2001

Book Review: Martin’s Big Words By Rappaport & Collier

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Dr. King would be 90 years old if he were alive today. With the memorial holiday reminding us to reflect and continue to press on in the civil rights movement Dr. King helped orchestrate, this book is an excellent addition to the day. Here is Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Bryan Collier, 2001.

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Let’s Read Three: Ghost Books

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It is the week of Halloween and our street is already verging on disgusting with all the creepy, crawly decor. I’m not much of a Halloween fan, especially of the gross and terrifying stuff. But I do like hanging out with friends, eating fun treats, wearing great costumes, and clever decorations. I love themed things. So today I want to do a group pairing with a ghostly theme perfect for Halloween. Two of them aren’t technically Halloween books, but ghosts are always appropriate for the occasion and so I think they work. Join me in reading three lovely books celebrating one of the famous characters of the holiday. Let’s read three books about ghosts! Read the full post…

Book Review: Kuma-Kuma Chan, The Little Bear By Kazue Takahashi

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Have you met Kuma-Kuma Chan yet? We are quite smitten with this little bear and his simple, adorable book. His story was originally published in Japan in 2001, but he has finally made his way over to the U.S. thanks to Museyon. He is a little bear that keeps quite busy and will delight every reader with this charming look at what a day in his life might possibly look like. Meet Kuma-Kuma Chan, The Little Bear by Kazue Takahashi, 2014. Read the full post…

25 Days – Book 10: What’s Cooking, Jamela?

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For the tenth day in our Christmas book countdown, I bring you some South African Christmas celebration! It is a warm weather holiday filled with family, good food, a bit of chaos and an interesting friendship between a girl and her chicken. Let’s talk about What’s Cooking, Jamela? by Niki Daly, 2001.

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This is the kind of book that I greatly love: one that introduces me to culture very different from my own, is an entertaining story with great illustrations, and also surprises me with a heart-warming tale with a bit of silliness. It is odd to read of a warm-weather Christmas, as my own are nearly always very cold and often snowy. A good portion of picture books present cold Yuletides as well, so Jamela’s tale is a welcome change to my literary fare. Read the full post…

Book Review: 1621, A New Look At Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! Last year, I shared one of my new favorite Thanksgiving themed books by Melissa Sweet, Balloons Over Broadway, that celebrates the famous parade and its history. It was again a big hit at this year’s storytime. This year, my mind has been struggling with some different feelings about what used to be a favorite holiday. With my broadening education about the continual stereotyping of Native people in picture books, I’ve become quite disheartened towards typical Thanksgiving picture books with their constant questionable portrayals of “Indians” and misrepresentation of “the first Thanksgiving.” Not wanting to disdain the holiday completely, I am striving to take Debbie Reese’s comment to heart and even beyond books: “Sometimes I think that Thanksgiving books for young children should just focus on things people are grateful for.”

So I am focusing as much as possible on being thankful. But at the same time, I’m also intrigued to find books that discuss the issues about the common misrepresentation of a happy feast with a disproportionate grouping of “Pilgrims” and “Indians.” This is the first that I have pored over and learned so much from. I am incredibly excited to share such a great resource. Join me as I glean information from 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac with Plimoth Plantation, 2001. Read the full post…