It’s not easy when your best friend moves away. I found three picture books that might help a child in this dilemma but I’d love to add more books to this list. What am I missing? Thanks for your help!
Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino
Juna loves to take an empty kimchi jar and explore with her best friend Hector. One day when she goes to find Hector, she finds out that he’s moved away. Her big brother Minho tries to cheer her up by buying her a fish for her jar. When the fish gets too big, she and her brother plant a bean plant in her jar instead. When the bean plant outgrows her jar, a cricket makes the jar its home. Each offering to her jar also sparks her imagination with a wonderful daydream. When she finally is able to say goodbye to Hector, Juna and her jar make another discovery at the park that helps her miss him less. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
On August 6, seventy years ago, the United States detonated atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended WWII. Without those bombs, the war with Japan would have dragged on and on. The Japanese would have fought for as long as they could hold out … for their country, for their family honor, for Bushido. It’s just the way they are.
I know. I’m half Japanese. In fact, my mother’s parents are from an area one hour outside of Hiroshima. Thus, the Hiroshima bombing brings WWII full circle for my mother. She was born in San Francisco and grew up in Japantown. During WWII, her family was forced to relocate to a remote part of Utah where the US tested nuclear weapons underground. Most of her family died of cancer. Read more…
First you have to believe that it’s possible. Can a person of color become a professional dancer? These diversity dance picture books plant the seed … but not for my kids.
I could never coax my girls into dancing. My oldest did one year at the Boston Ballet School when she was four. I was thrilled. She seemed really great at it. I envisioned her gliding gracefully into years of ballet culminating in a small part in the Nutcracker. Instead, her ballet shoes got a tad small with just two classes to go before the summer break. I let her just dance in them. She promptly quit after that, saying that ballet hurt her feet.
Grasshopper and Sensei’s first ballet class at Boston Ballet School.
I tried again when we moved to the suburbs. The ballet class included tutus, stuffed bears, sunglasses and a juice box break. “Open like a birdie,” they’d tell the kids before popping the straw into their mouths so the juice box wouldn’t spill. Neither the tutus nor the stuffed animals tempted my girls away from the wall where they stood and watched for over an hour each week. They would only participate for the juice box.
PickyKidPix messing around with a tutu that came in the mail with a picture book. She pairs it with her soccer uniform.
Even though my kids don’t dance, I’ve tried to include a picture book about dancing with reference to their Korean, Chinese and Japanese heritage. Who knew that this would prove to be so challenging? Did you know that modern gymnastics that you see in the Olympics has its roots in classical Chinese dance?!
It’s interesting that there are a plethora of ninja themed picture books but nary a ballet one with an Asian American character. Not even a minor one. It’s as if Asian American children don’t dance at all.
How about you? Do your kids like to dance or just read about dancing? My kids like watching kids dance as well via reality TV shows. Is there a better dance picture book about Asian culture that you like? Please share! Thanks! Read more…
Right about now, you are probably ready for a trip to the beach or a dip in a pool? Or maybe you are planning a trip to NYC to check out the sights? I have three beautiful Asian American wordless picture books that will take you there with just a flip of a page.
What amazing diversity wordless picture books do you love? Please share! Thank you! Read more…
I know very little about the continent of Africa so today I wanted to explore it through picture books. These five books show different perspectives from the story of young Masaii girl who wants to touch the moon to visiting family in Tanzania and The Gambia. I was surprised to learn that the people in Mauritania, West Africa are Muslim and that Jackie Robinson’s daughter wrote a book about her mother. Finally, there’s the true story of Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia who turn trash into treasure with an ecological bent.
I hope you enjoy this five book trip to Africa too! What are your favorite books on Africa? Please share! Thank you!
When a country is at war, it’s easy to get a distorted view of the “enemy”. The media also plays a role in showing a certain point of view meant to stir the populace into support of their government backing the war effort. But this kind of distortion trickles down to oversimplifying things to a black and white point of view. That never does justice to the true situation and is a hurdle for our kids to overcome in order to get a more balanced world view.
One way to demystify the Middle East as religious fanatics bent on destroying the free world is to let them see the many, many stories of the Arab people, both past and present. This collection of picture books about the Arab nation attempts to gather up these stories so please help me out by suggesting you favorites! If we all teach our children that Muslim families are no different from ours, this might pave the way for a generation that can find a way to figure out world peace. Thank you!
It’s amazing how a single piece of art can have a ripple effect, inspiring others all around the world and for many generations. Hokusai’s iconic blockprint The Great Wave is one of the best recognized works of Japanese art in the world.
Here are some of the spin offs from Hokusai’s The Great Wave …
When I read an action adventure fantasy that has time travel, it’s easy to believe that it’s just a made up story. Sure, Hatshepsut is a real person but she’s from so long ago that she seems like a mythical person. Until I ran into her at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts…
And so I have a lesson plan around The Pharoah’s Secret in three parts:
Part I: Learn about Hatshepsut
Part II: Read The Pharoah’s Secret by Marissa Moss for ages 8 and up
Hi! I'm Mia Wenjen. I blog excessively about children's books. I am also the co-founder of Multicultural Children's Book Day on Jan 27th.
I'd love to chat with you. Let's connect! PragmaticMomBlog (at) gmail (dot) com.
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