Archive for August, 2016

My Very Short Diversity Picture Book Videos

My Very Short Diversity Picture Book Videos

I’ve been making very, very short picture book videos on my YouTube channel. I only have 47 subscribers, so if you would subscribe, I’d be very grateful!

I made over three dozen picture book videos so far of newly published books, but I picked these five diversity books to highlight today.

5 Wonderful Diversity Picture Books Made Into a Very Short Video

Mamá the Alien by Rene Colato Lainez, illustrated by Laura Lacamara

The confusion of being a legal alien versus an alien from outer space makes its bilingual Spanish picture book the perfect conversation starter about the naturalization process. MAMA THE ALIEN by Rene Colato Lainez, illustrated by Laura Lacamara. ♫ Background song, Englishman In New York by Sting. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

A Multitude of Concussions

A Multitude of Concussions

I’ve become well versed in teen concussions after my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, had four concussions over a period of fifteen months from club volleyball. Also, PickyKidPix had a soccer teammate with two severe concussions; her older sister had a concussion so bad that she had to quit soccer altogether. I’ve teamed up with that mom, Mary Lou, to bring you what parents should know about concussions in children and teens.

My daughter is number 9. She plays libero, a defense specialist.

Our Concussion Story

volleyball and concussion

First Concussion

In retrospect, my daughter’s first concussion was a mild one that I didn’t realize was a concussion. She tried out for club volleyball team in December of 2015 where she took at least one hard ball to her head from girls serving the ball at high speeds. She had a headache for two days and then she was fine.  We didn’t go to the doctor at all.

Second Concussion

Her head coach of her volleyball club team called me to tell me that she had failed his concussion test. He wasn’t the coach at her practice when she took a very hard ball to the side of her head that had shanked off a teammate. He noticed that she didn’t look quite right during practice and gave her the test. She wasn’t able to recalling the words he’d given her in the correct order.

This was April 2015 at her MGA Club Volleyball practice. Her symptoms included memory loss, headache and light sensitivity. She missed about a week of school but the following week was spring break. When she was home, she had to stay off screens and she was bored and restless. She cocooned for that week at home, unhappily.

During that vacation, she took an intensive 40 hour art class at Mass College of Art. My boxing trainer advised drinking a lot of water to help bring down the swelling in the brain. After her week of art class, she returned to school full time and seemed fine. Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Our theme for today’s Diverse Children’s Books linkup is Favorite International Book(s) for Children. Share your favorite book or books that take place in a different country than where you live! (The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.) This is my pick:

Magic Trash: A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art by J. H. Shapiro, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

MAGIC TRASH: A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art. He literally turned trash into art to save his decaying Detroit neighborhood. And it worked. The Heidelberg Project is more than 30 years old.

Visit this remarkable public art display in Detroit or online at www.heidelberg.org.

 

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…

10 Great Books on China for Kids

10 Great Books on China for Kids

We’re creating a Multicultural Children’s Book Day eBook of diversity book resources. Twenty-two bloggers and authors are contributing their best diversity lists to help educators and parents find the books they need: All Done Monkey, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of UsThe Educators’ Spin On It, Franticmommy, Growing Book by Book, Imagination Soup, InCulture ParentThe Jenny Evolution, Jump Into a Book, Kid World Citizen, Uma Krishnaswami, The LogonautsMama Smiles, Marie PasticheElsa Marston, The Measured Mom, PragmaticMomRandomly ReadingWhat Do We Do All Day?, and Youth Literature Reviews. Proceeds from this eBook coming out this fall will be used to donate books to teachers and parents.

At my kids’ elementary school, our second grade spends part of the year studying China. These are my favorite ten books to learn about China, both past and present. It’s a mix of nonfiction and fiction, and also different genres covering picture books, early chapter books, and a graphic novel.

What books am I missing? Thanks for your suggestions!

10 Great Books on China for Kids

10. Mei-Mei Loves the Morning by Margaret Tsubakiyama

Experience life in modern-day China with Mei-Mei, her grandfather, and her bird as they spend the morning on biking through the streets of an urban city in China. First stop is a chat with a cobbler on the street. Then, it’s off to the park for tai-chi. The lao-bing man’s stall for pancakes is their last stop before heading home. Filled with multigenerational warmth, Mei-Mei’s sh0ws kids that life in other countries has the same gentle rhythms of eating, exercising, and playing as their own. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

How a Math Teacher Changed Peter H Reynolds' Life

How a Math Teacher Changed Peter H Reynolds’ Life

Most of us swoon at the mention of picture books The Dot or Ish, making Peter H. Reynolds a household name among those of us who love children’s books. But did you know his twin brother, Paul Reynolds? Together, they are the co-founders of Fablevision and they also write books together.

For any child who doubts the artist inside, read them The Dot, and its sequel Ish. And if you want to see authors and illustrators create their own dot, check out Celibri-Dots.

 

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Finding the artist within can be as simple as making a dot; even when made in anger! How to turn the agony of a blank sheet of paper into an piece of art! This book is dedicated to Peter H. Reynolds’ math teacher who dared him to make his mark … more on that below. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

This companion book to The Dot takes the idea of a frustrated almost-artist a step farther. Sometimes art is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps hyper-realistic renderings are overrated? Reynolds tries to dissuade the idea that art is not necessarily limited to technical drawing skills. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

RISD Precollege Program Summer 2016

RISD Pre-College Program Summer 2016

Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you probably know all the steps that led up to my daughter’s (Grasshopper and Sensei) RISD Pre-College Program. First, we looked at Art and Design Schools’ summer programs. She got four concussions her sophomore year of high school which lead to anxiety and panic attacks.

Her dorm room was spacious. 4 students shared one bathroom with shower. Each room was set up for two.

She was enrolled in the RISD Pre-College 6 week summer program as a resident student, but after three traumatic days, we switched her to a commuter student … 5 days a week from Boston to Providence, Rhode Island!

It was not the easiest commute — about 1.5 hours each way from door to door, sometimes more — but she made it to every class and, by a miracle of god, was never tardy.

RISD Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College ProgramRead more…

Celebrating African American Hair Picture Books & GIVEAWAY

Celebrating African American Hair Picture Books & GIVEAWAY

You might recognize Furqan from our Multicultural Children’s Book Day poster! Robert Liu-Trujillo created the artwork for our event. When Rob gave us sketches for the poster, we didn’t know the boy in the flat top was a character in his book; he just appealed to us and we picked him right away!

FREE Downloadable Multicultural Children’s Book Day Poster!

I’m thrilled to be introducing Rob’s book, Furqan’s First Flat Top, today and we are giving away an inscribed copy too (see below)!

 Furqan's First Flat Top

Valarie and I are passionate about the need for more multicultural, diverse, and inclusive books for kids. Today, I wanted to examine this from the perspective of When Whiteness is The Standard of Beauty. Lisa Wade, professor at Occidental College, notes:

One manifestation of white supremacy is the use of whiteness as the standard of beauty. When whiteness is considered superior, white people are considered more attractive by definition and, insofar as the appearance of people of other races deviates from that standard, they are considered ugly.

Non-white people are still allowed to be considered beautiful, of course, as long as they look like white people.

This is a no win standard for women of color, but then think about how this affects girls of color and their self esteem? Read more…

Coupon for Jimmy Dean® Stuffed Hash Browns

Coupon for Jimmy Dean® Stuffed Hash Browns

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own.

Now that school is starting soon, I find that hot breakfasts are harder to pull off. We are always rushing in the morning due to the fact that two of kids — the youngest and oldest — are simply not morning people. They tend to skip breakfast or eat on the run because they are always running late.

My middle daughter, however, gets herself up every morning and makes herself a hot breakfast. She likes a big breakfast to set herself up for the day. Read more…

Top Tips to Help Your Child Settle in Well at School

Top Tips to Help Your Child Settle in Well at School

The back-to-school period at the beginning of a new term or a new school year can be stressful for both parents and children. For parents, there is always a long list of items on the checklist to tick off before day one, while for kids there is a potential flurry of nerves to deal with due to starting at a new school, making new friends, or trying to keep up with an influx of homework or a busy extracurricular schedule.

If you’re trying to be as organized and proactive as possible when it comes to sending your child off to school, it’s best to plan ahead and be prepared. Read on for some important things to keep top of mind today.

Top Tips to Help Your Child Settle in Well at School

Choose the Right School for Your Family’s Needs

One of the best things you can do to help your child when it comes to schooling is to actually ensure they are attending the right venue for their needs. With children all being so different, and requiring different facilities, support and teaching styles as a result, there shouldn’t be a “one size fits all” approach. When comparing schools, you should keep in mind things like your child’s interests (like music, art, drama, or sports), as well as their particular mental, emotional, and physical needs.

It is also important to consider familial beliefs when it comes to choosing a school. If faith is a priority in your household, you may wish to find a top Jewish boarding school or a local Catholic or other religious private school, as an example, so that the appropriate family values and customs are upheld. This will also make it easier for your child to settle straight in at school. Read more…