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Hawaiian Folk Tales & Children's Books

Hawaiian Folk Tales & Children’s Books

When I was a child, a relative in Hawaii from my mother’s side that I’d never met sent me two picture books as a Christmas present. It was a little weird because they didn’t send a gift for either of two siblings, nor did they indicate that this was a shared gift.

Pua Pua Lena Lena and the Magic Kiha-Pu by Guy & Pam Buffet, illustrated by Guy Buffet

One book was a Hawaiian folk tale of Pua Pua Lena Lena, a kind of magical dog who has to  retrieve the kiha pu, a conch shell that sounds an alarm if an enemy is approaching the kingdom, from spirits who have stolen it. This is his punishment for accidentally stealing plants from the Royal Garden in order to make awa tea for his master.

I also received a beautiful version of Momotaro, the peach boy warrior, a Japanese folk tale.

Both books were treasured favorites of mine, and I still have both copies. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to visit Hawaii a few times. My husband played golf for the University of Hawaii which is another connection that brings us back there.

I’m working on a series of Folk Tale posts from Asia and the Pacific Islands. Korea was my first. Today’s post celebrates Folk Tales from Hawaii. Because I had trouble finding these stories, I’ve also included Hawaiian notable picture book biographies.

p.s. I also have a post on Pearl Harbor Books for Kids.

p.p.s. This is the second post of my Folk Tale series. The first one is 16 Great Korean Folk Tales for Kids. Read more…

Dr. Seuss Museum Oh The Places They Don't Go

Dr. Seuss Museum Invite then Crickets

I wanted to share some of the correspondence that I’ve had with Dr. Seuss Museum’s Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Karen Fisk. It started after this AP article was published and I was included in the AP video.

Oh the Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss museum opens its doors Associated Press

“The first national museum dedicated to the beloved children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss has opened in his hometown of Springfield, Mass. But Theodore Geisel’s early controversial political illustrations are conspicuously absent.” (June 5)AP

Karen Fisk contacted me to invite me to visit.

 

May 25, 2017

Hi Mia,

I wanted to say hello and reach out to see if you would like to visit the Dr. Seuss Museum as my guest. Please let me know.

We have not yet completed the work we are doing to acknowledge and discuss the work Theodor Geisel did that you address in your most recent column, but we know it is important and complicated and needs to be discussed.  We intend to have programming and literature on the subject.

Hope to hear from you soon,

Karen

Karen Fisk

Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Springfield Museums & Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit Socioeconomic Diversity

Our theme for this #DiverseKidLit is socioeconomic diversity. Kids from all economic brackets should be able to find themselves in books – as well as to learn about the lives of others in different economic situations. (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

Read more…

Filipino-American Children's Books & GIVEAWAY

Filipino-American Children’s Books & GIVEAWAY

Mika Song and Isabel Roxas have teamed up to come up with Filipino and Filipino-American Children’s books which are few and far between. I only know Cora Makes Pancit by  Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore, illustrated by Kristi Valiant.

Mika has a new book out from Charlesbridge Publishing and we are giving away a copy! We are also giving away two bilingual picture books illustrated by Isabel Roxas: Mang Andoy’s Signs and Araw Sa Palengke. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter. There will be three winners, one for each book.

A New School Year: Six Stories in Six Voices by Sally Derby, illustrated by Mika Song

Meet six diverse kids from grades Kindergarten through fifth grade who are entering a new school year. They are both nervous and excited at what the first day will bring. Mika Song captures their hopes, dreams and fears with simple and engaging illustrations. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

Mang Andoy’s Signs by Mailin Paterno, illustrated by Isabel Roxas

A Philippine Children’s Book with dual language:Filipino and English. The art of persuasion is delightfully revealed in Mailin Paterno’s richly nuanced urban tale, illustrated with charm and zest of Isabel Roxas. Children will be all wiser to learn how you ask is just important as what you ask for. [bilingual Tagalog/English picture book, ages 4 and up]

Araw Sa Palengke by May Tobias-Papa, illustrated by  Isabel Roxas

I’m coming with Nanay! We’re going to the market. What would we see there? Who would I meet? Come, join us! Today is market day! Sasama ako kay Nanay! [bilingual Tagalog/English picture book, ages 4 and up]

How about you? Can you help us add to this list? Thanks!

 

Filipino and Filipino-American Children’s Books

Bahay Kubo illustrated by  Pergylene Acuña

This was one of my daughter’s favorite board books- she loved the silly vegetable characters and it’s a fun folk song to belt out. – Mika Song

[board book in Tagalog, ages 6 months and up]

Mang Andoy’s Signs by Mailin Paterno Illustrations by Isabel Roxas

A neat picture book full of charming Manila street scenes (hand-painted signs, street food and modes of transportation) that capture the ingenuity and nature of the people. – Mika Song

[bilingual English and Tagalog picture book, ages 3 and up]

Read more…

Where Are All The Wheelchairs in Children's Books? GIVEAWAY

Where Are the Wheelchairs in Children’s Books? 3 Book GIVEAWAY

My 15-year-0ld daughter, PickyKidPix, has been working for a year to get our dog to pass the therapy dog test through Pets and People.

therapy dog training

Her goal is to do library dog volunteer work with him. She signed up for about ten dog training sessions and our dog made great progress. She even practiced at home with him.

The issue is that our dog can do all of the different components of the test, but just not at the same time:

training dog as therapy dog Read more…

What would you do If You Ran the Dr. Seuss Museum?

If you are the new Dr. Seuss Museum, do you acknowledge Dr. Seuss’ racist past or not? What’s the argument for either side?

Dr. Seuss: Racism Erased?

Don’t Include Dr. Seuss’ racist political cartoons or racist books:

  • The museum is about the author and not the person. Except … that the website specifically addresses Ted Geisel: The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss is a permanent, bilingual museum designed to introduce children and their families to the stories of Ted Geisel, promote joy in reading, and nurture specific literacy skills.
  • The museum only features original art by Dr. Seuss and does not own any of his political cartoons. Except … Dr. Seuss’ racist cartoons are being sold at auction and no one is buying them.
  • The museum doesn’t cover the racism because the museum is geared towards kids. Except … The Smithsonian via the National Museum of African American History and Culture engages children in reflecting on and raising their awareness of racism. They opt not to display the devastating photograph of Emmett Till’s body at his funeral in the room in which his original casket is displayed. They explained it’s because they want to present the history in an age-appropriate way for kids to be able to see and acknowledge what happened. They are engaging with critical issues of racial injustice and intentionally choose not to shield children from confronting the realities of racism in America and American history.

Read more…

Chapter Book Series Starring Diverse Girl Characters & GIVEAWAY

Chapter Book Series Starring Diverse Girl Characters & GIVEAWAY

Please welcome my guest author today, Debbi Michiko Florence. I met her at Andrea Wang’s The Nian Monster author event at Newtonville Books last January.

Debbi Michiko Florence with Mia Wenjen PragmaticMom at Newtonville Books

I had already heard of her new Japanese American early chapter book series, Jasmine Toguchi, and made a point of telling her how excited I am for it.

There are NO OTHER Japanese American book series for kids! Her series is not only authentic, but has a spunky girl character that reminds me of Ramona and Clementine. Please check it out!

We are giving away the first two books of the Jasmine Toguchi series, Jasmine Toguchi Mochi Queen and Jasmine Toguchi Super Sleuth. Please fill out the Rafflectopter at the bottom to enter. Read more…

Special Needs Books for Kids ages 4-16

Special Needs Books for Kids ages 4-16

Please welcome my guest author today, Sandra Woffington, with a special needs book list. Her book, Evil Speaks: Warriors and Watchers Saga #1,  is a middle grade novel that follows teens with disabilities on an epic, mythological adventure. Sandra is a middle school teacher who is passionate about teaching her students not to just tolerate those with differences – but include them.

Evil Speaks not only takes young readers on an epic mythological journey, it helps to break down stereotypes and encourage inclusion of people from all walks of life.

Evil Speaks follows the journey of this unique crew, along with Benny, a lonely fifteen-year-old whose paranoid mother has moved him from town to town after the disappearance of his father at age three. Benny has had enough. After a particularly bad argument, he decides to run away. Just as he packs his bags—boom!—the house explodes, catapulting Benny into a world he never imagined existed. The trail leads him to a gated neoclassic building in the woods where he meets this unlikely band of heroes, all who seem vaguely familiar to Benny. As unique and different as they all are, they share one common thread: each of them lost a parent on the exact same day. As they set out to uncover the mystery, the only clue they have to follow is the whereabouts of Benny’s grandfather, a strange—and dangerous—man. They must quickly learn to become warriors before the seven gates of evil are opened forever. [chapter book with special need blind, deaf, and paraplegic, for ages 8 and up]

p.s. See a longer Special Needs Reading List here. Read more…

HARLEM: Found Ways & Harlem Children's Books

HARLEM: Found Ways & Harlem Children’s Books

I brought my daughters and one of their friends to see an art exhibit on Harlem.

HARLEM: Found Ways Cooper Gallery in Harvard Square

We were fortunate to get a private tour by Vera Ingrid Grant, Director of the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at the Hutchins Center in Harvard Square, on her show, HARLEM: Found Ways, a collection of art reflecting Harlem today.

What really caught my eye was the unusual use way of displaying art in this exhibit.

Read more…