So, the secret destination I mentioned earlier was Oaxaca (say “wah-HOCK-ah”), Mexico. I love this city! I had visited once 15 years ago and always dreamed of going back.
The capital city of the state of Oaxaca, it’s like a jewel-box deep in heart of the southern mountains of Mexico, full of stunning architecture, intricate handicrafts, and oh yes, fantastic food.
The top photo was my first meal there, an ancho chile relleno next to plaintain mash with Oaxacan cheese. Surprisingly, it was actually a lot prettier than it was flavorful, but I enjoyed trying it anyway.
Below are the appetizers from that night, including, from the back of the slate platter, cheese, guacamole, and chapulinas. Chapulinas are a Oaxacan specialty—roasted grasshoppers!
Our Mexican friends told us that if you eat one, it means you get to come back to Oaxaca. It would be a lie to say they’re my favorite dish, but I was super glad I DID eat one 15 years ago. So glad, in fact, that I ate several more, hoping I will for sure get to visit again.
Below you see chiles drying at a restaurant where we ate lunch. The set up was unusual—you walk through the kitchen area up to the roof to eat. Sadly I didn’t take pics of the wonderful chicken red mole enchiladas I had.
Mole is a type of sauce involving many ingredients, including cocoa, which was first cultivated in ancient Mesoamerica. There are many different kinds of mole, and they’re not at all sweet, so don’t worry, it’s not at all like eating candy on your meat.
From the rooftop of the lunch restaurant, there’s a view of the historic Santo Domingo church, and we had great seats to see a traditional wedding celebration going out of the church, complete with dancers, costumes, and these enormous puppets that lead the way to the reception.
Lastly, here’s a photo (from the same location) of Caldo de Piedra, or “Stone Soup.” I couldn’t actually eat it, since I can’t do shellfish, but it was fascinating to watch our chef cook it, tableside.
The rocks were heated to such a high degree that when they were placed in the bowls of raw food (shellfish and broth, veggies), the liquid immediately boiled like mad. After a few moments, the liquid cooled a bit, and the chef removed the first stones and added a second hot stone to each bowl.
If you look closely, you can see the beautiful handcarving on the bowls, which are made of what I gather is a kind of gourd.
Delicious foods not pictured: duck tacos, Oaxacan tamales (wrapped in banana leaves), hot chocolate, and eggs smothered in fantastic sauces. Breakfast was not to be missed.
More on Oaxaca to come. Hope you have a great weekend. It’s like 75 degrees here today. I can’t believe it’s December!
From Quill & Quire:
Toronto’s Liss Gallery will resemble Whoville this Saturday, with a special day of exhibitions dedicated to the art of Dr. Seuss creator Theodor Seuss Geisel.
From 1 to 3 p.m., there will be a children’s exhibition featuring celebrity readings of Dr. Seuss classics. A reception from 6 to 9 p.m. will highlight Geisel’s illustration collection and his “secret art,” which he created for personal enjoyment. Bill Dreyer, official curator of the collection, will provide some insight into the beloved author’s life and work.
Jim Kay (A Monster Calls) has been tapped to give the Harry Potter series a makeover:
Who is your favourite character from the Harry Potter universe?
This is like trying to choose your favourite record, it changes all the time. I have a soft spot for Neville, particularly because of his awkwardness, but you have to admire Hermione, because she puts the hours in at the library, she's the cement really that holds it all together, well, it would be a different story without her. I want to know more about Severus, there's so much depth there. Visually, though, it has to be Hagrid; he's got a wonderful heart, clothed in an enormous, shabby body. Hagrid's hut is, for me, like an extension of his physique: it makes him a part of Hogwarts, but keeps him at a distance too.
More (including a picture of Hogwarts) here.
A quick, down and dirty, overview of shared writing and how it might support your students.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is a modern classic which for fifty years has thrilled and delighted readers all over the world, but the book itself has a story almost as astonishing as the adventures of its two desperate orphan heroines – this was a book that nearly didn’t get written! It all began one […]
The Compassion Project is a call for images of artworks depicting compassion, be they photographs, or photos of paintings, collages, mixed media, drawings, or sculptures. Poetry, short personal essays and short stories are also welcome. Selections from this collection of work will be displayed in the blog and used in readings and presentations to stir the consciousness of others, to cultivate the seeds of the light in each of us. Should a critical mass of work be achieved, selections will be compiled in an anthology.
All entries should include:
• a word document containing an imbedded image (jpg with maximum size of 2000 x 2000 pixels and minimum of 500 x 500 pixels) of the artwork along with a statement (300 words or less) on why the image included represents compassion or a poem, short essay, or short story on compassion
• name, address and email included in the heading.
• Poetry must be 30 lines or less, single-spaced in 12 point Times New Roman font.
• Prose must be 1500 words or less, double-spaced in 12 point Times New Roman font.
• If an image is accepted for the anthology, the artist must be able to send it with high resolution.
• Images, essays and stories should be sent between December 1, 2013 and May 1, 2014 to Laurette Folk at:
lfolkATnorthshoreDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)
all poetry should be sent to Jennifer Jean at:
thisruachATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)
(subject heading should read: "The Compassion Project POETRY submission").
For more information please visit our website.
Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. As we near the end of the year, there are lots and lots of lists! Also several posts with book and literacy-themed gift ideas. Of course any of the book lists could be a fertile source for gift ideas, too. (And don't miss MotherReader's 150 Ways to Give a Book, updated for 2013.)
Book Lists and Awards
The 2013 @HornBook Fanfare list is here, #picturebooks, fiction, and nonfiction http://ow.ly/rsgkK via @tashrow #kidlit
The finalists for the 2014 William C. Morris Award... in #yalit, from @bkshelvesofdoom http://ow.ly/rsbw5
Favourite reads of 2013 as chosen by 25 (children’s) authors and illustrators (and @playbythebook ) http://ow.ly/rqn64 #kidlit
The Stacked #yalit genre of the month is Humor http://ow.ly/rqigr
Two thumbs up for the ALSC Tween Book List from Stacy Dillon. I like it too, and I love tween books http://ow.ly/rqgqe #kidlit
The #kidlit + #yalit Categories for the 2013 GoodReads Choice Awards, reported by @tashrow http://ow.ly/rqh4t
Children's Literature at the SSHE Library: Winter Wonderland: Books About Snow and Cold http://ow.ly/rnp5b #kidlit
A varied list: Best Teen Books of 2013 from @KirkusReviews http://ow.ly/rnnSI via @bkshelvesofdoom #yalit
20 Magical Children's Christmas Books To Read Aloud from @buzzfeed http://ow.ly/ruY0K via @PWKidsBookshelf #kidlit
Top Ten Hanukkah Picture Books for Elementary Classroom Read-Alouds | Raising Great Readers with Great Books http://ow.ly/rl0RH
Our 2nd Nerdversary and The 2013 Nerdy Award Finalists | @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/rl0kf
Better late than never! Shop #Cybils for Black Friday (or CyberMonday, or anytime) http://ow.ly/rl1br
Looking for unique gifts? “Lunch Lady” Author @StudioJJK Hosts Scholarship Auction for Art Education | @sljournal http://ow.ly/ruQnT
Another #YAlit subscription service, this one from @soho_press + why @bkshelvesofdoom loves subscriptions! http://ow.ly/rqfrA
Why You Should Give a Book and Help Raise a Reader, from @SheilaRuth with links to book ideas like @MotherReader http://ow.ly/rqf94
Fun stuff! Top 10 #Literacy Stocking Stuffers for Kids from @growingbbb http://ow.ly/rl0XV
Great idea from @LiteracyLaunch | Have kids help hunt for books by call no. at the library http://ow.ly/ruV1w
YES! Mo Willems @The_Pigeon on how parents can create readers: "Just make it fun" http://ow.ly/ruXb0 @OnParenting via @PWKidsBookshelf
#Literacy Ideas + Book Recommendations for the Christmas Season from @ReadingTub http://ow.ly/rqhbN
Expanding Our Ideas About What it Mean to Be a Reader (with audiobooks) | @clareandtammy @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/rffTm
I could relate to @StaceyLoscalzo's daughter asking for "Books With a Story, Please"http://ow.ly/ruWgM #literacy
#Kidlit fans, check out the November Carnival of Children’s Literature Roundup | Lindsey McDivitt http://ow.ly/rkZjv
On Reading and Writing
Happily Ever After? — @lizb muses on #yalit romance and whether readers require a happy ending http://ow.ly/rnoFT
Wherefore Art Thou Fly Guy Read Alikes? asks @100scopenotes (early readers w/ attention-grabbing characters) http://ow.ly/ruWzw #kidlit
Programs, Events, and Research
JK Rowling + Henry Winkler among top 10 #literacy heroes named by charity http://ow.ly/ruXw7 @BBCNews via @PWKidsBookshelf
Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day Returns December 7th http://ow.ly/rdq6z via @PublishersWkly
Guys Lit Wire: Spread Some Holiday Good Cheer With Ballou High School & Pledge To Read 5 Books With the Students http://ow.ly/rffHF
Timely! The 2014 National Latino Children’s Literature Conference is coming reports @fuseeight http://ow.ly/ruWoN #kidlit
Schools and Libraries
Questions Matter! Helping Children (& Teachers) to Ask Good Ones by @TrevorHCairney http://ow.ly/rsbje #literacy
For those looking to hold great storytines, @lochwouters links to a Storytime Brain Trust http://ow.ly/rsa5t #literacy #libraries
Does your library offer a Winter Reading Club for kids? @abbylibrarian describes hers at @alscblog http://ow.ly/rs8Do
A great idea for building family #literacy: Bedtime Reading at School by Jenny Orr @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/rqhWr
author, author! | Advice from @himissjulie on arranging author visits at libraries http://ow.ly/rqg3U
Sad. Thoughts from @himissjulie on being suspect as a childless woman who works with kids in a professional capacity http://ow.ly/rl0xu
On sharing your reading life with students, to get them hooked on reading | @DebKrygeris@KirbyLarson http://ow.ly/ruVUq
© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.
December is an exciting time for the Library Services to Special Populations and Their Caregivers Committee as we begin to review applications for the ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant. Reviewing applications is a wonderful way to learn about the accessibility and literacy challenges facing children and their caregivers throughout the U.S. It’s also an opportunity to learn about and support the creative programming happening in our libraries to meet their needs and help them feel at home in the library.
In addition to the grant, committee members remain busy writing about library services to special populations for the ALSC blog. This year, we’ve written about welcoming LGBTQ families into the library, providing fun financial literacy education during storytime, and getting started as a new librarian serving special needs populations. Committee members have also highlighted books to celebrate National Adoption Month and suggested ways the library can get involved with Hunger Action Month.
Contributing to the ALSC blog is the committee’s way of increasing awareness around these and many other important issues facing our library patrons. We see it as a way of advocating for those who aren’t always top of mind when it comes to services. What I love about this particular work of the committee is that we’ve written about the many faces of special populations, recognizing that special populations are not limited to those with disabilities. We hope our posts inform and inspire the work of fellow librarians, and we look forward to continuing this work. Stay tuned for more blog posts and activities from the committee.
And, if you’re interested in collaborating feel free to contact any committee member listed below:
Sara E. Hathaway
Rebecca Anne Hickman
Amy Seto Musser
Posted by Africa Hands, Librarian, Library Services to Special Populations and Their Caregivers Committee Chair.
...their 2013 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing List:
Nineteen Children's Librarians pored over a wealth of new releases throughout the year, often with the help of the children in their branches, and have selected a delicious sampling of stories for you to peruse. Enjoy this snapshot of the creativity and artistry to be found in books being published for preschoolers on up through sixth grade.
(via Betsy, naturally)
A quick, down and dirty, overview of shared writing and how it might support your students.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~Nelson Mandela
I remember being in my high school English class and reading a story about apartheid. I’d never heard of this before! I’d never read about it in my history classes and, if this were real wouldn’t it be in my history book? Such a systematic and oppressive regime would be important enough to be in the history books if it were real and South Africa was a real place so, I went home and asked my dad if apartheid really existed in South Africa. I was stunned as much in the fact that it existed as I was in the fact that I’d never learned about it before.
Even today, literature introduces issues related to social justice throughout the world that young people never learn about in history or geography classes. Teens will probably be more likely to read the actual words of Nelson Mandela or Paulo Friere in an English class than in a history class.
They may also be more likely to learn cultural similarities and differences through literature. When studying different themes in English class, including writings by Asians and Native Americans will help students realize we’re all in this together. Choose good, authentic writing by African Americans or Latinos that relates directly to the topic being studied. That’s how I began learning about apartheid. Once I was aware of the conditions in South Africa, I paid more attention to news from this country.
And I learned about Nelson Mandela.
English teachers, librarians and parents can continue to introduce young people to South Africa using literature from this region.
This Thing Called the Future by J. L. Powers (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011 Fourteen-year-old Khosi’s mother wants her to get an education to break out of their South African shantytown, although she herself is wasting away from an untreated illness, while Khosi’s grandmother, Gogo, seeks help from a traditional Zulu healer.
Journey to Jo’burg by Beverly Naidoo (J.B. Lippinott, 1985) Separated from their mother by the harsh social and economic conditions prevalent among blacks in South Africa, thirteen-year-old Naledi and her younger brother make a journey of over 300 kilometers to find her in Johannesburg.
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