Archive for October, 2016

Fun Ways to Learn About Day of the Dead for Kids

Fun Ways to Learn About Day of the Dead for Kids

It’s October now and time to start thinking of Halloween and costumes for my kids who still want to trick or treat. But it’s also time for Day of the Dead. It sounds like a somber holiday, but it’s more of a celebration of departed loved ones.

Because the days are the same, it’s easy to associate Day of the Dead, Dias de los Meurtos, with Halloween but it actually reminds me more of Obon in Japan.

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and internationally where family and friends remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey in a festive and celebratory way starting October 31 and ending November 2.

Halloween came from the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day in observance of Allhallowtide which starts October 31 and ends November 2. It’s a time to “remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians.” I’m not actually sure if All Hallows’ Day is a festive or somber occasion.

In the United States, Halloween it’s a day to Trick or Treat for candy the night of October 31 dressed up in costumes. In our neighborhood, we have a tradition called Ghosting. Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

Favorite Diverse Author or Illustrator

Our theme for this month’s Diverse Children’s Books linkups is Favorite Diverse Author or Illustrator. Who is your must-read author or must-see illustrator? (The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

My choice is this multicultural board book that celebrates a strong powerful Hindu girl!

Padmini Is Powerful by Amy Maranville, illustrated by Tim Palin

Padmini is wise like Ganesh, creative like Sarasvati, and energetic like Parvati. Her other wonderful traits can be attributed to other Hindi gods, both male and female. She is powerful and so are you! Celebrating Padmini and the Hindu religion she practices validates all girls who can relate to her, but also expands the world for those who are not Hindu.  [board book, ages 2 and up]

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.

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On Helping Your Kids Find Their Passion

On Helping Your Kids Find Their Passion

Today is our 21st anniversary and what stands out most for me is my husband’s ability to hold back his own desires of golf stardom for his children and let them find their way. This is not to say that our oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, did not receive a set of miniature golf clubs on her first Christmas when she was exactly 20 days old. Or that he didn’t take the kids out to the putting green as soon as they could walk. Because we did do that. It was a great photo oppt!

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Sponsorships Multicultural Children's Book Day

Sponsorships for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 now OPEN!

Sponsorships for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 are now OPEN! See below about our programs for Free Diversity Children’s Books for Teachers and Free Diversity Children’s Books for Parents.

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Sign Up for Multicultural Children’s Book Day Sponsorships

Publishers and authors who might be interested in Multicultural Children’s Book Day, please head over to our Sponsorship Page and sign up.

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Last year, Multicultural Children’s Book Day reached over 96 MILLION social media share impressions, but this year will be even bigger!

FREE Diversity Books to Teachers!

Our free diversity children’s books for classroom campaign is BACK! We are so grateful to Junior Library Guild for gifting us 200 library-quality multicultural books for all grades.

In 2016, over 180 classrooms benefited from this campaign. If you know of a classroom, library or school that would like a free children’s book, have them go HERE to sign up.

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i appreciate you gifts

I Appreciate You: 5th Grade Student Gift Idea

My kids had the same 5th grade teacher. One lovely tradition is this I Appreciate You Because … certificate that each student fills out for their classmates. Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix have one; here’s my son. I can’t believe that he graduated from 5th grade already!
I Appreciate You: 5th Grade Student Gift Idea

I was also thinking that this would make a lovely gift for anyone:

  • colleague departing at work
  • birthday gift (for my mom who is about to turn 90!). Must think of way to do this will all party guests!
  • for any grade as a graduation gift from preschool to high school
  • a classroom gift to a teacher
  • a gift to a coach Read more…
TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE Cover Reveal

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE Cover Reveal

Did you know that there is a fungus that can control the mind of an ant and make it do its bidding? Would you believe there is such a thing as a corpse flower—a ten-foot-tall plant with a blossom that smells like a zombie? How about a species of octopus that doesn’t live in water but rather lurks in trees in the Pacific Northwest?

I’m so excited to reveal the cover of Two Truths and a Lie by Laurie Thompson and Ammi-Joan Paquette today! What is it about, you ask?

Have you ever played that ice-breaker game, where each person has to tell three “facts” about him or herself, but only two are true? This is a compendium of amazing stories about wacky and wonderful things in nature and history, combined with made-up stories. Kids are challenged to determine which ones are the falsehoods, thus helping them develop some discernment about what they read, encouraging them to conduct their own research, and teaching them facts about the world we live in, all in one tidy, high-interest package.

Every story in this book is strange and astounding. But not all of them are real. Just like the old game in this book’s title, two out of every three stories are completely true, and one is an outright lie. Can you guess which? It’s not going to be easy. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable. And they’re all accompanied by dozens of photos, maps, and illustrations. Amaze yourself and trick your friends as you sort out the fakes from the facts! Read more…

10 Places to Take Your Children for a Hands-On Learning Experience

10 Places to Take Your Children for a Hands-On Learning Experience

Taking your children on vacation with you can be a rewarding experience. While you and your family make new memories, your kids can benefit from travel with an additional understanding of culture, history, and the way people live. Here are 10 great destinations that allow your kids to gain more through hands-on learning.

1. London, Great Britain
London is a great place to start with any child who is fascinated with history and architecture. Within the city limits are plenty of sites that give your child a glimpse into history. Start with the iconic Westminster Abbey, and give your kids a front row seat in learning about the history of the British monarchy. Then, spend some time learning about the history at the Tower of London. Kids will be fascinated with the stories of kings and queens and betrayal. Read more…

How Kids Can Impact the World

How Kids Can Impact the World

I was bringing two bags of groceries to our local food bank when a couple with their young daughter stepped into the elevator with me. They were loaded with bags including paper towels and food. They also had piles of toiletries to donate, so much so, that they needed to bring their car around and get some help. Where did all this bounty come from? Their little girl who looked around ten or eleven had asked for donations to this food bank instead of birthday gifts.

donating birthday gifts to charity

My son and his best friend did this for their 10th birthday. Instead of gifts, they asked for dog toys and collars for a local dog shelter. They delivered it themselves and were allowed to play with the dogs. It was the best birthday ever!
kids donate birthday gifts to charity

Here are five ideas for kids to change the world by donating to these charities. I picked organizations whose missions would resonate with kids. And even a very small donation can change someone’s life. These are gifts that give back more: they teach children gratitude. And it turns out that gratitude is the fastest path to happiness.

giving back, happiness and gratitude quote Read more…

Picture Books for Finding Courage

Picture Books for Finding Courage & 3 Book GIVEAWAY

I’m so happy to welcome my guest author today, Laura Gehl, who has a Top 10: Picture Books for Finding Courage. Her list is not limited to Scared of the Dark picture books, but also includes both nonfiction and hilarious fiction books of overcoming fear. She’s also giving away 3 copies of her latest Peep and Egg book, Peep and Egg: I’m Not Trick or Treating, just in time for Halloween. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

How about you? What books about childhood fears are you enjoying with your kids? I just read a remarkable one by Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, about his fear of the dark and how he overcame that in order to explore the darkness of space: The Darkest Dark.

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I was a pretty fearful kid, with many of the typical childhood worries.  I was scared of robbers breaking into my house.  I was scared of something terrible happening to my parents.  I was scared of not fitting in at school.

And then I became a mom, and between my four kids, we had pretty much EVERY fear covered: fear of the dark, fear of needles, fear of heights, fear of worms (not proboscis worms, which can grow to more than 150 feet and are legitimately creepy…just regular earthworms).

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