Archive for October, 2017

Picture Books That Celebrate Working Together & 2 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

Picture Books That Celebrate Working Together & 2 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

I fell in love with Finding Wild when I first read it. It was lauded by a lot of picture book bloggers and Instagramers that I follow, so it caught my eye. I hunted it down at my local book store, and I thought it was such a gem. It captured childhood and adventuring in a sweet, gentle way. It’s the idyllic childhood that we all dream about.

Now, the author and illustrator of Finding Wild are back with another picture books that captures the small joys and adventures of childhood: fort-building. I haven’t read it yet, but I am looking forward to it.


Fort-Building Time by Megan Wagner Lloyd, illustrated by Abigail Halpin

From the creators of Finding Wild, a new picture book that follows the changing of the seasons and is as cozy as a fort.

Author Megan Wagner Lloyd is here today, sharing her 10 favorite picture books that celebrate working together. It won’t surprise you that her list includes other sweet and gentle adventures of friendships both new and old.

We are giving away 2 signed copies of Fort-Building Time! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

10 Picture Books That Celebrate Working Together

10. Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran, illustrated by Barbara Cooney

In this classic picture book, kids build their own pretend town called Roxaboxen. One thing I love about this story is that it shows how the line between work and play can be so fine for kids. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

9. Colette’s Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault

This sweet new picture book shows a group of neighborhood kids coming together to help Colette find her lost pet. In a darling twist, it doesn’t seem to matter to the kids that Colette never had a pet to begin with—they’re ready to be her friends! [picture book, ages 3 and up]

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Asian Culture Series: Asian Crafts and Activities & 2 Book GIVEAWAY

Asian Culture Series: Asian Crafts and Activities & 2 Book GIVEAWAY

I’m excited to announce a quarterly series with Debbi Michiko Florence, author of early chapter book series Jasmine Toguchi! We want to highlight Asian culture in a way that kids can relate to and that means … hands-on activities, food they can help prepare and eat, and a book list!

Mia Wenjen and Debbi Michiko Florence

We have crafted a series of six topics, one per quarter for the next year and a half, that explore Asian culture in a fun way: Asian New Year, Asian Drumming, Pink Flamingo Day, Picnic & Scavenger Hunt, Snow Statues and Sumo! We hope you will enjoy this series!

To kick of this series, we are also giving away two of Debbi Michiko Florence’s Jasmine Toguchi books. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.

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Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit #ownvoices Linky

Our theme for this #DiverseKidLit is #ownvoices. The #ownvoices hashtag was created to draw attention to diverse authors and illustrators who are creating books that honor their own heritage and experiences. (As always, 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.


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Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

The first stop of our west coast art school tour was California Institute of the Arts, or Cal Arts Valencia. It’s about a hour away from the LAX airport, give or take traffic. The good news is that you are generally going in the opposite direction of traffic, but take that lightly, because even “no traffic” does not mean that there are no slow spots.

We left from Torrance and it took an hour and half each way, and I would, having grown up in Southern California, consider the traffic to be light.

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

Once you arrive at Cal Arts, you go through a guard stop into the parking lot. It’s set in suburban sprawl that feels recent and very much like Orange County tract houses and commercial developments. The school itself though, is an oasis of creativity.

My daughter, Grasshopper and Sensei, has mixed feelings about Cal Arts since she is looking for a very specific art school experience. She wants a foundation year; Cal Arts does not offer one. She wants to study Industrial Design. Cal Arts does not have this major. She’s interested in film; perhaps animation but not character animation necessarily. Cal Arts has the most competitive Character Animation program that is a feeder into Pixlar and other coveted animation studios.

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

So why Cal Arts for her? It was the school tour that sold her. She loved the vibe of the school. She loved the Creative Animation program that is animation meets fine art. She also likes a school where kids are committed to their school experience and willing to collaborate. Cal Arts has that in spades!

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Filipino Folk Tales & 2 Book Bundle GIVEAWAY!

Filipino Folk Tales & 2 Book Bundle GIVEAWAY!

It’s interesting how few Filipino children’s books are available in the United States, despite being 1.1% of the population, numbering 4 million. Filipinos are the second largest self-reported Asian ancestry group after Chinese Americans according to 2010 American Community Survey.

I have a list of Filipino picture books created by illustrator Mika Song to complement this list of Filipino Folk Tales. Am I missing any? Thanks for your help!

Thank you to Tuttle Publishing for their generous giveaway of these six Filipino books! We are giving away two packages of wonderful Filipino books for kids! Please use the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

p.s. More folk tales:

24 Wonderful Chinese Folk Tales for Kids

15 Great Korean Folk Tales for Kids

Native American Folklore and Creation Stories by Native Americans

21 Wonderful Japanese Folk Tales for Kids

Hawaiian Folk Tales and Children’s Books

Filipino Folk Tales

Rockabye Crocodile: A Folktale from the Philippines by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey

This is a very sweet story of the importance of kindness and the rewards that it brings. Two boars are neighbors. Anabel is kind and cheerful. Nettie is mean and selfish. When Anabel encounters a crocodile, her kindness is rewarded by an abundance of fish that the crocodile supplies in return for taking care of its crying baby. Nettie wants the same reward, but because she goes about it in a selfish way, her payment is quite different. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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