All posts in Reading Lists: Picture Books

5 African Americans Who Excelled in the Arts

This Little Light of Mine: 5 African Americans Who Excelled in the Arts

Please welcome my guest blogger today, Glenda Armand, the author of Ira’s Shakespeare Dream. If you agree about #OscarsSoWhite now in 2016, imagine how difficult it would be for people of color to succeed in theater more than 1oo years ago!

#OscarsSoWhite analysis by Time MagazineSee the Entire History of the Oscars Diversity Problem in One Chart

#OscarsSoWhite

An analysis of the full 92-year history of the Academy Awards shows that Hollywood’s highest honors have lagged the population on issues of race and representation.

In all, as the graphic below shows, 6.7% of acting nominations of the total 1,668 since the awards began in 1929 have gone to non-white actors. Isolating for the past 25 years, only 62 actors—12.4% of the total—were non-white.

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Diversity Picture Books for 8th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 8th Grade

PickyKidPix is now in 8th grade but only less than half way through. She tells me that her curriculum covers Colonial America, Industrial Revolution in science, American Revolution, Civil War, French and Indian War, Constitution,  and Racism.

I’m creating multicultural picture book lists for middle school in hopes of helping teachers cover their curriculum. I hope that they will participate in Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge. They can earn a FREE hardcover diversity book provided by reading four picture books during the month of January. Sign up here.

What books should I add to this list? Thanks for your help!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

 

Colonial America Picture Book for 8th Grade

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower or John Howland’s Good Fortune by P. J. Lynch

P. J. Lynch’s masterful watercolor paintings and vivid prose told from the perspective of young John Howland bring to life the difficulties of the Mayflower settlers. John is an indentured servant and his master and mistress seek religious freedom in the New World. His adventure begins with certain death should he be caught before boarding the Mayflower. Once aboard, the voyage is plagued with misfortune. John gets cast out to sea when a big wave hits the desk, and survives miraculously because a rope trailed behind the ship. Life in the New World is not easier. Only half of the pilgrims survive the brutal New England winter but the local Native Americans, the Wampanoag, prove to be their saviors. When John Howland’s Mistress and Master die, he is freed of his indentured servitude. Should he stay in this new world or return home? [advanced picture book, ages 8 and up]

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Winter Holiday Picture Books Giveaway

Winter Holiday Picture Books Giveaway & Kid Lit Blog Hop

The Kid Lit Blog Hop is now monthly! To celebrate the holidays in December, I’ve picked out five new picture books to share and I’m giving them away to five different winners.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Can you believe that it’s been thirty years since The Polar Express was published?! This story about the faith that children bring into the world is a classic that reminds young and old alike about the true magic of Christmas. Do you want to spread the magic? Every time you use hashtag #ReadandBelieve, a copy of The Polar Express will be donated to Christmas in the City, a Boston-based non-profit helping families in need. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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Diversity Picture Books for 7th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 7th Grade

Our 7th grade curriculum includes the rise of civilizations, early humans, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, and Ancient Egypt. The science curriculum is focused on biology.

What multicultural picture books should I add to this list? Thanks for sharing!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

Lascaux IIImages from Lascaux II

The First Drawing by Mordicai Grestein

Imagine life more than 30 thousand years ago, before drawing was invented! Using a burnt stick (charcoal), imagine the first human to see shapes on a wall that resemble animals and draw them. It would feel like magic! This is one version speculating why early humans created cave paintings and this story is inspired by cave paintings in Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc cave in Southern France. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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Diversity Picture Books for 6th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 6th Grade

I consulted my 8th grader, PickyKidPix, about middle school curriculum. She pays attention to everything going on so she remembers what she studied and notices what other grades are doing. She said that her teachers have generally covered the same curriculum they have always done which seemed to naturally follow Common Core but that different teachers put different emphasis on units based on their preferences.

For example, Grasshopper and Sensei, in 6th grade was delighted to find that 6th Grade English included an extensive Mythology unit with she aced without studying because she loves mythology. She took the National Mythology Examination in 5th grade for fun, for example. For PickyKidPix however, her teacher wasn’t as into mythology so this was a single week unit (which suited her just fine because she never got into the Percy Jackson series).

6th grade curriculum for my kids included Greek and Roman Mythology, World Geography, culture and modern life of different countries around the world, and World Religions (Buddhism, Muslim, Catholic, Judaism, Hinduism). 6th Grade STEM included chemistry, physics and bridges and 6th Grade English included Tuck Everlasting, Beowolf, The Giver, The Odyssey.

What diversity picture books would you add? Thanks for your suggestions!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

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Diversity Picture Books for 5th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 5th Grade

I spent more time in my kids’ 5th grade classroom because I was the parent coordinator for our PTO Creative Arts and Sciences. I know that there are always shifts in curriculum due to Common Core but leeway, as well, for teachers to cover what they typically have done in the past. My kids studied these topics in 5th grade:

  • Native American (we brought in Native American Art program that compared the turtle creation myth using artwork from Native American tribes across the U.S.A.)
  • Colonial America (we brought in a program where a husband and wife role played colonists in the 1800s with a table of antiques from that period)
  • American Revolution (we took a field trip to The Freedom Trail that included a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party; we live near Boston)
  • Pre-Civil War/Slavery (I noticed the slavery unit included a book display of picture books on slavery and my kids talked about Henry’s Freedom Box at home)
  • World War II/Holocaust (Our 5th grade teachers touched on the Holocaust without getting two graphic. My daughter read Number the Stars and the classroom read aloud was The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark and The Cats in Krasinski Square)

I’d love to get your suggestions for books that support 5th Grade Common Core. Thanks for sharing!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

 

Diversity Picture Books for 5th Grade

Native American Picture Books for 5th Grade

Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back by Joseph Bruchac and Jonathan London, illustrated by Thomas Locker

In many Native American cultures, there a legend of how the world was created on the back of a giant sea turtle. Joseph Bruchac’s picture book goes further and describes how each of the thirteen moons of the year hold a story, reflected in the scales of the shell of a turtle. He tells these stories, reflecting different Native American tribes and the rhythms of nature, in lyrical free verse poetry. [poetry picture book, ages 6 and up]

Encounter by Jane Yolen, illustrated by David Shannon

This is the perspective from a young Taino boy on San Salvador when Christopher Columbus comes to the New World. Columbus carried away ten young Taino men and women back to Spain as slaves and their island was later colonized by the Spanish, changing their culture forever. [picture book, ages 6 and up]

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Diversity Picture Books for 4th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 4th Grade

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has a new Classroom Reading Challenge in which we gift a FREE diversity hardcover book to teachers who commit to reading four diversity books to their students during the month of January. This program is generously underwritten by the Junior Library Guild. A sample of the books that we will be donating are here.

I totally get that teachers are busy and stressed trying to cover their curriculum and that time is precious. To complete the Classroom Reading Challenge, we encourage all teachers to use picture books for the four books. I am creating lists for grades 4th through 8th of advanced picture books that tie to the Common Core Curriculum. Valarie is creating advanced picture book lists for grades 9th through 12th.

During the fourth grade, my kids have always studied the Civil Rights Movement, turn of the century immigration, and geography of the 50 U.S. States. I also found Native American, and specifically Trail of Tears, on the Core Curriculum, but I believe that my kids studied colonial history of the United States in 5th grade but I will include Native American picture books for both grades.

What books am I missing? Please share! Thank you!

p.s. Here are all the books in this series:

4th Grade Multicultural Picture Books

Native American Picture Books for Fourth Grade

Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Karen Clarkson

Debbie Reese of American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) blog has stressed the importance of showing contemporary Native Americans because kids seem to think that Native Americans do not exist now. I can see that misconception — it’s the similar to our 2nd grade unit on Ghana where kids think everyone lives in a rural village and that cities don’t exist in Africa.

Tim Tingle is an excellent children’s book author that I encourage everyone to check out. His picture book covers a multitude of Common Core and elementary school topics including bullying, immigration, Civil Rights and contemporary Indian Americans.

Tim’s grandmother, a member of the  Choctaw Nation, moves from Oklahoma to Texas as a young mother where she is greeted while standing on her front porch with a rock thrown to her head. It cuts her eye which leads eventually to losing her vision. Tim’s father is two years old at the time.

While there is certainly anger and a desire for revenge, his grandmother redirects this energy with “Saltypie”, a term that means “bad things happen; let it go.” Many years later, his grandmother undergoes successful eye transplant surgery but the blessing she taught those around her is to see without eyes. [advanced picture book, ages 6 and up]

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5 Books Like Harold and the Purple Crayon & Kid Lit Blog Hop

5 Books Like Harold and the Purple Crayon

Because four is considered a bad luck number in Asian culture, I offer you five books like Harold and the Purple Crayon … which is to say, books with art supplies that have magical properties including transporting readers and characters into wildly imaginative adventures and worlds.

What are your  favorite books with magical drawing items that I should add to my list? Thanks for sharing!

Harold and the Purple Crayon (series) by Crockett Johnson

I loved Harold and the Purple Crayon when I was a kid and now it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary! The idea that a crayon can transport anywhere you can dream up — well, that’s rather like a book too! This is the granddaddy of picture book adventures through a drawing implement. Read more…

Native American Heritage Month Books for Kids

Books for Kids to Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Chief Seattle’s Thoughts

Chief Seattle's Thoughts

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, I rounded up some newly published books that speak to the speech made by Chief Seattle: Read more…