Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Post to Remember: Celebrate Every Family

Books help to shape how you see yourself and others in the world. To many of us, reading books about kids and people from diverse backgrounds is important. We both want to create positive self images and to understand and grow positive images of others. Reading about families that look and sound like yours, help you to see yourself in the world. Reading about families that are different then your own, helps you to understand others in your communities!

My friends, in California, who adopted twin three year olds and who have a beautiful 2 year old girl, asked me about the library I am creating for my nephew. They wanted to know mostly about his books that celebrate a diversity of ethnicities and families. They wanted some good titles of books that feature kids of color.

My sister and I have tried to find books that not only celebrate diversity within a family- but that also celebrates diversity of what "makes up" a family!

For my nephew’s library I have collected a few books that help to highlight these things about our family values. I got him, Families by Susan Kuklin. This book is a series of photo essays of kids and their families at home. The kids are from diverse backgrounds and blended families.

Another favorite of my nephew is the book, Black is Brown is Tan, a poetry book by Arnold Adoff. Arnold is poet extraordinaire. He is married to Virginia Hamilton, another famous YA novelist. This poem is a celebration of their family. My nephew can listen to this book 3 times in a row! He has loved it ever since he was little.

We also have, What a Family by Rachel Isadora. My nephew likes to read this book and then we open up our photo albums of our family. We read them side by side and talk about everyone in our family.

More More More Said the Baby, by Vera B Williams, is another favorite of my nephew. He runs the house as if he is little guy and little pumpkin! He references the book often in his play and loves to be chased!

My nephew, ever since he was a baby, has loved loved Shades of Black! It is not a story, rather a list and beautiful set of photos of kids. He loves listening to the lyrical language and reading about kids! This was one of the first books he memorized!

Who’s Toes Are Those and Who’s Knees Are These, were two books he read repeatedly in daycare. We decided he needed them at home too! Brown Angels is one of my favorite poems, (made into a picture book), by Walter Dean Meyers.

Two of my nephew’s favorite picture books, that feature illustrations of kids of color are Looking For a Moose and Subway Anatasia Suen. When our friends had their baby, we got my nephew and their son, I'm Your Peanut Butter Big Brother, by Selina Alko.

Look for books that reflect your family’s heritage, family structure and values! Look for books that introduce your kids to other backgrounds, family structures and values! Open your lives to celebrating families of all kinds and you will open the world to your kids!

A List of More Books to Look Up and Add to Your Library!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby C

You are now a BIG BOY too! 5 Years old!
The nephew and I can't wait to celebrate by going to see
MARY POPPINS with you!
Should be dramatic and fun!

Boys hit Broadway!!!!

We will post the results and opinions of the show later this month!

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Post to Remember: Bring Back a Book as Souvenir

When I was a little girl, my grandfather's brother, Uncle Teddy, traveled the globe! Every time he came from a new country, Korea or Thailand, he always brought me back a doll from that place. Not only did I end up with this beautiful collection of dolls, but I also ended up with a beautiful memory of my Uncle. Why not do the same with books!

In the spring I went to visit my sister and nephew in Dubai and Beirut. I was trying to think of something I could bring back to my friends that captured the essence of my travels. Suddenly I found myself in a bookshop- and I realized, books about the country would be a perfect souvenir to bring back for my friends. You're Too Little is a sweet little book about a boy who wants to help his family build a dhow- a boat. After his family tells him he is too little, he decides to build his own boat. I bought it for my nephew (2 years old) as a souvenir to remember his trip on the Dhow he took in Oman. I brought it back for Baby C to share with him the place I had visited. He immediately adopted it as favorite read!
I work a lot in California. This summer I flew back to Montreal to see my nephew after I spent a week in San Diego. I can't come and visit him without a book. One of his favorite books at home is 1,2,3 New York. He loves saying, "Titi lives in New York!" He is also obsessed with counting the hot dogs and water towers. As I browsed a local bookshop in San Diego I found- 1,2,3 California. It made a perfect souvenir! Surf boards became his favorite thing to count!

When I came back from the Philippines, I wanted to bring back some books that I would give to my nephew. I wanted to show him about the new and latest place I had just visited. I brought back some fairy tales and My First Words in Tagalog!

What a nice way to remember a trip you have taken or to share with someone about a place that you traveled too. Build your collections documenting the trips and travels you take with books. It is a gift that keeps giving!

Other Ideas for Gift Giving and Souvenirs:
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Big Boy- You are 5!!!!

Happy Birthday to the NEPHEW!
You are 5! I miss you! Sending you lots of birthday wishes!
May you read all your favorite books today! Even if that means reading
Fantastic Mr. Fox for the 30th time!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Post to Remember: Baby Showers: Give a Book as a Gift

Books make a great baby shower present. You are helping to create the child's first library of books. Usually parents are overloaded with one-zies and bottles- but what are they going to do with the baby? READ! It is never too early to read with children, to introduce them to the sound of your voice, the sound of books, the sounds of this world!

Typically when people give books, they give- Goodnight Moon and Brown Bear Brown Bear! Be on the look out for new and exciting titles. Otherwise people end up with 5 copies of the same book (which can come in handy- but that is a different post!).

My new favorite baby shower gift is Nikki Grimes' newest board book, Welcome Precious! A perfect addition to new baby's book collection!

I love gifting books that are actually all time favorites of children I know. Good Night Baby - by DK Publishers was my god daughter's all time favorite!

Getting ready for bed books are always welcomed! It helps with establishing routines in the home. Time For Bed- is a beautiful classic by Mem Fox that very few people have in their libraries at home, but a real winner with babies!

Baby C loved This Little Chick By John Lawerence. He loved the sing-song pattern and rhythm in the book. It reads much like a song! Another book with this same quality is I Kissed the Baby- By Mary Murphy. It is fun to read with babies snuggled up close! These books are easy for babies to attend to because of the heavy repetition and sense of music in these texts.

Be different- for the next shower you are invited to- and give the gift of a book! Help lay the corner stones for that child's love for reading! When the baby arrives- you will have a gift that you will be able to share with that child for years to come. Who knows, maybe it will become their oall time favorite book! Remember babies grow out of one-zies!

Wishing you reading smiles.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Welcome springtime

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