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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Broken Arm Surgery at Mass General Hospital

Broken Arm Surgery at Mass General Hospital

When my son was three years old, he took a morning gymnastics class at a place called My Gym. It was a drop-off supervised class, but I tended to hang out and chat with moms, many of whom were at my son’s preschool. The gymnastic teachers were setting up for the next activity when my son who was on a play structure, walked onto a large yoga ball, attempted to “ball walk” like he’d seen a bear do in a cartoon.

Broken Arm Surgery at Mass General Hospital

My stoic little boy was a trooper during his broken arm surgery.

He fell off the ball, screamed, and turned white as a ghost. I rushed him to the emergency room of our local hospital and they found that he had broken his arm in three places near the elbow but even more worrisome, near his growth plates. They put us on an ambulance — no sirens — to Massachusetts General Hospital where they had pediatric orthopedic surgeons there capable to doing this delicate surgery.

It was scary for my son. He had to go through a second set of painful x-rays. The surgery that to occur later that afternoon so he was not allowed to eat or drink anything. Through it all, he remained stoic and patient. The nurses and doctors were amazed.

broken arm surgery Mass General Hospital for little boy

Even a broken arm from gymnastics does not deter him from more activity! Read more…

Diversity Picture Book #Giveaway from Candlewick Press

Diversity Picture Book #Giveaway from Candlewick Press

I had such a great time meeting the folks at Candlewick Press at a lunch they hosted for P. J. Lynch. I asked them for some diversity books to celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day and they were kind enough to send me this collection. I hope these books inspire you too!

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A Survey of Lunar New Year Traditions by Janet Wong

Janet Wong on Lunar Year Traditions with Book List!

Did you know that Tibetan Losar, the Mongolian Tsagaan Sar, and the Vietnamese Tết occur at the same time as the Chinese and Korean lunar new year holidays? Janet Wong shares a book list and lunar new year traditions over at Multicultural Children’s Book Day Blog here:

I grew up celebrating the lunar new year mainly with the Chinese traditions of my father and his parents—firecrackers at midnight, the Chinatown parade, red envelopes, eating fish for wealth and lo hon jai, the monk’s noodle dish made with 18 different vegetables, for health. What I remember most, though, was our whole family frantically cleaning the house the evening before, to get rid of all the dirt and bad luck of the past year and make room for good luck in the new year. This illustration by Yangsook Choi from our book This Next New Year perfectly captures the frenzy:

A Survey of Lunar New Year Traditions by Janet Wong

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Willy Wonka-Like Chapter Books & Kid Lit Blog Hop

Willy Wonka-Like Chapter Books & Kid Lit Blog Hop

How am I defining a Willy Wonka-Like chapter book? You probably don’t need an explanation but here I go anyway:

  • A wacky figure-head behind this adventure
  • A competition between kids (though adults can be involved) OR
  • A mystery that has to be solved through riddles and puzzles

Yep. That’s I came up with this list. What am I missing? Please help me out! Thank you!

 

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

12-year-old Emily’s move to San Francisco is softened by the fact that Garrison Griswold, publisher of an online sensation called Book Scavenger, lives there. This hunt combines books and puzzle solving into a competitive scavenger race. It’s all for fun and bragging rights, but then Emily finds an odd book with her new friend James that just might be a clue to how Griswold wound up in a coma. Is this the end of the Book Scavenger game?

Readers can solve the puzzles in the book OR go on a book scavenger of their own. Yes, it’s a real thing! [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

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Civil Rights Movement Art #BlackLivesMatter

Civil Rights Movement Art #BlackLivesMatter

“One of the most extraordinary and least understood aspects of Dr. Martin Luther King’s leadership was his incisive understanding of the power of visual images to alter public opinion,” says Maurice Berger, standing in front of an oversize silk-screen portrait of the slain civil rights leader. from Smithsonian Magazine

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Junior Day, I’ve collected images from museum that I’ve been to of Civil Rights Movement art. What and how can art shape the Civil Rights Movement? I think you will agree that the powerful images convey a truth that resonates with viewers and packs an emotional punch that might bring a bystander into a fight for justice. Imagery can be powerful stuff.

Questions to ask kids:

  • What is your first reaction to image you see?
  • What is happening?
  • What elements seem real?
  • What do you think the artist is trying to convey?
  • What emotions are you feeling when you view the art work?
  • Do you emotions change the longer you look at it?
  • Why do you think the artist created this piece?

More questions to ask kids from Art Curator for Kids. Art Curator for Kids also has more Civil Rights Art here and here.

What do you think? What images do you like best from this collection? Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

p.s. I have some posts on books for Civil Rights Movement for kids here:

Civil Rights Movement  and MLK Books for 4th Grade

Top 10: Best Children’s Books on Civil Rights

(Meeting Ruby Bridges) Civil Rights Picture Book of the Day

The Problem We All Live With, Ruby Bridges in Norman Rockwell painting

The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell, image from Norman Rockwell Museum

From Rhode Island School of Design Museum

Civil Rights photography by Danny Lyon Read more…

Teach Kids Spanish with Lil Libros board books

Teach Toddlers Spanish with Lil Libros

No one in my family can speak Spanish but we’ve been trying for more than ten years to learn to converse. Our efforts have gone in waves of high effort and burn out but we are now at a good place where my kids actually want to go on immersion trips to learn to speak Spanish.

They weren’t always so enthusiastic about learning, however. And their lack of effort resulted in very little retention. Still, I don’t consider the lessons they took to be a total loss; the two youngest kids can roll their “r’s.”

It’s been my experience that learning a language when you don’t speak it yourself requires stealthiness. You need to keep the kids exposed more than just weekly tutoring sessions and it has to be fun or they will resist.

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Fond Memories of Katie Woo & 3 Book #giveaway

Fond Memories of Katie Woo & 3 Book #giveaway

When PickyKidPix was in 5th grade, she fell in love with the Katie Woo series but it’s not what you think. She and her friend Griffin liked to hang out in the Early Chapter Book corner of the library during library time. I would imagine that they were screwing around, as they tend to do. Their friend Avi found them there, and low and behold, were the Katie Woo books.

At first, instead of looking for a book to check out, they would read the Katie Woo books and act out the parts. You’d think that my daughter, being the only female AND Asian-American would be Katie Woo! No, “that’s racist, Mom,” says my daughter. She was the narrator because that part has the most lines.

part of the Katie Woo Club

My daughter is in the center and Griffin is to the right. Two members of the Katie Woo Club.

Griffin, who is bi-racial (and proud of it) African-American, was Katie Woo. Avi played all other characters. This library time diversion morphed into the Katie Woo Club, an exclusive club that my daughter assures me everyone wanted to join. Membership was exclusive to the three original founding members though, something that reminded me of Katie Woo, except that she would be nicer and would relent to let in new members. Read more…

2016 Newbery Winners

2016 Caldecott, Newbery Winners and More!

The 2016 Youth Media Awards will be announced at 8 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, January 11, 2016, during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibition in Boston.  Doors open at 7:30 a.m. local time. The Pura Belpré Award marks its 20th anniversary in 2016.

My predictions for the Caldecott and Newbery this year are here. I totally missed the mark for the Caldecott but the pundits that I follow were right about the Newbery.

Caldecott Medal and Honor Books 2016

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

2016 Caldecott Winner

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

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