Monday, March 2, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: A Kiss Means I Love You

Title: A Kiss Means I Love You

Author: Kathryn Madeline Allen

Illustrator: Eric Futran

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company, 2012

Age: 2 - 6

Topic: Stories in Rhyme, Communication,

Opening: A kiss means I love you, a wave means hello, a smile means I’m happy, a tug means let’s go!

Book Summary: Explores the meaning of different actions, expressions, words and sounds, from a kiss and a clap to a wave and a yawn.

Resources:
A fun thing to do is allow children to make up meanings for their own actions, expressions and sounds.
Guess the meaning: children can guess the meaning for various actions, expressions and sounds, like wiggle, tickle, growl, stomp and wink.
A common core guideline for this book can be found here. It is geared for 2-6 year olds.
For much younger audiences, try having them act out the actions with you as you read the story.

Why I Like This Book:

This is a really fun way to engage children in learning how to understand all kinds of communication. Since communication is not limited to speaking, it teaches children various ways they can express their feelings and wishes as well as understand what others want or feel by looking and listening then interpreting those actions, expressions and sounds. The use of photography makes it wonderful and realistic. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Reading Activity Calendar


What a great idea from Reading Is Fundamental. 


What a perfect way to share the joy of reading with your child.


Find more calendars of age appropriate reading and writing ideas for different months here.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Yatandou by Gloria Whelan

Title: Yatandou

Author: Gloria Whelan

Illustrator: Peter Sylvada

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press; 1st Printing edition (August 22, 2007)

Age: 6 and up
Topic: Hard work, learning how to read, Mali culture and lifestyle, family life,

Opening: Our Mali village lies beneath rocks that stretch like two arms holding us safe.
Book Summary:

In contemporary Mali, a country in West Africa, a little girl named Yatandou explains how a simple machine changes her life and the lives of all of the women and children in her village.  The introduction of this amazing new piece of equipment means that the women and children will no longer spend their days pounding millet by hand.
Resources:

Find some activities, games, recipes here. 
Why I Like This Book:

This book shares more than just a story, but the hopes, dreams and achievements of young Yatandou and the women in her village. This story explores the heritage and daily routines of Yatandou and her family. I love that the narrator is Yatandou herself, allowing children to experience her day with her. Yatandou shows children that hard work and teamwork goes hand in hand when everyone wants to achieve success.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Multicultural Children's Book Day: Lulu and the Very Big Meanies by Mac McGooshie

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Read Your World
January 27, 2015

Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

 Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. This dynamic duo is hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

Once again, we have joined the campaign to advocate multiculturalism and diversity in children's literature. We had the wonderful opportunity to review, Lulu and the Very Big Meanies. Please be sure to visit the host, cohosts, and sponsor websites to find even more exceptional and diverse books for all ages.
 
 


Title: Lulu and the Very Big Meanies

Author: Mac McGooshie

Illustrator: Alexis Hogwood

Publisher: Muslim Writers Publishing

Age: 7-10

Topic: Bullies, Moving, Making good choices, Muslim life

Summary: Lulu can't cut a break this week! First she finds out that she's moving to a new Muslim school and a new town for the next school year, and it's not even her fault.
Then Veronica B. and Veronica C., the most miserable bullies in the world, hand-pick Lulu for their evil plans.
Add to that a very sick kitty and the something buzzing in the woods out back, well, Lulu is just not having a great time of it.
Even with the help of her old friends and her family, can she possibly survive the Week of the Very Big Meanies?

Resources:
Lulu's personal dictionary at the back of the book explains the Arabic terms used throughout the story.

This is a great book to open up the discussion of bullies, how to stand up to them, good and bad ways to stand up to bullies.

Why I like this book:

Lulu is funny, sassy, caring and intelligent.

Lulu has a lot going on in her life. There are mysterious sounds going on in the woods behind her house, her parents dropped the M word on her (they are moving to another city and school) AND she is being bullied by the Veries at two. Lulu does her best to persuade her parents that it is a BAD idea to move to a new city and send her to ha new school. That is, until she visits the new school.

Lulu is smart. It shows in that she is two grades ahead of kids her own age. Maybe that’s why the Veries, Veronica C and Veronica B, like to pick on her. One day, the two girls play a particularly mean trick on Lulu which destroys her favorite backpack and school contents. With the help of her friend, and twin brothers, Lulu decides to fight back. But not in the most honest way. Just as her plan is underway, she has a change of heart.

Oh, and the mysterious noise and movement in the woods? You will never guess what Lulu and her father finds lurking back there! :D

Dealing with school bullies, moving to unfamiliar territory, leaving behind friends and having to make new friends is something all children can relate to. The author uses humor and a likeable character to discuss these issues.

**********************************************************************

MCCBD’s  2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global BookshopGold Sponsors:  Satya House,  MulticulturalKids.com,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic PoofSilver SponsorsJunior Library Guild,  Capstone PublishingLee and Low Books,  The Omnibus PublishingBronze Sponsors:Double Dutch DollsBliss Group BooksSnuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

Don't forget our hashtag for this event is #ReadYourWorld

We are hosting a Twitter party! Join us for Multicultural Children's Book Day Twitter Party onJan 27th 9:00pm EST. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages. Use this info to share with your readers and to tweet it out!
 
If you have not done so, check out the MCCBD blog! Thanks to support from the Children's Book Council we are posting author interviews like crazy and are thrilled with the response. You can find the MCCBD blog here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/blog/

Platinum Sponsor Wisdom Tales Press is hosting a book giveaway on their website that anyone can enter. Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. Here's a tweet: Book #giveaway at Wisdom Tales Press! Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. #ReadYourWorld http://ow.ly/Hr0MC
 

Multicultural Children's Book Day: The Dragon New Year: a review

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Read Your World
January 27, 2015

Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.


 Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. This dynamic duo is hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

Once again, we have joined the campaign to advocate multiculturalism and diversity in children's literature. We had the wonderful opportunity to review, The Dragon New Year, a Chinese New Year story. Please be sure to visit the host, cohosts, and sponsor websites to find even more exceptional and diverse books for all ages.


Title: The Dragon New Year: A Chinese Legend

Author: David Bouchard

Illustrator: Zhong-Yang Huang

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, September 1, 1999

Age: 6 and up

Topic: Character, Values, Holidays: Chinese New Years, Dragons, Legends

Opening: "Please do not leave me alone, grandmother! I cannon sleep!" the small girl cried softly from her bed. "The fireworks are so brights. And grandmother, why are people making all that noise?"

Book Summary: 
When a mother loses her son to the dragon New Year, she and the great Buddha decide to make sure that the dragon never returns to the village again.

Resources:
There is an author's note at the back of the book that talks a bit about Buddha, dragons and the Chinese New Year traditions.
This link has ten craft activities including a dragon dance video, dragon mask, Chinese coloring pages and more.


Why I Like This Book:
This is the story of how the festive celebration of the Chinese New  Year began. Well, it is one version of how the loud, colorful celebration began. The author says it is a legend but it is really a made up story using elements of Chinese folklore and holiday traditions.

This story is told in the voice of a grandmother, lovingly comforting her young granddaughter who is frightened by all the noise and bright lights of festivities on her street. So how did the celebration begin? Long ago......New Year is a sea dragon that comes out at the beginning of the new year and feeds on the villages nearby the sea. One day, a mother witnesses the dragon devour her only son while out on the stormy sea. In her grief, she stays behind in the village as the other villagers prepare to leave their homes until the dragon returns to sea. All alone, a monk stops by and asks her for help. She helps the man then questions why he is there. The monk, who turns out to be Buddha, has a plan to get rid of the sea dragon for good. It's a crazy idea but the grieving mother goes along with the plan as she wants her village to live in peace again.

The paintings are absolutely gorgeous. They lend an elegant portrait to the story told. The paintings are bright, detailed and large. The story is a bit lengthy but the illustrations are what hold your attention.

This is definitely for an older child, the paintings portray a very scary dragon in a few of the illustration. Young children may be frightened by it.

********************************************************************
MCCBD’s  2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global BookshopGold Sponsors:  Satya House,  MulticulturalKids.com,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic PoofSilver SponsorsJunior Library Guild,  Capstone PublishingLee and Low Books,  The Omnibus PublishingBronze Sponsors:Double Dutch DollsBliss Group BooksSnuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.


Don't forget our hashtag for this event is #ReadYourWorld

We are hosting a Twitter party! Join us for Multicultural Children's Book Day Twitter Party onJan 27th 9:00pm EST. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages. Use this info to share with your readers and to tweet it out!

If you have not done so, check out the MCCBD blog! Thanks to support from the Children's Book Council we are posting author interviews like crazy and are thrilled with the response. You can find the MCCBD blog here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/blog/

Platinum Sponsor Wisdom Tales Press is hosting a book giveaway on their website that anyone can enter. Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. Here's a tweet: Book #giveaway at Wisdom Tales Press! Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. #ReadYourWorld http://ow.ly/Hr0MC

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meet the Author! Mac McGooshie!

Meet children's author Mac McGooshie.

Mac McGooshie is the author of the new Lulubug's Week in the Life series. Mac's background is in legal, restaurants and all things written. She has lived in many places in her life, but considers her transplanted self at home among the red dirt farms of Southern Virginia and North Carolina's Piedmont.

Today, Mac McGooshie while share her Fab Five with us.


Who is your favorite author?

My favorite book is the Quran, and its author is my favorite. :)  But let's see... I like scary books, so I'm partial to Stephen King ... For kids books, I adore Sammy Keyes-- she's so savvy and cool, so I would have to say Wendlin Van Draanen.


What is your favorite childhood book?

I read so many books as a kid, it's difficult to pick one!  I loved the classics--Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott.  Once I was old enough to enjoy scifi, I turned on to the Stainless Steel Rat. Loved any kind of parody from a very young age. :)


Where is your favorite place to write?

My favorite place is my porch, with coffee!


What is your favorite food?

My favorite foods: steak, ice cream, popcorn, and not necessarily in that order...

What is the funniest thing you have ever done?


Oh my goodness. I wasn't always a Muslim... I can't talk about that. But rest assured, it was funny. ;)