Voices Are Not For Yelling by Elizabeth Verdick


Title: Voices Are Not For Yelling

Author: Elizabeth Verdick

Illustrator: Marieka Heinlen

Publisher: Free Spirit, March 24, 2015

Age: 4 - 7

Topic: Best behavior, Voice, Yelling

Opening: What do you use your voice for?

Book Summary: Voices Are Not For Yelling introduces and reinforces where and when to use an “indoor voice” or an “outdoor voice.” Yelling comes natural to children. It is how they make themselves ‘heard.’ This book helps children differentiate between their loud and quiet voices and why it is important to do so.

Resources:
The book includes many activities for classroom use. Some activities include, 
Inside/Outside Voices: Demonstrating outdoor, indoor, quiet, and whisper voices. 
Quiet Time Gestures: teach children various gestures that tell them it’s time to be quiet.

Why I Like This Book:
This is definitely a ‘teaching’ book. I would personally recommend it be read to small groups instead of whole class circle time. That way, teacher or parent can allow the child(ren) to interact with the book and answer the many questions throughout it.

I like that it is written with simple text that is easy for children to understand and follow along. It asks questions throughout the book giving children an opportunity to think, question and participate.


It comes in two versions, a board book (Yay me!) and one for 4 – 7 year olds. Each is appropriately tailored to that particular age group.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Picture Book 10 for 10: Into the Night

This is my first year participating in the Picture Book 10 for 10 day. It is hosted by Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning. The purpose of this event is to share and celebrate picture books that not only entertain, but engage and educate as well. Here are ten night-themed books I love that shows the character(s) overcoming a challenge and discovering something wonderful in the end.


1.


Before Little Harvest Mouse closes his eyes each night, he sings a lullaby to his very own moon. Then one cloudy evening, the moon disappears. And Little Mouse discovers that he is not the only one looking for it… With glitter throughout, this beautiful book explores sharing and true friendship

2.


Join the owl on his moonlit journey as he watches all the other animals settle in for the night: some sleep standing up, while some sleep on the move! Some sleep peacefully alone, while others sleep all together, huddled close.


3.


Sense is the song you sing out into the world,
and the song the world sings back to you.

With these words, Chiro’s mother sends him off into the night for the first time alone. It’s an adventure, but how will he find his way? And how will he find his way home? As the young bat discovers, navigating the world around him is easy as long as he uses his good sense.


4.


This is the story of three baby owls who wake up one night in their hole in the tree to find that their mother has gone, so they sit on the branch and wait, wondering when she will return. At last she does, and they all bounce up and down with joy, welcoming her home.



5.

One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. The TV shuts off and a boy wails, "Mommm!" His sister can no longer use the phone, Mom can't work on her computer, and Dad can't finish cooking dinner. What's a family to do? When they go up to the roof to escape the heat, they find the lights--in stars that can be seen for a change--and so many neighbors it's like a block party in the sky! On the street below, people are having just as much fun--talking, rollerblading, and eating ice cream before it melts. The boy and his family enjoy being not so busy for once. They even have time to play a board game together. When the electricity is restored, everything can go back to normal . . . but not everyone likes normal. The boy switches off the lights, and out comes the board game again.



6.

It's night time my little one.
Climb into bed.


I don't want to sleep --
I'll go sailing instead.

There's only one problem:
your ship has no sail.

I'm tying my boat
to the tail of a whale.


Bedtime for a little one brings an imaginary journey to the North Pole to cuddle and play with the many animals there.


7.
21441000

It's cold in the woods, and it's time for Little Bear to start his winter sleep. But not before he says good night to all his special forest friends: badger, deer, rabbit, mouse, fox, owl, squirrel, and wolf. Now Little Bear can fall asleep happily in his warm and cozy den all snuggled up to his mother - knowing that his friends will watch out for him during his long winter's sleep.


8.
7948876

Whenever Ava can't sleep, she counts sheep. But Ava takes so long to fall asleep, it's the sheep that are growing tired--until finally, they quit! When the sheep promise to find a replacement that Ava can count on, chaos ensues as chickens, cows, pigs, hippos, and more try their hand at jumping over Ava's fence. Finding the perfectly peaceful replacement for sheep might not be so easy after all.


9.
228696


Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird.

But there is no answer.

Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don't need words. You don't need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn't an owl, but sometimes there is.


10.

This story retells the short and few moments Fredrick Douglass spent with his mother. She traveled twelve miles late at night after a hard day of labor in the fields to be with him for just a few hours to only have return before the sunrise to work again. She knows that her son fears for her long hard walks so reassures him by recounting each mile of her night journey. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Time Flies by Eric Rohmann


Title: Time Flies

Author: Eric Rohmann

Illustrator: Eric Rohmann

Publisher: Crown Publishers; March 1, 1994

Age: 3 – 7 years

Topic: Birds, Dinosaurs, Museums, Wordless book

Opening: Wordless picture book (Illustration: A bird flies into a dinosaur exhibit at the museum.)

Book Summary: A wordless tale in which a bird flying around the dinosaur exhibit of a natural history museum has an unsettling experience when the dinosaur seems to come to life and view the bird as a potential meal.  

Resources:
Wordless Picture Books in the Classroom. A teacher’s guide for using wordless books with children in a classroom setting. 

If you purchase the hardcover, it includes a Parent’s guide with lots of comprehension questions to spark children’s curiosity and imagination.

For some hands on fun, try:

Create a Diorama. Here is one example
Make a fossil: Here are a couple fossil recipes: Salt dough, coffee dough,  
Create a skit or play from the book and act it out.

The Activity Idea Place has a ton of dinosaur activities and art ideas.

Why I Like This Book:

There is something truly unique about a wordless book. When reading with a child, you never tell the same story twice. There is always something you did not see the previous time you read it. Time Flies is a beautifully illustrated story about a bird’s night at the museum as it explores a dinosaur exhibit. While I would not mind sharing this book with my toddler class, it would not make a great group book. This book requires children being able to look carefully and slowly as they study the pictures and follow along.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Snow School by Sandra Markle


Title: Snow School

Author: Sandra Markle

Illustrator: Alan Marks

Publisher: Charlesbridge, Feburary 1, 2013

Age: 4 -8 years

Topic: Snow Leopards, survival and hunting skills, how snow leopards learn

Opening: It’s May – springtime in Pakistan’s Hindu Kush Mountains. But high up on gravel-strewn slopes, where only the hardiest plants grow, snowflakes still dance in the icy wind.

Book Summary: Twin snow leopard siblings survive their first year of life in Pakistan's Hindu Kush Mountains by learning critical skills from their mother, including how to hunt, where to find shelter, and to stay away from humans.

Resources:                  
Author’s note offers link to learn more about snow leopards in their natural habitat and how to protect them
Includes amazing facts about snow leopards
Reading is Fundamental website has an excellent guide to that helps extend learning opportunities. Most of the activities are geared for children between the ages of 5-12

Why I Like This Book:

Snow leopards are such beautiful creatures. As such, they are endangered as people hunt them and taking over their natural habitat. In this story, we see up close and personal just how these animals survive their harsh environment and how these lessons are passed down from mother to cubs. Informative and very well written in a story format which makes it very appealing to follow these cubs adventure and learning. The illustrations are beautiful and done in watercolor and pencil.  

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Islamic Children's Book Day 2015

Welcome to the first ever, 

Islamic Children's Book Day.

You can learn more about this new initiative and how you and your family can participate in Islamic Children's Book Day below, information was taken from readlittlemuslims.com and emmaapple.com




Hosted by authors Razeena Gutta of readlittlemuslims.com and Emma Apple of emmaapple.com, it is hoped that this day creates awareness about great Islamic children’s books, worldwide. You can help by sharing your top picks, current reads and wish list for future purchases.

How to get involved?
  •  Authors and Publishers
Download the PDF flier and share on your pages with the hashtag #IslamicBookDay. Share your story with us, organize a book reading with your local community or simply post pictures of all your books so readers can find them easily.
  •  Parents/Teachers/Bloggers/Book enthusiasts
Buy or borrow a new Islamic book for your child, organise a story-time with your friends or family with the existing books you have, share pictures of your family’s favourites with the hashtag #IslamicBookDay. Download the PDF to share with your friends or simply click and save the image above for easy sharing on social networks.
  • Bookstores and Online Book Retailers
Share your range of Islamic children books with the hashtag and your location to make it easier for people to find you locally.
  • Magazines and media outlets
Please share with your readers as much as you can. You can encourage them to post pictures with the hashtag, or share with them the ideas below.
  • Other ideas
  1. Creating craft projects that relate to books is a great way to extend the learning and have a lot of fun in the process
  2. Make bookmarks as gifts for friends or neighbors
  3. Encourage your children to ‘make’ or ‘draw’ their own books with their own stories
  4. Help your children write a letter to their favorite Islamic book author (we are quite sure they would reply!)
  5. And, of course, read together!
Share your books with us, and share your plans and crafts too! Simply post to any social media platform with the hashtag #IslamicBookDay and we’ll all be able to find it easily.


Join the event on Facebook by clicking here. 


Islamic Children’s Book Day is supported by  –
Shade 7 Publishing – Hajera Memon
Sweet Apple Publishers – Zanib Mian
Reem Faruqi (author)
Kids of the Ummah – Peter Gould
Mind works Publishing – Janette Grant
Siraaj Mowjood (author)
Read It (Book retailer – Canada)
Daybreak Press – Najiyah Maxfield

Friday, April 24, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Title: Flora and the Flamingo

Author: Molly Idle

Illustrator: Molly Idle

Publisher: Chronicle Books, February 2013

Age: 3 and up

Topic: Friendship, Ballet, Flamingos, Emotions

Opening: This is a wordless book.

Summary: In this innovative wordless picture book with interactive flaps, Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony.

Resources
Printable activity sheets can be found here
Common Core aligned teacher's guide for Flora and the Flamingo. 
The five basic positions of ballet here.

What I like about the book:
This book is just too cute for words!!! The fact that it is wordless allows readers to interpret the actions, reactions and interactions between Flora and the Flamingo she wishes so desperately to dance with. The illustrations are just adorable, simple yet elegant, detailed but not overwhelmingly. Children will see a reluctant relationship bloom into a wonderful friendship.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Hands Say Love by George Shannon

Title: Hands Say Love

Author: George Shannon

Illustrator: Taeeun Yoo

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (December 16, 2014)

Age: 2-5

Topic: Hands, Love, Family

Opening: Hands that do all they can do are also saying, "I love you."

Summary: Hands touch, hold, and hug. Hands feed, give, and share. Hands create, mend, and heal. Hands say love! Every day, our hands show the most important people in our lives how we care about them, from parents helping children learn to walk to families playing and working together to friends waving hello and good-bye. This perfect read-aloud for toddlers celebrates the many hands-on moments we share and reminds us that even the simplest gesture can be a profound expression of love.

Resources:
Let child(ren) come up with their own ways of saying "I Love You" with their hands.
Encourage child(ren) draw a picture of something they like to do with their hands.
Teach the sign for “I love you.” The sign for “I love you” in American Sign Language is the pinky finger, index finger, and thumb pointed straight (with the middle two fingers held down to the palm). Another fun thing to do is make up an original sign together for your own family to use to tell each other how much you love each other. Find more hands-on activities that teach children about love here.

Why I Like This Book:

This gentle book for toddlers and young children celebrates all the loving ways the hands of their caregivers care and love them. Cute pictures illustrate loving and kind acts. From holding, to hugging, entertaining to feeding, healing and so much more. Starting at the beginning of the day to the end, follow along as memorable hands-on moments are created and shared. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Red: A Crayon's Story


Title: Red: A Crayon's Story

Author: Michael Hall

Illustrator: Michael Hall

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (February 3, 2015)

Age: 4-8 years

Topic: Identity crisis, social issues, emotions and feelings,

Opening: He was red. But he wasn't very good at it.

Summary: A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis

Resources: find a fun printable activity here.

What I Like About the Book:

Hilarious and touching.

Red wants anything to be the perfect red. He tries his but all he can manage is blue. Even with the help and encouragement from his friends, Red is more blue than ever. It is not until he meets a new friend, he begins to appreciate himself, as does everyone else.

A great story to help children learn to be themselves and appreciate their unique abilities and talents. Red's new friend does not try to push Red to be a better red but encourages Red to see that the color he makes is equally beautiful and useful. It illustrates to children we can't all be or do the same but we can all be important and come with our own unique talents and abilities to share with the world and make it a more beautiful place to live in.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: A Kiss Means I Love You

Title: A Kiss Means I Love You

Author: Kathryn Madeline Allen

Illustrator: Eric Futran

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company, 2012

Age: 2 - 6

Topic: Stories in Rhyme, Communication,

Opening: A kiss means I love you, a wave means hello, a smile means I’m happy, a tug means let’s go!

Book Summary: Explores the meaning of different actions, expressions, words and sounds, from a kiss and a clap to a wave and a yawn.

Resources:
A fun thing to do is allow children to make up meanings for their own actions, expressions and sounds.
Guess the meaning: children can guess the meaning for various actions, expressions and sounds, like wiggle, tickle, growl, stomp and wink.
A common core guideline for this book can be found here. It is geared for 2-6 year olds.
For much younger audiences, try having them act out the actions with you as you read the story.

Why I Like This Book:

This is a really fun way to engage children in learning how to understand all kinds of communication. Since communication is not limited to speaking, it teaches children various ways they can express their feelings and wishes as well as understand what others want or feel by looking and listening then interpreting those actions, expressions and sounds. The use of photography makes it wonderful and realistic. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Reading Activity Calendar


What a great idea from Reading Is Fundamental. 


What a perfect way to share the joy of reading with your child.


Find more calendars of age appropriate reading and writing ideas for different months here.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Yatandou by Gloria Whelan

Title: Yatandou

Author: Gloria Whelan

Illustrator: Peter Sylvada

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press; 1st Printing edition (August 22, 2007)

Age: 6 and up
Topic: Hard work, learning how to read, Mali culture and lifestyle, family life,

Opening: Our Mali village lies beneath rocks that stretch like two arms holding us safe.
Book Summary:

In contemporary Mali, a country in West Africa, a little girl named Yatandou explains how a simple machine changes her life and the lives of all of the women and children in her village.  The introduction of this amazing new piece of equipment means that the women and children will no longer spend their days pounding millet by hand.
Resources:

Find some activities, games, recipes here. 
Why I Like This Book:

This book shares more than just a story, but the hopes, dreams and achievements of young Yatandou and the women in her village. This story explores the heritage and daily routines of Yatandou and her family. I love that the narrator is Yatandou herself, allowing children to experience her day with her. Yatandou shows children that hard work and teamwork goes hand in hand when everyone wants to achieve success.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Multicultural Children's Book Day: Lulu and the Very Big Meanies by Mac McGooshie

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Read Your World
January 27, 2015

Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

 Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. This dynamic duo is hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

Once again, we have joined the campaign to advocate multiculturalism and diversity in children's literature. We had the wonderful opportunity to review, Lulu and the Very Big Meanies. Please be sure to visit the host, cohosts, and sponsor websites to find even more exceptional and diverse books for all ages.
 
 


Title: Lulu and the Very Big Meanies

Author: Mac McGooshie

Illustrator: Alexis Hogwood

Publisher: Muslim Writers Publishing

Age: 7-10

Topic: Bullies, Moving, Making good choices, Muslim life

Summary: Lulu can't cut a break this week! First she finds out that she's moving to a new Muslim school and a new town for the next school year, and it's not even her fault.
Then Veronica B. and Veronica C., the most miserable bullies in the world, hand-pick Lulu for their evil plans.
Add to that a very sick kitty and the something buzzing in the woods out back, well, Lulu is just not having a great time of it.
Even with the help of her old friends and her family, can she possibly survive the Week of the Very Big Meanies?

Resources:
Lulu's personal dictionary at the back of the book explains the Arabic terms used throughout the story.

This is a great book to open up the discussion of bullies, how to stand up to them, good and bad ways to stand up to bullies.

Why I like this book:

Lulu is funny, sassy, caring and intelligent.

Lulu has a lot going on in her life. There are mysterious sounds going on in the woods behind her house, her parents dropped the M word on her (they are moving to another city and school) AND she is being bullied by the Veries at two. Lulu does her best to persuade her parents that it is a BAD idea to move to a new city and send her to ha new school. That is, until she visits the new school.

Lulu is smart. It shows in that she is two grades ahead of kids her own age. Maybe that’s why the Veries, Veronica C and Veronica B, like to pick on her. One day, the two girls play a particularly mean trick on Lulu which destroys her favorite backpack and school contents. With the help of her friend, and twin brothers, Lulu decides to fight back. But not in the most honest way. Just as her plan is underway, she has a change of heart.

Oh, and the mysterious noise and movement in the woods? You will never guess what Lulu and her father finds lurking back there! :D

Dealing with school bullies, moving to unfamiliar territory, leaving behind friends and having to make new friends is something all children can relate to. The author uses humor and a likeable character to discuss these issues.

**********************************************************************

MCCBD’s  2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global BookshopGold Sponsors:  Satya House,  MulticulturalKids.com,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic PoofSilver SponsorsJunior Library Guild,  Capstone PublishingLee and Low Books,  The Omnibus PublishingBronze Sponsors:Double Dutch DollsBliss Group BooksSnuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

Don't forget our hashtag for this event is #ReadYourWorld

We are hosting a Twitter party! Join us for Multicultural Children's Book Day Twitter Party onJan 27th 9:00pm EST. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages. Use this info to share with your readers and to tweet it out!
 
If you have not done so, check out the MCCBD blog! Thanks to support from the Children's Book Council we are posting author interviews like crazy and are thrilled with the response. You can find the MCCBD blog here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/blog/

Platinum Sponsor Wisdom Tales Press is hosting a book giveaway on their website that anyone can enter. Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. Here's a tweet: Book #giveaway at Wisdom Tales Press! Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. #ReadYourWorld http://ow.ly/Hr0MC
 

Multicultural Children's Book Day: The Dragon New Year: a review

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Read Your World
January 27, 2015

Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.


 Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. This dynamic duo is hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

Once again, we have joined the campaign to advocate multiculturalism and diversity in children's literature. We had the wonderful opportunity to review, The Dragon New Year, a Chinese New Year story. Please be sure to visit the host, cohosts, and sponsor websites to find even more exceptional and diverse books for all ages.


Title: The Dragon New Year: A Chinese Legend

Author: David Bouchard

Illustrator: Zhong-Yang Huang

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, September 1, 1999

Age: 6 and up

Topic: Character, Values, Holidays: Chinese New Years, Dragons, Legends

Opening: "Please do not leave me alone, grandmother! I cannon sleep!" the small girl cried softly from her bed. "The fireworks are so brights. And grandmother, why are people making all that noise?"

Book Summary: 
When a mother loses her son to the dragon New Year, she and the great Buddha decide to make sure that the dragon never returns to the village again.

Resources:
There is an author's note at the back of the book that talks a bit about Buddha, dragons and the Chinese New Year traditions.
This link has ten craft activities including a dragon dance video, dragon mask, Chinese coloring pages and more.


Why I Like This Book:
This is the story of how the festive celebration of the Chinese New  Year began. Well, it is one version of how the loud, colorful celebration began. The author says it is a legend but it is really a made up story using elements of Chinese folklore and holiday traditions.

This story is told in the voice of a grandmother, lovingly comforting her young granddaughter who is frightened by all the noise and bright lights of festivities on her street. So how did the celebration begin? Long ago......New Year is a sea dragon that comes out at the beginning of the new year and feeds on the villages nearby the sea. One day, a mother witnesses the dragon devour her only son while out on the stormy sea. In her grief, she stays behind in the village as the other villagers prepare to leave their homes until the dragon returns to sea. All alone, a monk stops by and asks her for help. She helps the man then questions why he is there. The monk, who turns out to be Buddha, has a plan to get rid of the sea dragon for good. It's a crazy idea but the grieving mother goes along with the plan as she wants her village to live in peace again.

The paintings are absolutely gorgeous. They lend an elegant portrait to the story told. The paintings are bright, detailed and large. The story is a bit lengthy but the illustrations are what hold your attention.

This is definitely for an older child, the paintings portray a very scary dragon in a few of the illustration. Young children may be frightened by it.

********************************************************************
MCCBD’s  2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global BookshopGold Sponsors:  Satya House,  MulticulturalKids.com,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic PoofSilver SponsorsJunior Library Guild,  Capstone PublishingLee and Low Books,  The Omnibus PublishingBronze Sponsors:Double Dutch DollsBliss Group BooksSnuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.


Don't forget our hashtag for this event is #ReadYourWorld

We are hosting a Twitter party! Join us for Multicultural Children's Book Day Twitter Party onJan 27th 9:00pm EST. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages. Use this info to share with your readers and to tweet it out!

If you have not done so, check out the MCCBD blog! Thanks to support from the Children's Book Council we are posting author interviews like crazy and are thrilled with the response. You can find the MCCBD blog here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/blog/

Platinum Sponsor Wisdom Tales Press is hosting a book giveaway on their website that anyone can enter. Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. Here's a tweet: Book #giveaway at Wisdom Tales Press! Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. #ReadYourWorld http://ow.ly/Hr0MC