Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Iridescence of Birds

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Hadley Hooper (Roaring Books Press, 2014).

I love this book about the famous modern artist Matisse.  Written by the author of Sarah, Plain and Tall, it tells the story of Matisse when he was a little boy and how is mother influenced his art and the way he viewed the world by bringing color into their dreary grey surroundings in France.  Hooper's illustrations perfectly capture the feeling of Matisse's work without just replicating it and keeps it playful for children. 

You can find some good Matisse art activities for kids at The Crafty Classroom and Deep Space Sparkle.

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Grandpa and the Sea

My Grandpa and the Sea by Katherine Orr (Carolrhoda, 1990).  This is a beautiful book about a little girl in St. Lucia and her grandpa who is a fisherman.  When the big fishing boats deplete his source of fish, he decides to come up with a way to farm sea moss.  Not only is it a beautifully illustrated book about a loving family, but it teaches environmental conservation.

For those who don't know, sea moss (also called Irish moss) is used to make drinks in the Caribbean.  I haven't tried it yet, but I've always been curious.  It's available bottled at many Caribbean groceries and restaurants, but you can make your own with this recipe.

If you're interested in learning more about sea moss farms, I found this video about a sea moss cultivation project in St. Andrew, Grenada. It's a very interesting process.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beautiful Rainbow World

As part of Multicultural Children's Book Day, I am reviewing the book Beautiful Rainbow World by Suzee Ramirez and Lynne Raspet (Two Poppies, 2014), generously donated by the authors. 

It's a really great idea for a book-- the authors got photographers to contribute diverse photos of children and then they put them alongside lyrics by folk singer Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou.  You can download a free MP3 of the song with purchase of the book. (Right now they are offering free shipping, too- just go to their website here and use coupon code "MCCBD"- it's good through March 31). 

As an activity for kids, I think it would be great to listen to the song while looking through this book.  I can imagine kids would like pointing out their favorite photos and the adult could guide them in a conversation about why they like that picture and have them come up with stories about the kids and what they might be like.  It's a fun way to foster and encourage diversity.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day's official hashtag is #ReadYourWorld. The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.

MCCBD’s  2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop, Gold SponsorsSatya House,,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof, Silver Sponsors: Junior Library GuildCapstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books,  The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2015. I'm looking forward to sharing more with you in the coming year.

Here is a Pinterest board of some books to celebrate the holiday.

(Chinese New Year books have a separate board here.)