Thursday, May 3, 2012

Recommended Picture Book: No Mirrors in My Nana's House

Title: No Mirrors in My Nana’s House

Author: Ysaye M. Barnwell

Illustrator: Synthia Saint James

Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt April 12005

Suitable for: 4 - 7

Themes/Topics: Self-perception, Grandmothers, African-Americans, Cultural and Socio-Economical heritage

There were no mirrors in my Nana’s house
No mirrors in my Nana’s house.
So the beauty that I saw in everything was in her eyes……

Book Summary:
A little girl discovers the beauty in herself—and the beauty of the world around her—not by looking in the mirror but by looking in her Nana's eyes.

Links to resources: 
Most of the resource I found were actually documents and powerpoint presentations that downloaded directly to my computer but I did find a few really good ones that encourage lots of discussion on cultural diversity and identity. Art and Discussiontopics. Lesson on cultural differences.
Listen to the story online with Tia and Tamara and find more activities.

Why I like this book:
What a wonderfully written book! I love the story of a child who lives and learns about the beauty of life and the appreciation of the life she has through the love and compassion of her Nana. Despite growing up in an unprivileged environment, she learns that there is beauty in everything around her, all through the eyes of her Nana. She did not grow up to judge her self based on what others looked like or had. The illustrations are done in acrylic paints on canvas and they are amazing! I love the concept of no facial features in the illustrations. I was still able to feel the emotions of each word even though their faces did not show it. This book would be suitable for Muslim families who do not approve of illustrations of human or living beings.

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