Archive for November, 2016

Japanese Internment Books for Kids & My Family's Story

Japanese Internment Books for Kids & My Family’s Story

During WWII, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were forced from their homes after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 in February 1942 in response to prejudiced fears that Japanese Americans were spies.

I’m probably one of a few children’s book blogger whose family was forced into internment camps during WWII for being Japanese American. Let me tell you my family’s story:

Japanese Internment Books for Kids & My Family's Story

My mother was born in San Francisco’s Japantown. After school every day, she would go, on roller skates, from her high school to Japanese school to study the language and arts like ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement, stopping on the way in a Japanese convenience store for a snack like senbei, Japanese rice crackers.

She, like all Japanese Americans (and the Chinese who immigrated before them in large numbers), were subject to racism which included special laws meant to limit their economic success. For example, Japanese Americans like herself, were not allowed to work for the government as civil servants. Even if she aced the government civil service exam, she would never be hired. Japanese immigrants were, by law, not allowed to own property in the United States, even if they could afford to buy a home for themselves and their family. The Asian Exclusion Act, part of the Immigration Act of 1924, completely excluded immigrants from Asia.

The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota provided immigration visas to two percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 national census. It completely excluded immigrants from Asia. from Historian

When soldiers showed up on her doorstep, giving her family just two days to pack up one suitcase each, leaving all their belongings behind; this didn’t happen overnight. A whole series of events happened leading up to this first.

Slap That Jap and Dr. Seuss racist cartoons

Dr. Seuss was a racist. Read more…

Donate to Causes Under Threat

Donate to Causes Under Threat #GivingTuesday

We do what we can to fight injustice anywhere we see it—whether it’s writing a check or rolling up our sleeves. Aaron Sorkin in a letter to his daughter (full letter below)

There are plenty of things to worry about during a Trump Presidency and Republican controlled government.
Donate to Causes Under Threat

If you are worried about this too, here are non-profits to support:

Worried About Women’s Right to Choose? Support:

Planned Parenthood (I donated in Mike Pence’s name and he’s going to get a certificate from them for my donation!)

Center for Reproductive Rights

Donate to Causes Under ThreatRead more…

EASIEST DIY Gifts to Make with Kids

EASIEST DIY Gifts to Make with Kids

I’m not much of a crafter so DIY gifts are hard for me to pull off. Still, I like the idea of giving a gift that is homemade; that it shows time and effort rather than just a swipe of a credit card.

These DIY gifts are easy … they have to be! What are your favorite gifts to make or to receive? Thanks for sharing!

The EASIEST DIY Gifts to Make with Kids

DIY Dog Biscuits

This was a good way to use up old bananas and peanut butter that had lingered in the pantry for way too long. My dog is a Golden Retriever and he loves food so perhaps he’s not the most critical of dog biscuit judges. He did LOVE these biscuits and my son and I had a lot of fun making them together.

DIY Dog Biscuits Read more…

Our CoHosts for Multicultural Children's Book Day 2017!

Our CoHosts for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017!

As with any event, success is measured by the strength and effectiveness of the team. MCBD’s CoHosts are an example of just that.

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day CoHosts are a group of powerhouse bloggers and parents who all share the same passion for reading and understand the importance of diversity in children’s literature. They also act as ambassadors for MCBD’s yearly event by assisting in spreading the word, extending the event’s reach through social media and acting as hosts sites for the wildly popular book review/blog post link-up that occurs on the actual day of the holiday (1/27/17).

We are proud to introduce our sixteen CoHosts for our 2017 event below. These writers, moms, reviewers, book lovers and thought leaders were selected by the MCBD team because of their true dedication to supporting diversity in children’s literature and we would appreciate if you could take a few minutes and visit each of these excellent blogs and say “hello.”

cohost

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Our Family Yoga Class & GIVEAWAY

Our Family Yoga Class & GIVEAWAY

It was my husband’s idea to start a weekly family yoga class. He didn’t want to do yoga with strangers, and he also thought it was the only way to get our oldest to practice yoga. Grasshopper and Sensei had the four concussions from volleyball, and now she needs to work her way slowly back into physical activity.

Our Family Yoga Class

PickyKidPix has hung up soccer cleats, switching over to competitive crew, but as a coxswain, she’s not getting much exercise. She went through puberty recently, and her joints are looser. For the first time in her life, she complains of knee pain “on her inner right knee when she runs on pavement.” Yoga will help with that.
Our Family Yoga Class Read more…

Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Grasshopper and Sensei and I are huge fans of watercolor painting. We are especially fond of travel size watercolor kits, even though we rarely paint en plein air. We have fantasies of painting outside while on vacation or at an art museum; fantasies that never come to pass. It’s probably because we don’t have the right art supplies. That’s right! That’s our reason and we are sticking to it.

If only … if only we had these kits. We’d be painting up a storm! Here’s a sampling of some of the art we’ve produced over the years, sadly indoors, and not with these irresistible travel watercolor kits. But if you want to know what to get us for our birthdays or Christmas — hint, hint to relatives reading — now you know!

Watercolor Travel Kit Gift Guide

Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections: The Classics, $15

This is really good paint because it’s very pigmented. It comes in a metal container which folds out so there’s more mixing room.

Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections: The Classics

Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Sketchers Pocket Box, $12

This pocket-sized watercolor travel set has 12 half pans of colors in a plastic box with a mixing palette in the lid.

Winsor & Newton Cotman Brush Pen Set, $22

This is a watercolor paint set with 12 half pans PLUS Windor & Newton water brush pen.

Watercolor Kit Gift Guide

Jerry Q Art Water Colors Travel Pocket Set, $18

This kit has 18 water colors pans, with a refillable water brush and sponge.

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National Geographic Kids 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

National Geographic Kids 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

I’m thrilled to be giving away three great nonfiction books from National Geographic Kids! My son loves the Weird But True! series, the Almanacs, and weird facts about the natural world, in general.

These are books to flip around in, to marvel at the wondrous creatures in our world, and to go back to again and again. They get reluctant readers reading and both girls and boys equally are drawn to these books. They make great holiday gifts for kids, ages 8-12!

National Geographic Kids 3 Book GIVEAWAY

Happy Holidays from National Geographic Kids!
One (1) winner receives copies of:

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Diverse Children's Books

Diverse Children’s Book Linky: LGBTQ #DiverseKidLit & More

Our theme for this month’s Diverse Children’s Books linkups is Favorite Children’s Books Featuring an LGBTQ Character(s). (The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

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

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Books For Kids About Cambodia (ages 4 to 16)

Books For Kids About Cambodia (ages 4 to 16)

I was working on book lists for Hmong, Lao, Vietnam, and Cambodia, but it turns out that there are few fiction books on their countries but quite a few on Cambodia. Like Japanese American books that mostly focus on WWII internment, many fiction books revolve on Khmer Rouge Cambodia, a heartbreaking event in history.

Still, there are other sides of the Cambodian story that emerge from this book list: folk tales that turn on the clever rabbit (the peasant who outwits those in power), the refugee immigrant, and the lives of Cambodians post war.

This list can also be used as part of a discussion on racism, and who is an “American.” I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did. You can also use this list as a companion to Holocaust books for kids.

If you have other books to add on Cambodia, Laos, the Hmong or Vietnam, I’d welcome them! Thanks for sharing!

 

Books for Kids About Cambodia

Who Belongs Here?: An American Story by Margy Burns Knight, illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien

A refugee’s story of who belongs here in America? After facing the most brutal of regimes, Nary, his grandfather and uncle are able to leave a refugee camp to relocate in America. Far from being the land of opportunity, they face racism. Similarly, Nary is bullied at school. Use this book to help students understand the refugee experience and to build bridges of understanding and compassion. Italicized notes on each page give a deeper view of the immigration experience. This book is also great paired with immigration picture books from other countries. [picture book, ages 8 and up]

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