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

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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.

Seventh Inning Mid Summer Stretch

This has certainly not been an easy breezy summer for me.  I’m continually asking myself, “what am I supposed to be doing now?”  There are so many things competing for my attention both in my writing and in the rest of my life.  Please don’t get me wrong, this is not a post about being too busy.  The alternative scares me, but I do need to buckle down and focus.  My way of re-focusing is compiling a to-do list and working through it.

So here goes:

  • I accepted an invitation to speak at an SCBWI-PA sponsored event in August.
  • I’ve worked on a couple of picture book manuscripts, new and revised, but I feel stuck.
  • Looking for a new project to help get unstuck.

For the new project, I’ve logged several hours in the library for the research I started for a historical fiction picture book on a local (local to Long Island) African-American poet.  A fellow picture book author suggested the topic during a discussion a couple of months ago.  Over the years I have collected several articles and documents on this local poet to satisfy my general curiosity but never thought of him as a picture book subject until that discussion.  – Thanks,  A.L.

Information Overload – Exposure to or provision of too much information or data.

That is what you can get when research includes genealogy.  Dates, places, names, occupations, marriages…

There seems to be no end to the genealogy loops that I’ve entered into.

I’m researching African-American characters from the mid-1700’s for a historical fiction picture book.   There are gaps where African American facts are concerned, for sure. Some of that is just due to the fact that African slaves were considered property, not people. For the research that I’m doing, there was a lot of documentation and it has connected two of the largest northern “plantations” on Long Island.  It helps that the slave owners were highly influential people.  Their records have now become part of history maintained in libraries and museums.  This is going to be fun!

Coming Back Down To Earth…

It is always amazing to me how fantastic I feel after a writers retreat or conference.  Last weekend was a wonderful writing experience for me.  I started early on Long Island with a Meet & Greet event with our newly established local Long Island Chapter of SCBWI.  That was a fun evening and I got to see some familiar faces as well as some new.

The very next morning I was off to Pennsylvania via ferry from Port Jefferson to Bridgeport Connecticut.   Ok, I’m sure that makes no sense to those of you who know the area, but I like to AVOID bridges when I can and this is a perfect way.  I live east of Port Jefferson so it makes a lot of sense to me.  Since I still read actual maps, I’m happy to plot out a course on my own and let the GPS catch up to me.

Once I departed the ferry, I headed north to Danbury and made a left towards Pennsylvania. Four hours later I arrived.  GPS said it would have been the same if I had gone through New York City – Ha! –

Anyway, once I arrived at the Highlights facility.  It really felt like home and they work very hard to make it so.  Kudos to the entire Highli100_1567 - Editedghts Staff, Faculty, and Family for a wonderful weekend event.

The SCBWI Eastern PA Poconos Retreat celebrated its 25th year.  Although I don’t belong to the Eastern PA chapter I was made to feel welcome and very much a part of their event.

 

  • I left the retreat knowing more than I did when I arrived.
  • I have more writing and industry connections.
  • I have more writing courage.
  • I have raised my writing bar.

As an SCBWI member, I encourage anyone to attend an event outside of their chapter. You gain a broader network and knowledge base.  You get a chance to see new ideas and processes in action.

Go, do, see, write.

Speaking of which, I’ve got some revisions to work on.

Happy Writing!

 

News

Autumn is turning out to be a really fun time of year for me this year.  Harvest season, a time for receiving all the benefits of your hard work – that’s the farmers take on the season.  Right now, I’m pleased to be able to reflect on my farm roots.  I am quite blessed.

I feel like I should be running around like Henny Penny shouting, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling.”  Or Paul Revere and his raiders announcing, “The British are coming, the British are coming!”

Yet, quietly I sit here fumbling to find words for this post.  I can’t hold it in any longer, it’s time to get this out in the open.  

Ready…

I just signed with a small publisher in Texas.  Clear Fork Publishing will be publishing one of my picture book manuscripts.  I feel like I should write that a bit bigger.

I just signed with a small publisher in Texas.  Clear Fork Publishing will be publishing one of my picture book manuscripts.

It feels great to share that.  I was was sure I was dreaming.

I’m going to not share all the details about the picture book but I will give you all a hint. The story has some connection to the picture below.  Stay tuned.

my-three-flamingos