Tips for National Portfolio Day

Tips for National Portfolio Day

This was my daughter’s first National Portfolio Day and we wanted to share tips that we learned the hard way:

  • You do not need to pre-register for National Portfolio Day but we highly recommend it because there was a separate line for those who registered upon arrival and this line went after the pre-registered line.
  • NOTE that the website for National Portfolio Day is unclear about the importance of pre-registering!
  • Arrive early! We got there are 9:30am for the event which started at noon. We were not allowed into the convention center until 10am where upon the line started forming. If you get there are noon or later, you risk not being able to show your portfolio to in-demand schools.

National Portfolio Day

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Discover Your World Picture Book GIVEAWAY!

Discover Your World Picture Book GIVEAWAY!

What does it mean to children to discover the world around them? I’m taking the view that it’s a full body experience from bathing to world religion to the natural world. The commonality: discovering children from around the world and finding similarities. If your kids want to take this path of discovery, I’m jump starting this by giving away two books. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to win 2 books, one to each winner. Please leave a comment about your first choice.

Picture Books to Discover Your World

My First Book About the Qur’an: Teachings for Toddlers and Young Children by Sara Khan, illustrated by Ali Lodge

The Qur’an is the holy book of Islam and this board book is a great introduction to children of any age who want to learn about the Muslim faith. This is a great book to include in teach kids about world religions. [board book, ages 1 and up]

Beautiful Rainbow World by Suzee Ramirez and Lynne Raspet

Daria: World Music for Children sings this song. Now the lyrics make up the test for this beautiful photo-illustrated book to celebrate diversity around the world through images of children at play.

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Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Visit to Emily Carr University of Art + Design

We visited Emily Carr University of Art + Design at the weirdest possible time. They had closed their old campus on Grenville Island in preparation for their move to a new campus about a ten minute drive away.

Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Their new campus, however, wasn’t quite done yet. We walked to the old campus and drove by the new one. Read more…

Paul Revere House North End Boston

Paul Revere Museum in Boston

The Paul Revere House in the North End Italian section of Boston is a wonderful place to visit. It’s the oldest house in Downtown Boston and his colonial home during the time of the American Revolution.

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12 Wonderful Diversity Going to Bed Books & GIVEAWAY!

12 Wonderful Diversity Going to Bed Books & GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome author Carol Gordon Ekster today! She’s no stranger to bedtime stories, having written a few of her own. She shares her list of favorite diversity bedtime books and we are giving away a copy of her newest book, You Know What? Please use the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

You Know What? by Carol Gordon Ekster, illustrated by Nynke Talsma 

Oliver should go to sleep. But there is so much he wants to tell his mother about: what happened that day at school, the things he read in books, everything he sees around him.
A touching and familiar picture book about (postponing) the ritual of going to sleep. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Diversity Going to Bed Books

Lala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

This is a lovely lyrical and poetic read aloud. Beautiful language and soft gorgeous illustrations showing an African family’s love, make this a wonderful bedtime book to choose. [picture book, for ages 3 and up]

Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine, illustrated by Fred Koehler

A lyrical poem uses a flashlight to shed light on the magic and wonder three children experience, one child being African American. At the end we see the children reading classics under a cover with a flashlight and understand that the books offered the adventures highlighted with gorgeous detail by the amazing artist, Fred Koehler. [picture book, for ages4 and up]

Imani’s Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Hazel Mitchell

While this is not the typical bedtime story, it has dreams and sleeping, and lovely writing with beautiful illustrations with strong colors. I love that it teaches children to believe in themselves and not give into allowing others to make you feel badly. This takes place in Africa, showing another culture and meeting the needs for diverse books. [picture book, for ages 4 and up]

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My 2018 Newbery Predictions

My 2018 Newbery Predictions

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

A Newbery Book Should Have Broad Age Appeal

There’s nothing worse, in my mind, with a Newbery winner that is too high such that only the most advanced elementary school readers can attempt it. The Westing Game is a good example of that for me. It won in 1978.

A Newbery Winner Does Not Have to be Middle Grade Chapter Book

Last’s year picture book surprise, Last Stop on Market Street, opened up the possibility that other genres are being seriously considered. Both Roller Girl and El Deafo took home Newbery Honor prizes too, putting graphic novels right in the hunt.

The Newbery Seeks Diversity?

Winning a Newbery does have a significant financial impact for an author which can not be underestimated. This award can affect what might get published in the future, showing that diversity books appeal to a broader audience than the characters they represent. Brown Girl Dreaming is a good example of that in showing the world that a girl about a brown girl would be read by non-brown girls.

p.s. My Caldecott/Newbery predictions are here: 2017201620152014, and 2013.

 

My 2018 Newbery Predictions

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

The only reason I suspect that this book won’t get Newbery recognition is because of previous honors via The One and Only Ivan which won in 2013. But this story is remarkable in its spareness that still conveys exquisite detail of multi-generations of intertwining stories as told by a special tree who has been rooted in place for centuries, assisting in the making of wishes come true. Applegate adds in an especially relevant theme of anti-Muslim bigotry which is a Very Important Message, pushing this book, at least for me, into Newbery recognition territory. It’s a kind of Charlotte’s Web meets [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla

Charlie has OCD and possibly also has Aspergers Syndrome. Accommodating his needs leads his crew on a cross country trip in search of birds in a circuitous path that finalizes at a hospital in Virginia caring for their brain damaged father. While Charlie’s siblings are on this trip — three siblings with their own strong personalities — it’s their caregiver, the mysterious Ludmila whose own backstory they discover throughout the course of their journey, that ties her, indirectly, to their father. And it’s during this adventure that includes meeting an assortment of people that pushes Charlie out of his usual routine and into a quest for both birds and a chance to meet a mysterious ornithologist that inspires him. Weaving these backstories together to such a satisfying ending is what makes this book Newbery caliber for me. It reminds me of Walk Two Moons and Moon Over Manifest, yet Pla manages to tie even more backstories together which is quite a feat. All the more remarkable that this is her debut book! [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

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Middle Grade Humor for Boys and 3 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

Middle Grade Humor for Boys and 3 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome author Mark Maciejewski with a book list on how to get boys reading, even reluctant ones. His answer? Humor! It works! He wrote a hilarious book about a bald, middle school outcast and we are giving away three signed copies!

I Am Farticus by Mark Jaciejewski

Chub is a short, accidentally bald, middle school outcast with no chance of ever becoming one of the popular kids. With help from his personal band of like-minded misfits (not to mention tactics gleaned from the Colonel, a US military vet with toenail issues), Chub’s determined to bring down his nemesis, class hero and now potential class president, Archer, or the Arch—the very guy who betrayed Chub with the lice-killing potion that left him bald as a billiard ball. If the Arch gets to be president, Chub knows his life is officially over. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

To enter to win, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.

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I love to laugh, especially when I read. Some of my best memories as a kid were of losing myself in a giggle fit over a book (usually, one I shouldn’t have been reading at that age.) Back then there simply weren’t a lot of books written directly to middle graders, and of the ones that were, few of them were funny. So I ended up reading a lot of humor meant for grown-ups, which may or may not have had a positive effect on my developing brain.

Today, however publishers have gotten smart. They realize that if you make a kid laugh, that kid will probably keep on reading. Nowadays there are tons of hilarious book written for the Middle Grade set. If you know a middle Grader who thinks reading is a bore, put one of these books in their hands, sit back and watch them crack up. You might just turn them into a reader, or God forbid, a writer.

 

Middle Grade Humor for Boys and Other Reluctant Readers

Pickle by Kim Baker

Pickle is about a prank club at Fountain Point Elementary School which is so secretive they operate a full scale pickle making club as a front for their operations. This book features a wonderful, diverse cast of characters who pull off one hilarious prank after another. I love Kim Baker’s comic touch and the way she creates a full cast of utterly unique characters, dealing with real life challenges, that any middle school reader will completely relate to. [chapter book, for ages 8 and up]

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Cofer

Magic and Mobsters. Need I say more? Artemis Fowl is the son of an Irish crime lord who tricks a fairy into giving up her book of spells so he can use it for his own criminal enterprises. I love the way Colfer blends action, adventure, fantasy, and humor to make us root for a great Middle Grade anti-hero. I also hear there’s a movie in the works. Bonus! [chapter book series, for ages 8 and up]

I have a post on Eoin Colfer when I met him at the Mega Awesome Event.

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#ReadYourWorld Book Jam 2018 & 78 Book GIVEAWAY!

#ReadYourWorld Book Jam 2018 & 78 Book GIVEAWAY!

We at Multicultural Children’s Book Day are thrilled to announce our #ReadYourWorld Book Jam 2018 in partnership with Children’s Book Council! We have fifteen authors and illustrators presenting diversity book lists and giving away a total of 78 books!

Are you ready for the line up? Be sure to subscribe to the Multicultural Children’s Book Day blog to get every post!

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#ReadYourWorld Book Jam 2018

January 4, 2018

Gaia Cornwall

We will be giving away 3 copies of Jabari Jumps

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Bookstagram Choice Awards

Bookstagram Choice Awards: Early Chapter Book Series #OwnVoices

If you haven’t been following Here Wee Read‘s Bookstagram Choice Awards, she’s rounded up 20+ bloggers, each of whom has selected a single book to award.

Bookstagram Choice Awards

The books are on the Instagram account, @bookstagramchoiceawards, with one blogger posting per day and two bonus bloggers: Read more…