Friday, February 28, 2014

African American History Month

I love this blog, The Brown Bookshelf.  For their project 28 Days Later, they highlight some of the best African American children's authors and illustrators, one for each day in February. It's a great resource for learning more about some wonderful children's book creators, some well-known and some not as much.

I believe it's so important for kids to read about all different diverse experiences and see all different types of people in illustrations.  What is equally important, I think, is to have stories coming directly from people of color, and show kids that anyone can be a writer/artist.

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has spoken about the danger of a single story. She says that when she was young, she used to write stories about white people, because that's what she was used to reading. And she's not the only one.  I've heard stories from teachers whose students, no matter what their color, only write or draw white people. This is indicative of what we are reading to our kids, both at home and in school.  It's not a realistic view of the world and makes some people feel excluded from literature, which is a real shame.  We should be exposing our kids to diversity at an early age.

You can watch Adichi's TEDTalk below.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Here are a few of my favorite Valentine's books from my childhood. For more recommendations, see my Pinterest board here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Under the Moon & Over the Sea: A Collection of Caribbean Poems

Edited by John Agard and Grace Nichols.  Illustrated by Cathie Felstead, Jane Ray, Christopher Corr, Satoshi Kitamura, and Sara Fanelli.  Published by Candlewick Press in 2002. 

My mom sent me this book and I absolutely love the illustrations and poems.  The editors are poets originally from Guyana, now living in England together as partners. They have compiled a great collection of poetry here.  As far the illustrations, Jane Ray is one of my favorites and I also love the illustrations by Christopher Corr.  They are all so fun, though.

Christopher Corr

Cathie Felstead

Jane Ray

Satoshi Kitamura

Sara Fanelli

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bright April

Written and illustrated by Marguerite de Angeli Published by Doubleday in 1946.

Marguerite de Angeli lived from 1889 to 1987 and won the Newbery Award in 1950 for The Door in the Wall.  She is known for portraying children from different ethnic backgrounds in her picture books.  Bright April was the first children's book to address the issue of racial prejudice. It's the story of a young African American girl in Philadelphia.