Posted tagged ‘Diversity’

A Story with Heart

May 31, 2018

umbrella

Author/illustrator Amy June Bates and her seventh-grade daughter, Juniper, came up with an idea for an inspiring picture book about an umbrella. The BIG Umbrella is spare in text, but the words and illustrations will fill your heart with warmth. The smiling umbrella welcomes all who need shelter from the rain. As the crowd grows under the umbrella so does the size of the umbrella. With each page turn, the delightful illustrations, done in watercolor, gouache, and pencil on watercolor paper, will make you smile. The final spread shows the umbrella and a diverse group of people interacting with one another. Without being preachy, Amy June Bates and her daughter have created a story about acceptance that will touch your heart.

 Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all like The Big Umbrella?

 

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An Act of Kindness Goes a Long Way

February 15, 2018

Hurry up! Move it! Hustle!

These words and phrases have become part of our vocabulary in our fast-paced society. We’re so caught up in our own lives sometimes we don’t even have time to share a smile or say hello. Are common courtesy and kindness disappearing? Not if talented authors like Pat Zieltow Miller have anything to say or write about it. In her newest book, BE KIND, she reminds us what kindness is and how a simple act of thoughtfulness can spread like ripples in a pond.

kind

When a young student spills grape juice all over her dress, all but one of her classmates laugh. The classmate who didn’t laugh remembers her mother’s words to always be kind. She tries several different ways to make the girl feel better but is unsuccessful. She then ponders what it means to be kind. She begins with small things and goes on to bigger acts of kindness that spill out of school, spread around town, and around the world. Jen Hill’s illustrations show a diverse group of individuals in various settings doing acts of kindness throughout the book. With simple but powerful text, this book demonstrates empathy and understanding for others. It’s a wonderful resource for discussions of what it means to be kind, and it’s a must-have book for children, parents, and educators.

What have you done to be kind today?

Picture Book Wins the Newbery!

January 14, 2016

This has been an exciting week. It’s one I wait for each year. The American Library Association announced the Youth Media Award winners for 2016. Shut the front door! Knock my socks off! The Newbery Medal didn’t go to a middle-grade or young adult novel as one would expect. I’m totally awestruck the Newbery Medal went to a picture book!

Last Stop on Market Street is an amazing book written by Matt De La Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson, and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers. It was also named a Caldecott Honor Book and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book. This 757-word book packs power. Matt De La Peña’s lyrical language and Christian Robinson’s attention to detail depict a diverse population in an urban setting. Although this book may look uncomplicated, it’s a story of wants, needs, and the haves and have-nots in society. Readers are treated to the warm relationship between a young boy and his grandmother and their compassion for others. This book illustrates the kindness and beauty that encompasses us if we only take the time to notice. De La Peña and Robinson have created an unforgettable book – and Newbery Medal winner.

NEVER, NEVER underestimate the power of a picture book!

A Rainbow of Books

June 25, 2010

Lately, we’ve been inundated with a series of fierce thunder storms, wickedly wild winds, and torrential rains. I’m not a big fan of storms. They scare me. But sometimes those storms come bearing gifts. Rainbows! They’re a wonder of science and nature and a delightful surprise.   

Books by authors with diverse backgrounds come bearing gifts, too. These authors provide a delightful surprise to readers by allowing them a peek into different cultures and life styles. Here are a few of my favorite books from a rainbow of authors.

What Can You Do with a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla (Tricycle Press, 2009)

 Monsoon Afternoon by Kashmira Sheth (Peachtree Publishers, 2008)

Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson (Putnam Juvenile, 2005)

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2005)

Dim Sum for Everyone! by Grace Lin (Dragaonfly Books, 2003) 

Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith (HarperCollins, 2000)

There are delightful surprises everywhere!

A Double Rainbow!


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