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The Rock Maiden by Natasha Yim

The Rock Maiden Chinese Folk Tale GIVEAWAY

I’m part of The Rock Maiden‘s blog tour, Natasha Yim’s Chinese folk tale about love and loyalty. She was inspired by an interesting natural rock formation found in Hong Kong, and the ancient Chinese legend that explained how that came to be.

I’m also giving away a copy of The Rock Maiden AND a Skype author visit with Natasha Yim! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.

The Rock Maiden: A Chinese Tale of Love and Loyalty by Natasha Yim, illustrated by Pirkko Vainio

Amah Rock

Amah Rock in Sha Tan, Hong Kong, from I Love Hong Kong.

Ling Lee lived in a fishing village in Hong Kong and fell in love with a kind, young fisherman. When he was lost at sea, she never gave up hope of her return, climbing to the top of a cliff overlooking the sea to watch for him. Her lonely figure was noticed by a god who turned her and her baby into stone. About a year later, her husband returns and discovers what has happened. Tin Hau, the patron god of fisherman, again intervenes, rewarding true love. Read more…

10 Books Featuring Kids with Incarcerated Parents

10 Books Featuring Kids with Incarcerated Parents & GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome author A. J. Pacquette with a list of ten books featuring kids with incarcerated parents. I was thrilled to meet her! It turns out that we live near each other!

Author A. J. Pacquette, Joan Pacquette, Ammi Joan Pacquette

Nowhere Girl by A. J. Pacquette

Had coffee with author Ammi-Joan Paquette but had no idea that NOWHERE GIRL is her middle grade chapter book. It’s really good but hard to explain … think the movie Midnight Express, you know, the drug smuggler guy in a Turkish prison? Add in a love child. Put mom and child in a prison in Thailand. Girl grows up in jail and mom dies when she’s 13. She has no idea who her father is. Now she’s free to go and has to figure it out. That’s where the book begins!!! Oh yeah, her mom is American. Her father too.

One thing about childhood: it’s not an automatic protection from the tougher side of life. To help kids make sense of some of those darker elements, here are 10 titles that feature kids whose parents are in prison. Ranging from the very young to teenagers, this list can act as a resource for readers of all ages.

I’m also doing a giveaway of Nowhere Girl by A. J. Paquette. Please use the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter. What are your favorite books about incarcerated parents? Read more…

10 Books for Kids Jerry Spinelli Wants You To Read

10 Books for Kids Jerry Spinelli Wants You To Read & GIVEAWAY

I’m thrilled today with a 2 question interview from Newbery winner Jerry Spinelli! The first question brings me back to when I first met with with my middle daughter, then probably around nine-years-old. The second question I pose him is to give me his Top 10 Books he thinks everyone should read. I’m also giving away a copy of his latest book, The Warden’s Daughter. Learn more about the book and enter the giveaway at the bottom.

I remember meeting Jerry Spinelli at an author event in Wellesley many years ago with my tween daughter. The front row was entirely made of a group of young girls — maybe 5th grade — who were huge fans of Stargirl. They were desperate to know what happened to her beyond the books. Jerry was so gracious and lovely to give them a hint, and I overhead them talking in the parking lot afterwards, giddy with joy. They were having a “I Met a Rock Star Moment.”

His connection with his readers really struck me. Many authors are asked about endings that are not specified. The query is often parried away, and the young reader left hanging, though you can imagine how important it is — what a big deal it is — to the child that they made a parent drive them to an event just to pose their question.

I noticed through my tween daughter too, who met him, how easily he makes a connection with fans. I could tell she was  ready to adopt him as her grandfather, and ready to practically slide into his lap and make him read aloud to her.

Jerry Spinelli and my daughte

PickyKidPix looks very young here … I think she was in 4th grade but she had read at a few of Jerry Spinelli’s books already. 

Read more…

#BlackHistoryMonth by Carole Boston Weatherford

#BlackHistoryMonth by Carole Boston Weatherford

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Carole Boston Weatherford in Roxbury, Massachusetts last year. I was struck by her quiet elegance and dignity. Her books reflect that too.

Carole Boston Weatherford and Ekua Holmes with Mia Wenjen

Carole Boston Weatherford is on the left. Ekua Holmes is on the right.

I didn’t realize how many #BlackHistoryMonth stories that would have remained largely untold if not for Carole’s work. Today, I wanted to share with you her books in honor of #BlackHistoryMonth.

#BlackHistoryMonth by Carole Boston Weatherford

The Legendary Miss Lena Horne by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

Lena Horne

Lena Horne, image from Wikipedia

Lena Horne was both an legendary actress and activist, born into a well educated and high achieving family. During the Great Depression, Lena started her career at the Cotton Club as a dancer in the chorus line. Her career catapulted from there, to Broadway, headlining an all-white band, to Hollywood. During WWII, her activist side emerged in full force, which resulted in being blacklisted during McCarthy’s Red Scare. Still, Lena persisted. With a new husband, she was able to further her career to become an international star, and use her fame in the fight for civil rights. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Congo Square New Orleans

Congo Square, U.S. National Register of Historic Places, image from Wikipedia

“Slavery was no ways fair. Six more days to Congo Square.” The back story of the birth of jazz in New Orleans: because Louisiana was a French colony, then a Spanish colony, even slaves had Sunday off from work. In most states, African drums and music were banned. But once a week at Congo Square in New Orleans, hundreds of slaves and free blacks would congregate, play music, and dance. Told in simple rollicking rhyme, this picture book is exuberant as it is informational about a little known story that expresses a human’s capacity to find hope and joy even in the most difficult circumstances. And this resulted in the birth of jazz, America’s only original art form. Carole Boston Weatherford’s books are all exceptional. Both she and illustrator R. Gregory Christie are Coretta Scott King Honorees. Freedom in Congo Square is one of my (accurate) Caldecott picks. [picture book, ages 2 and up]

Read more…

10 Postpartum Looks All New Moms Can Pull Off

10 Postpartum Looks All New Moms Can Pull Off

When your new little bundle of joy arrives, there’s a lot to take in. Now, you’re responsible for a tiny little human and everything that goes along with that. The other thing to think about is how you’re going to continue to meet your own needs. The postpartum period can be a challenge, but you can make it easier on yourself by dressing strategically. Here are 10 comfortable and flattering postpartum fashion choices for new moms.

10 Postpartum Looks All New Moms Can Pull Off

1. Maternity Clothes

After having your baby, you may be surprised or disappointed to realize that you most likely still look pregnant. The reality is recovering from delivery takes time, and until your body makes the adjustment, you’ll need to continue wearing maternity clothes for a few weeks or months. On the plus side, you know you’ll be comfortable in your favorite maternity essentials. Read more…

Books for Young Activists

Books for Young Activists

In the last month, I have written a half-dozen letters to politicians and even make a few calls. That’s more than I’ve ever done in my life politically, with the exception of that Saturday in New Hampshire when I first arrived at college. My friend, David Nacht, persuaded me to campaign for Gary Hart and I spent the day in knocking on doors and talking to mostly elderly white people. I hated it. Even worse, the campaign staff persuaded made me write handwritten letters to everyone that I talked to. (I hate writing handwritten letters. My hand cramps and my handwriting is illegible, even for me.) I was done with politics, forever!

I’m not sure if I am a “snowflake,” but I do know this. Last night I shoveled one foot of snow around my house, and it was a tad overwhelming. In the same way, small acts can add up to a very powerful message.

trump nordstroms tweet

For example … like you, I was shocked that Trump used his POTUS account to complain about Nordstrom’s dropping the Ivanka brand. This tells me two things: Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKid Lit Blog Hop: Love

Our theme for #DiverseKidLit in February is Love. Please consider sharing diverse books and resources that support love and families. (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.


Read more…

3.6 Billion Social Media Share Impressions Multicultural Children's Book Day

3.6 Billion Social Media Share Impressions Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) generated 3.6 billion social media share impressions in three days (day before, day of, and day after).

3.6 BILLION Social Media Share Impressions Over Three Days

3.6 Billion Social Media Share Impressions Multicultural Children's Book Day

This is actually a conservative tally because 1) we did not track social media share impressions beyond the three days even though we had a robust presence on social media the month of January, 2) we had 400 reviewers but we did not track everyone (just the 30 reviewers with the largest social media followings on Twitter/Facebook), 3) we tracked Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest (but we didn’t not track LinkedIn, YouTube, SnapChat, or Periscope).

Who was counted?

  • Hosts (Valarie, Mia, Becky, MCBD)
  • Co-Hosts
  • Medallion Sponsors
  • Author sponsors
  • 30 Review Bloggers Out of 400 Reviewers

Why didn’t we track more? Expense. Our stats are hand tabulated by our Virtual Assistant, Susan Mayfield, using a series of linked Excel spreadsheets.

We started tracking MCBD stats two years ago. In 2015, we generated 26 million social media share impressions.

PragmaticMom Twitter Alone Generated 29 Million Social Media Impressions!

This year, in 2017, my Twitter alone generated 29 million social media share impressions. I tweeted or retweeted 379 times during the three day period and had 77,645 followers at that time. 379 x 77,645 followers = 29,427,455 social media share impressions. Read more…

10 Groundbreaking LGBTQ Children’s Books

10 Groundbreaking LGBTQ Children’s Books

Today my guest author is Laurin Mayeno.  She’s an activist mom at OutProudFamilies, and a Huffington Post blogger. Her new children’s book, One of a Kind Like Me/Único como yo (, is illustrated by Robert Liu-Trujillo and translated by Teresa Mlwar. You might recognize Robert Liu-Trujillo’s work from his poster for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

One of a Kind Like Me/Único como yo by Laurin Mayeno, illustrated by Robert Liu-Trujillo

This bilingual Spanish picture book gently introduces gender diversity. Danny wants to be a purple princess for the school parade, and his family helps him create a costume from thrift store finds. The author hopes that her book gives children a sense of belonging, courage to be who they are, and an appreciation for people who are different from themselves. [picture book, ages 3 and up]

This bilingual book (Spanish/English) is based on Laurin’s son, Danny. We are giving away a copy of One of a Kind Like Me/Único como yo. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.


Great news! The list of LGBTQ-themed children’s books is growing! Here are some of my favorite releases from the past two years, with a special focus on those that reflect many types of diversity in our families and communities.

10 Groundbreaking LGBTQ Children’s Books

1. The Boy and the Bindi by Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Rajni Perera

A boy asks his Ammi about the dot above her nose. When she gives him his own bindi, he discovers that it watches over him and allows him to explore and express who he is. This book is nothing short of magical! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…