All posts tagged featured

Chinese New Year Books Instead of Tiki Tiki Tembo

Chinese New Year Books Instead of Tiki Tiki Tembo

I have to say that I’ve read Tiki Tiki Tembo to my kids so many times that we all can say his long version name. I just wanted to suggest other books for Chinese New Year because it’s kind of a fake Chinese Folk Tale about why Chinese names are so short today. For kids who might not have a lot of exposure to China, Chinese Americans and/or Chinese Culture, it sets the wrong tone, implying that the Chinese are foolish and stupid.

Grace Lin’s blog has more:

  • The book purports to be an “old Chinese folktale,” but it is not. It is actually thought to be based on a Japanese folktale called Jugemu. Presumably, that tale was picked up and retold by Westerners, who mistakenly attributed it to China and added to the story. The result is a story that is neither Japanese nor Chinese, and it exemplifies the racist attitude of, “Chinese, Japanese, what’s the difference, they’re all the same.” from Wikipedia
  • Though the book’s illustrations are beautifully drawn by Caldecott Medal-winning artist Blair Lent, they do not authentically depict Chinese people, as noted by The Multiculturalist above. Tikki Tikki Tembo’s shoes are actually strikingly similar to traditional Japanese geta footwear, again reinforcing the inaccurate perception that all Asian cultures are the same.

Read more…

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

These are art kits that my daughter and I put together when I realized that our lists might be overwhelming: 45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my daughter, and 10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids.

p.s. More art gift posts:

Art Activity Books

Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading

Art Kit To Encourage Creativity

 + = a book of fun art games plus washable markers makes a great art gift for on the go that the entire family can enjoy if you just add some blank paper. This DIY art kit is $17.

Tangle Art by Jeanette Nyberg Read more…

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my Arty Daughter

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my Arty Daughter

My oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, wants to go to art school in two years. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program last summer, which exposed her to many different art supplies. Her favorite birthday gift from us these past few years is an annual subscription to art supply box ArtSnacks which is how she discovered Copic Markers. These days she watches arty kids wax poetic on YouTube with their favorite art supplies. Today, she does the same here.

My Daughter's Pieces from RISD Pre-College Program

Grasshopper and Sensei at the RISD Pre-College Art Show in front of her piece.

She has tried everything on this list — and more — to hone down her favorite art supplies for serious arty kids. She thinks this list is for high school students, but I’d suggest using her suggestions for your arty kid as the situation warrants. For example, her brother, now 12 years old, started out drawing stick figure comics using pencil and spiral bound lined notebooks when he was 9 and 10. He progressed to sketch books and inexpensive Crayola markers that I bought from Target, and his art became more manga based. For his 12th birthday, he requested a small set of Copic Markers and Rendr Paper Sketchbook which does not bleed through. His manga art, self taught through YouTube videos, has now included more anatomically correct manga figures.

My Daughter's Pieces from RISD Pre-College Program

Her best work from the RISD Pre College Summer Art Program. It’s seed pods rendered in pencil.

In this list, my daughter who is very price conscious since she buys many of these materials with her own money, suggests different options: INVESTMENT, INEXPENSIVE, SPECIALTY, and MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. I hope this helps you find the right art supplies for your seriously arty kid!

p.s. More Art Gift Ideas for Kids here:

Art Activity Books

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

Art Supply Gift Guide for SERIOUS Arty Kids

ArtSnacks, $20/month

This is a monthly subscription kit in which you will receive 4-5 full size premium art supplies including unique items that are not available elsewhere. They are starting to make their own art supplies as well. My daughter gets really excited about the kit every month! When she was at RISD, she discovered other students who also subscribed to ArtSnacks from the stickers on their stuff and it was a bonding moment for her!

Art Snacks

Alcohol Based Markers for SERIOUS Arty Kids

Investment Refillable Markers for Arty Kids

Copic Markers, about $8 each and also come in sets.

They are really expensive but they are worth it because they are refillable and have the best brushes and nibs. The ink is also very high quality. These are alcohol based professional markers that you can use for a lifetime.

As long as you take care of your Copic Markers (store horizontally NOT vertically) and don’t press really hard on the nibs, they should last a lifetime. You can REFILL each marker and the ink is readily available. You can also start out with a small set and keep adding over your lifetime.

Here are two starter sets: the first is just basic colors, the second is skin tones. If you have both, you can draw manga figures though you might want to fill in specific colors that you use most and in several hues.

Read more…

15 Wonderful Chinese New Year Picture Books

15 Wonderful Chinese New Year Picture Books

Chinese New Year may be what most of us think of when we think of Asian New Year celebrations marked by dumplings, lion dances, new clothes, and feasts. I’ve included other Asian Lunar New Year picture books as well for those who want to explore further.

My list includes:

  • Picture Books About Families Celebrating Chinese (and Lunar) New Year
  • Picture Books About Chinese and Lunar New Year
  • Retold Fairy Tales with a Chinese New Year Twist
  • Chinese New Year Craft and Activity Books

Read more…

Top 10: Best Picture Books for Spring

Top 10: Best Picture Books for Spring

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…

African-American Pioneering Female Musicians

African-American Female Musicians Picture Books

March is Women’s History Month so I’ve started off with a video of a musician that is new to me, Hazel Dorothy Scott, a jazz prodigy who was prominent during the 1930s and 1940s. I could not find a picture book biography on her (yet) but here’s hoping that someone will write out. In the meantime, below the video I’ve rounded up picture book biographies of other women who paved the way in music. Have I missed any? Please let me know and I’ll add! Thank you!

Read more…

Left Brain STEM Toys for Kids

Left Brain STEM Toys for Kids

Jeanette and I love doing the Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids list. She is taking the Right Brain art toys today and I’m tackling Left Brain STEM toys with a math or science bent. Is that even right? I looked it up from About Education:

The Right Brain

According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities popularly associated with the right side of the brain include:

  • Recognizing faces
  • Expressing emotions
  • Music
  • Reading emotions
  • Color
  • Images
  • Intuition
  • Creativity

The Left Brain

The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language, and analytical thinking. The left-brain is described as being better at:

  • Language
  • Logic
  • Critical thinking
  • Numbers
  • Reasoning

Recent research has shown that abilities in subjects such as math are strongest when both halves of the brain work together. The upshot? Get both sides of your kids’ brains working! This is the last day of our gift giving series. Thanks for reading them!

November 3, 2015: Gifts That Give Back (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 10, 2015: DIY Gift Ideas (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 17, 2015: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 24, 2015: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
December 1, 2015: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids  (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: HersMine)

STEM Toys for Kids

Anatomically Correct Dolls with STEM Careers!

Are you seeking an anti-Barbie doll that is anatomically correct thus subliminally sending a message of body acceptance to your kids? You might like the Lottie dolls!

Fossil Hunter Lottie Doll, $25

Fossil Hunter Lottie Read more…

5 Amazing Multicultural Novels in Verse and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

5 Amazing Multicultural Novels in Verse and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

It’s been such a great year for those who love both multicultural/diversity/inclusive books for kids AND novels in verse! I picked five amazing favorites that I’ve loved from this past year and hope that the popularity of these books will encourage more diversity books to be published!

What are your favorite novels in verse? Please share! Thanks!

Read more…

17 Great Books for Kids and Teens on the Arab World

What Do Muslims Really Want Anyway?! 17 Books on Muslim World for Kids

Please welcome my guest poster today, author Elsa Marston who is my resident Middle Eastern Children’s literature go to! She has a list of recommended books for kids and teens at the bottom of the post.

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Lately we’ve been reading about terrorist actions by Muslims in Europe and other places, events that have again raised anger and confusion. Are Muslims really committed to hostility toward other religions? Or do most Muslims want to find common ground and live together with non-Muslims, without fear or threats? Read more…