You wouldn’t guess that it’s spring here in Boston given the snow we’ve been getting in April! Still, I am dreaming of spring and getting my little garden going.
These are my favorite picture books for garden inspiration. These books demonstrate that gardens can transform an environment, bring neighbors closer, and even become a political touchpoint. Ideas for Earth Day include starting a compost pile, planting a tree, or even just germinate seeds.
What are your favorite spring picture books? Are you planting a garden this year of any size? Please share! Read more…
Judy Martialay, author of ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish, is my guest author today. She’s giving ideas of how to introduce another language to your kids at home even if you don’t speak a second one (like me)!
Giving Your Child Another Language, Even if You’re Monolingual
Do you want your child/children to be ready for the global world of the 21st century? Here is a gift that you can give to the child/children in your life that will last a lifetime: an early start in learning a language.
Consider the benefits of knowing another language: direct communication with millions around the world; understanding, appreciation and respect for other cultures as well as our own; increased tolerance for diversity abroad and at home. There’s more: better and more opportunities for employment; broader perspectives; better understanding of international affairs; delay of onset of dementia for up to five years. Read more…
Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd, and I was inspired by this video I saw on The Kid Should See This about a small town in rural Japan well on its way to becoming a zero waste community. This means that they will produce no trash. To this end, they sort their trash into 34 recycling categories. I know that my family and I have trouble with just one recycling category!
Diverse Children’s Books is a brand new 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.
I’m not sure what children’s publishing rule of thumb seems to dictate that hamsters sell Early Chapter Books but when I judged the first round Cybils, there were a surprising amount of hamster themed books in this category. This, of course, let me to search out more Early/Easy Chapter Books with hamsters as characters as well as picture books.
Why do you think Early Chapter Books and hamsters go so well together? Is this publishing gold or a knee-jerk “copy what’s working” strategy to find an escaped hamster? Are hamsters really the Houdinis of rodents or are we short-changing rats, moles, mice and other furry creatures?
My search for hamster books was prompted by this video below. It turns out that hamsters have flexible hips that allow them to take sharp turns easily, even doing a complete U-turn in a tight space. And let’s not discount their ability to stuff food into their cheek pouches. The pouches, which secrete no saliva, extend down to their hips! Read more…
My son and I watched this and had the kind of reaction you get when watching an amazing fireworks display. Please watch the entire video as architect and artist Red Hong Yi has seven amazing Star Wars shadow art displays. She shines a beam of light from a specific position onto different shapes arranged on wires to get these effects!
Pair this with Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series.
The House Monkey App is an interesting idea. It’s an app that you set up for your family to track chores and tasks around the house. It has features to reward participation, and lets you create training videos to show someone how to do a task.
I covered my Japanese Daimyo family history and my husband’s Chosun Dynasty family history on his father’s side, so I thought I’d cover my Chinese family history today. My father immigrated from China before the Communist Revolution to attend UCLA for a PhD in mathematics. He was asked to return to China right as the war began, but he decided to stay in Los Angles instead. A wise move in hindsight, given the Cultural Revolution that lay ahead. As an educated professional with family roots in the silk trade, he would have not fared well. Indeed, when we visited relatives in the 1980s, I met our Chinese relatives and heard the sad stories of what happened to his favorite nephew.
But I never knew much about the family silk business which I assumed was vertically integrated — from silk worm to silk thread to silk fabric to the Silk Road. I find that when I go to my public library, I always grab a few picture books that catch my eye that are on display. Read more…
Hi! I'm Mia Wenjen. I blog excessively about children's books. I am also the co-founder of Multicultural Children's Book Day on Jan 27th.
I'd love to chat with you. Let's connect! PragmaticMomBlog (at) gmail (dot) com.
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