MY DNA

Since its black history month, I’m sharing my DNA results.  Not because it only revealed my African ancestry but because it also reveals my non-African ancestry.  500 new cousins also share some versions of my DNA, according to ancestry.com.   I connected with some via email.  I’m very pleased about that.  Afterall, aside from learning where in the world one comes from why would you not want to make connections.

Being adopted, I learned why one would not want to connect.  I Pam_DNA Screenshot 2018-02-24 14.32.05imagined numerous scenarios about my biological beginnings before I got my DNA results.  None of them reflected the actual results of my DNA spit test.

What my DNA results confirmed for me – Why?

  • Love the color green
  • Adore to Irish / Gaelic music
  • Love to hear bagpipes
  • Crave Corned beef and Cabbage on March 17th

I’ll look forward to more connections but in the meantime, I will reflect on what I’ve learned so far.

Valentine’s Day

heart-stamped-letterValentine’s Day is fast approaching.  I remembered to purchase cards thatI’ll mail out on Monday.  I even send my husband’s in snail mail.  I do keep a backup card in case snail mail is too slow.  That’s a lesson learned kind of thing…

I’m happy to say that I’ve also remembered the Valentiny Writing Contest that author SUSANNA LEONARD HILL hosts.  It’s the 3rd Annual, I’m not sure where I was for the last two – but I’m in now!   With Hopeful Heart! – The 3rd Annual Valentiny Writing Contest!!!  Here is my contest entry – wish me luck!


heart_balloonsCleo’s Wish

Cleo was sitting with her grandmother and her three older sisters in the hospital waiting room.

Their parents were with the doctor in the labor room and odds were that the new arrival was going to be another girl.   

The girls chatted and giggled about the new baby girl.  “We could play dress up and dolls,” said Stella.  “Tea party would be so much fun,” added Julia.

Cleo stared out the window.  “Oh how I wish for a baby brother,” Cleo thought.   She imagined playing baseball, tag, and fort.  Cleo whispered, “If only the baby would be a boy for Daddy and a brother for me.”

The door to the labor room opened and the girls eyes opened wide with anticipation.  

The girls gathered around the doctor all asking questions.  “Does she have curly hair?”, “Are her cheeks rosy?”, “Are her eyes green like mine?”

The doctor lead everyone to the nursery window.  Their father met them there.  The sisters all took a spot at the window and a surprised look appeared on their faces, even grandmother.  

“I can’t see!” exclaimed Cleo.  Her father lifted her up to look through the glass.

“I knew it! I knew it!” shouted Cleo.  “Daddy look, we have a boy!”

Yes, Cleo, you have a brother.Valentine_Frog

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day – January 27, 2018!

cropped-banner2018

 

 

This year I’m proud to be participating in the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, January 27, 2018.  In celebration of that special day, I am posting a review of not one but two beautiful picture books.  Check out all the wonderful Multicultural titles available with the links posted below.

#ReadYourWorld

Pam’s Review


Hats of Faith – Written by Medeia Cohan and Illustrated by Sarah Walsh.

Published by Shade 7 Publishing 2017.

front cover of book
Hats of Faith      Written by Medeia Cohan                               Illustrated by Sarah Walsh

In Hats of Faith, Medeia Cohan starts a basic conversation with the youngest of readers about religions and culture.

What parent hasn’t found themselves scrambling to answer that question, “What’s that on her head?” or “Why is that man wearing a hat in the summer?”  As any parent knows, kids ask questions all the time – waiting on line in the grocery store, on a bus or simply walking in the park.  Hats of Faith is a concept/board book that helps provide a simple platform to discuss, with respect, the varied articles of clothing worn as head coverings and pairs them with their specific religion.  That connection helps make the book complete and meaningful.  The phonetic pronunciations provide confidence for parents or readers throughout the board book.

Sarah Walsh created beautiful, colorful illustrations that help focus attention on the unique head coverings with simple text that helps open communication and give parents a tool to help answer the most curious children.

Diversity in our world is as necessary as air and water.  We need both air and water to survive as much as we need diversity to help us thrive.  Hats of Faith helps us start at the beginning to teach diversity and ultimately empathy.

Pam’s Review


Wash Day – Written by Barbara H. Cole and Illustrated by Ronald Himler.

Published in 2004 by Star Bright Books.   

Wash Day
Wash Day                                  Written By Barbara H Cole     Illustrated by Ronald Himler

Ms. Cole has captured a world where blacks and whites coexist very naturally.  Yes, Miss. Ett, is black and is working for a white family as a washwoman but the commonality of life in this story is that they are all poor and they look out for each other.  Wash Day uses parts of our history and finds a warm story to share.  Miss Ett goes about her job with care and pride.  The Grandpa, of the white family for which Miss Ett is working, shares his love of music with his granddaughter but also Sherman, the grandson of Miss Ett.  Even Miss Ett is touched by his music, noting that the work is harder once the music stops because he is not able to play any longer.  

Wash day may be just another day of the week…sure; but this story is a warm, reflective, gentle story.   Mr. Himler’s beautiful watercolor illustrations are full of joy.

As the daughter of a WWII Veteran, I found the details of the American flags on every grave familiar and comforting. Himler’s soft and muted colors are a fabulous paring to the words of Ms. Cole.

Although it takes place in the Depression-era United States, current events of 2018 make Wash Day a good resource illustrating that caring for the people around you, no matter the color, race, or other physical difference they may have is an important life lesson.


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in the home and on school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.  

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM: Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD: Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo,  Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles,  Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen,  Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day – January 27, 2018!

cropped-banner2018

 

 

This year I’m proud to be participating in the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, January 27, 2018.  In celebration of that special day, I am posting a review of not one but two beautiful picture books.  Check out all the wonderful Multicultural titles available with the links posted below.

#ReadYourWorld

Pam’s Review


Hats of Faith – Written by Medeia Cohan and Illustrated by Sarah Walsh.

Published by Shade 7 Publishing 2017.

front cover of book
Hats of Faith      Written by Medeia Cohan                               Illustrated by Sarah Walsh

In Hats of Faith, Medeia Cohan starts a basic conversation with the youngest of readers about religions and culture.

What parent hasn’t found themselves scrambling to answer that question, “What’s that on her head?” or “Why is that man wearing a hat in the summer?”  As any parent knows, kids ask questions all the time – waiting on line in the grocery store, on a bus or simply walking in the park.  Hats of Faith is a concept/board book that helps provide a simple platform to discuss, with respect, the varied articles of clothing worn as head coverings and pairs them with their specific religion.  That connection helps make the book complete and meaningful.  The phonetic pronunciations provide confidence for parents or readers throughout the board book.

Sarah Walsh created beautiful, colorful illustrations that help focus attention on the unique head coverings with simple text that helps open communication and give parents a tool to help answer the most curious children.

Diversity in our world is as necessary as air and water.  We need both air and water to survive as much as we need diversity to help us thrive.  Hats of Faith helps us start at the beginning to teach diversity and ultimately empathy.

Pam’s Review


Wash Day – Written by Barbara H. Cole and Illustrated by Ronald Himler.

Published in 2004 by Star Bright Books.   

Wash Day
Wash Day                                  Written By Barbara H Cole     Illustrated by Ronald Himler

Ms. Cole has captured a world where blacks and whites coexist very naturally.  Yes, Miss. Ett, is black and is working for a white family as a washwoman but the commonality of life in this story is that they are all poor and they look out for each other.  Wash Day uses parts of our history and finds a warm story to share.  Miss Ett goes about her job with care and pride.  The Grandpa, of the white family for which Miss Ett is working, shares his love of music with his granddaughter but also Sherman, the grandson of Miss Ett.  Even Miss Ett is touched by his music, noting that the work is harder once the music stops because he is not able to play any longer.  

Wash day may be just another day of the week…sure; but this story is a warm, reflective, gentle story.   Mr. Himler’s beautiful watercolor illustrations are full of joy.

As the daughter of a WWII Veteran, I found the details of the American flags on every grave familiar and comforting. Himler’s soft and muted colors are a fabulous paring to the words of Ms. Cole.

Although it takes place in the Depression-era United States, current events of 2018 make Wash Day a good resource illustrating that caring for the people around you, no matter the color, race, or other physical difference they may have is an important life lesson.


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in the home and on school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.  

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM: Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD: Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo,  Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles,  Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen,  Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

More Patience Required

This has been a long start of the new year – 2017.

Our family has been working through Alzheimer’s issues with an aging parent.

It is already difficult to watch a parent age without this frightening condition.  Add the unpredictability of everything that was once predictable and you have one of life’s oldest jokes.  Work hard to learn and understand as much of life as you can, then watch it slip away.  You have to savor those moments when we get a glimpse into the mind of the former life.  Talk with, smile with, be with that person whatever that looks like – now.

I never set out to write a book about Alzheimer’s but in hind sight I guess that was in the back of my mind.  Children can be confused and frightened about the changes in a loved one.  I watched my son manage his relationship with my mother when he was five years old.  That was twenty years ago and his “matter of fact” attitude was an excellent natural gift for him and me.  I tried to address that in my manuscript.

Faithful

In a few months my picture book is scheduled to be released, but an illustrator has not yet been paired with my manuscript.  As a picture book author it is difficult to send off my words, but I think it is harder for me to wait to see how those words are translated back through an illustrator.

I am faithful that the star that guided me to Clear Fork Publishing for my debut picture book will guide my future illustrator as well.

 

Midwinter Inspiration (Part II)

I’m back on Long Island now and completely unpacked – not that I had all that much to unpack.  I’m still behind in my blog posts, but I hope to catch up soon.

I need to begin to connect the bits of information that we have from our trip to Keystone Heights (Brooklyn) Florida.  My brother, his wife and I traveled there to see what information we could find on my father and grandmother – both of which were listed as being born in Brooklyn, Florida.  We went to the town hall and were met with an abundance of hospitality.  The Mayor of Keystone Heights even offered of information on a local resident who’s family had been in the area back when it was called “Brooklyn”.

The intermittent torrential rain kept us from venturing out of the car, but we did drive to where the mayor suggested we look and we found Lake Brooklyn, one of the many lakes in the town.  It was so close to where I think our dad and grandmother were both born.

 Brooklyn was developed into a carefree lakeside community and Keystone Heights, as it was renamed,  as a resort community.  Many wealthy folks vacationed there, some were even founding members of the community.  James C. Penny (yes, of J.C. Penny fame) was a developer in the area back in the early 1900’s.  There are still references to that name in the area.