It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.
Last Week's Posts
- Worldwide Cinderella: part 2 - the Americas - this second part in a series on Cinderella stories features Cinderella stories from the Americas, including Native American and more recent tales.
- King for a Day: Review - the first of three books I reviewed this week for the Multicultural Children's Book Day. Learn about Pakistan and the kite fighting during the festival of Basant. Includes videos and directions for kite-making projects.
- Summoning the Phoenix: Review - this collection of poetry and nonfiction information features unique Chinese musical instruments. The review includes videos and suggestions for making your own instruments.
- Twenty-Two Cents: Review - introduce your child to the world of microfinance and the man behind Grameen Bank. This review also includes recommended books to pair with this one to encourage kids to think about how to make a difference and improve the lives of others.
Sky Dancers (2004) by Connie Ann Kirk and illustrated by Christy Hale. Sky Dancers tells about the Mohawk contributions to steel-working through the eyes of a young boy whose father is gone during the week in New York, building the Empire State Building. I thought it was interesting that this group is not represented or mentioned in the more generally-focused Sky Boys book that it also about the construction of the Empire State Building. (H/T Elisabeth at The Dirigble Plum.)
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: a Muslim Book of Colors (2012) by Hena Khan and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. This lovely, simply rhyming book introduces readers to some of the major aspects of Islamic religion and traditions through color. This would be a great mentor text for having students write similar poems about their own favorite or significant colors, as well as a way to introduce some basics about Muslim culture.
A Letter for Leo (2014) by Sergio Ruzzier. I read this one aloud this week to my third graders. They enjoyed the goofiness of Leo's friend, Cheep, but did not find much to keep their interest in this story, ostensibly for younger children. I felt like that book was a little confused about what the main story was to be and that other "odd couple" books this year (like The Farmer and the Clown and Rain) did this story line better. Even good old Frog & Toad have a more engaging 'waiting for a letter' plot.
Blizzard (2014) by John Rocco. Disappointed by our dusting of snow that was forecast to be three inches, I had to content myself by reading Blizzard, which is an engaging take on the author's experience during the New England blizzard of 1978. I really liked the joyful, kid-centric approach of this story, though I imagine most adults would read between the lines and see the totally different story written on the faces of the background adults. The illustrations are detailed and lovely, and I could see this being a sleeper for a possible Caldecott Honor. (H/T Elisabeth at The Dirigble Plum.)
Last Stop on Market Street (2015) by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. My first 2015 book! This is a powerful and important story told through the eyes of our young male narrator, who is finding a lot to complain about on this rainy Sunday. As the story progresses, however, his Nana wins him over and keeps showing him the beauty of the world around him, which culminates naturally into a lovely act of service. This is a great book for celebrating diversity and action in so many different ways! (H/T Lots of places!)
Port Chicago 50: disaster, mutiny, and the fight for Civil Rights (2014) by Steve Sheinkin. Port Chicago 50 tells the mostly-unknown story of the "mutiny" and trial of 50 African-American naval recruits who refused to keep loading ammunition with minimal training and in unsafe conditions. This book is easily-accessible to readers due to Sheinkin's straight-forward prose and the inclusion of many original photographs and scanned documents. I think this is a really important book for bringing attention to this once historical footnote and for giving readers another perspective on history.
Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 0 so far (maybe some after the Caldecott announcement is made!)
Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 15 books, 6 dedicated posts (this week: Cinderella2, King for a Day, Summoning the Phoenix, and Twenty-Two Cents)
Multicultural Children's Book Day is TOMORROW! I hope you'll join me and many others in sharing and celebrating books that honor multicultural characters, themes, and ideas. Check out their blog for more information, including daily author interviews for the month of January.