Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Multicultural Books that Encourage Movement and Physical Activities

Check out these books that encourages young readers to learn and explore movement, exercise and sports in a fun way.

51% of Black and 41% of Hispanic children were told by doctors they were overweight in the years 2007 - 2010 according to the CDC. Obese children have a lower life expectancy compared to normal weight children. Black parents can help increase Black children’s life expectancy by encouraging physical activity. Research also shows exercise *”stimulates the formation of new brain cells” and **”physically fit kids do better in school.” This must be a part of the Black legacy, supporting Black achievement and preserving Black lives. Here are:

15 Black Children’s Books for Better Bodies and Better Brains

Maya Loves to Dance, by Cheryl Willis Hudson

Jonathan and His Mommy, by Irene Smalls

Kevin and His Dad, by Irene Smalls

I told You I Can Play! by Brian Jordan

JoJo's Flying Sidekick, by Brian Pinckney

Shoes Like Miss Alice's, by Angela Johnson

Happy Feet: The Savoy Ballroom Lindy Hoppers and Me, by Richard Michelson

Jump Rope Magic, by Afi Scruggs

Watch Me Dance, by Andrea and Brian Pinkney

I Am a Jesse White Tumbler, by Diane Schmidt

Jazz Baby, by Lisa Wheeler

My Nana and Me, by Irene Smalls

Catching the Moon; The Story of a Young Girl's Baseball Dream, by Crystal Hubbard

Rap A Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles - Think of That, by Leo and Diane Dillon

Dancing in the Wings, by Debbie Allen

Monday, March 31, 2014

Twenty Minutes A Day......... Please visit their site for more excellent resources.

Twenty minutes a day is all it takes to get your child on the road to conquering literacy and loving it!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Review: Justice Pon Di Road by Aliona Gibson

Title: Justice pon di Road

Author: Aliona L. Gibson

Illustrator: Andy Chou

Publisher: Self-Published

Topic: Jamaica people and culture, Multicultural,

Age: 5-8

Opening: Justice is on his way to Jamaica, a beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean.

Summary: A young boy and his mother experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Jamaican culture on a morning walk.

Resources: The author adds a glossary of Jamaican words, Facts about Jamaica, a list of famous and notable Jamaicans including national heroes.

My Review:

Readers are invited to experience Jamaica with Justice and his mother as they take a walk "pon di road," which means 'on the road' in Jamaican.

I enjoyed the descriptive imagery used in the story, it brought to memory my own visit to Jamaica many, many years ago. I was older than Justice granted, but, I loved my visit just the same. Just like in the story, the Jamaican people are very warm and friendly.

I loved the language, Patois (patwa) which the author uses in the book for many of the common day-to-day words, like greetings, foods and more. I could almost here the Jamaican tongue as I read the words :)

We are also introduced to local culture and child-upbringing in Jamaica, like keeping children out of the rain, protecting them from all types of dangers (sun, sticks, dangerous busy roads, etc.,) and the various types of local food and drinks.

This is a really wonderful multicultural book and I enjoyed reading it and re-visiting Jamaica through Justice's and his mother's eyes.

Visit the author's website to learn more about Aliona Gibson and to buy the book!  Also, visit the book's Facebook page to show your support!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Black History Month: Celebrating Althea Gibson

In 1957, Althea Gibson was the first African-American to play in and win Wimbledon and the United States national tennis championship. She won both tournaments twice, in 1957 and 1958. In all, Gibson won 56 tournaments, including five Grand Slam singles events.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Recommended Picture Book: The Granddaughter Necklace by Sharon Dennis Wyeth

Title: The Granddaughter Necklace

Author: Sharon Dennis Wyeth

Illustrator: Bagram Ibatoulline

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, January 1, 2013

Topics: Family history, Heirlooms, Families - Mothers & Daughters

Age: 4-8

Opening: Once there was a girl named Frances, who took a boat across the sea. Her mother gave her a glittering necklace that would belong to me someday.

Summary: A mother shares with her daughter stories of the generations of women in their family as each individual has passed along the tales and a glittering necklace to her own daughter.

Heirlooms and family stories: Do you have an heirloom in your family? What is the story behind it?
Family Tree. Draw a family tree or visit this site for fun family tree building activities.
Make a pendant or heirloom together as a family if you don't have one already. Make sure to leave an account of why the pendant is special.

What I liked about the book:
Simple. Elegant. Poetic. Sharon, the narrator of the story, tells how a special heirloom, a beautiful necklace made out of crystal beads, was passed down through the women in her family on special occasions. She begins with how her mother got the necklace then moves back in her family history to her grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother, all the way back five generations of women who wore the necklace. Then she tells how she got the necklace and how she will give the necklace to her own daughter. This is a heart-warming tale of love, family and gifts, passed down from one generation to another. I was moved by the author's note at the end of the story of how she came to learn about her Irish and African ancestry.