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1. Weekend Links: The Importance of Reading Aloud & The Last Day on the Giveaways!

Welcome to Weekend Links!

I don’t know about you but summer is has been crazy-busy so far! We have mountains of books to read, travel plans galore and I am enjoying yet another batch of baby fox kits who have taken up residence at my house. As always I am determined to provide booklists, activities and giveaways to keep the whole family pulling books from shelves and stories from pages during the lazy, hazy days of summer.

Speaking of giveaways, did you know I have TWO wonderful ones that will be ending TODAY??!! (6/21)

One is a Linda Sue Park Booklist Giveaway. Linda Sue Park has written many children’s books, many of which one lucky reader will win! You can view the booklist and giveaway HERE.

Linda Sue Park book giveaway

The second giveaway is my Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series Secret Garden Booklist giveaway. More chances to win great books! Read the booklist and view the giveaway HERE.

The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series

I have another awesome giveaway running right now that will end June 27th. Again, this booklist and giveaway is based on yet another amazing female children’s literature author. Pam Muñoz Ryan is the author of more that thirty books for young readers, including four beloved novels, Riding Freedom, Esperanza Rising, Becoming Naomi León, and Paint the Wind, which collectively have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpré Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. She lives in Southern California with her family. You can visit her at www.PamMunozRyan.com.

ONE winner will receive a copy of  each of these Pam Munoz Ryan books: Esperanza Rising, Echo, Riding Freedom, Becoming Naomi Leon. The Dreamer and Paint the Wind. Giveaway begins Wednesday June 17th and ends June 27th, 2015. You can enter the giveaway HERE.

pam munoz ryan collage

All three are great opportunities to get some wonderful books into the hands of your young readers.

Reading at any age is soooo important. I recently found some great articles that reinforce this fact so I will post them here for you to read and enjoy:

Why Keep Reading Aloud in the 5th Grade? Monique at Living Life and Learning offers up a great perspective.
Reading Aloud

@NerdyBookClub Parenting, Bonding, and Reading Aloud by Jenny Houlroyd

@NerdyBookClub Reading Aloud by Debbie Shoulders

TOP TEN Read-Aloud Books for Students with Special Needs by Aimee Owens

Slow Reading Family Style by…ME!

reading aloud

Read Aloud to Ignite a World of Possibility at Huffington Post

huff

Do you read aloud in your family? Which books are the best for reading aloud?

Looking for more ways to not only get your youngsters reading, but get them OUTSIDE as well? Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale for a limited time! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” More details HERE! http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

A Year in the Secret Garden

The post Weekend Links: The Importance of Reading Aloud & The Last Day on the Giveaways! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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2. Weekend Links: Discovering the Best BookLists of Summer for Kids

Welcome to Weekend Links!

I don’t know about you but summer is off-and-running at our house. We have mountains of books to read, travel plans galore and I am enjoying yet another batch of baby fox kits who have taken up residence at my house. As summer starts picking up steam, I want to do my part in providing booklists, activities and giveaways to keep the whole family pulling books from shelves and stories from pages.

Speaking of giveaways, did you know I have TWO wonderful ones running Right.Now??!! One is a Linda Sue Park Booklist Giveaway. Linda Sue Park has written many children’s books, many of which one lucky reader will win! You can view the booklist and giveaway HERE.

Linda Sue Park book giveaway

The second giveaway is my Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series Secret Garden Booklist giveaway. More chances to win great books! Read the booklist and view the giveaway HERE.

The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series

Here are more great booklists and links that I have discovered this week. Enjoy!

12 Empowering Children’s Books To Add To Little Girls’ Bookshelves


Superhero Summer Reading – a great booklist at Growing Book by Book

superhero booklist

ABC’s of American History: W is for George Washington from Thaleia at Something2Offer

Boston Massacre

Children’s Books about Ninjas, Samurai, and Karate – via Leanna at All Done Monkey

ninja
African Animals Yoga from Kids Yoga Stories that includes a wonderful resource list for teaching kids about Africa.

african-animals-yoga-for-kids
Three books for children that take bullying by the horns at Scroll.in

Three books for children that take bullying by the horns

50 Inspiring Children’s Books with a Positive Message « Positively Positive

50

Making a game out of science fiction for 8-12 year-olds from Zoe at Playing by the Book

sfbooks1
The Best Books to Read at the Breakfast Table from KCEdventures

breakfastbooktitle

What good booklists did you find this week?
Looking for a unique way to keep your kids busy this summer…and engaged with nature? The At-Home Summer Nature Camp eCurriculum is available for sale!

At Home Summer Nature Camp eCirriculum

 

This 8-week eCurriculum is packed with ideas and inspiration to keep kids engaged and happy all summer long. It offers 8 kid-approved themes with outdoor activities, indoor projects, arts & crafts, recipes, field trip ideas, book & media suggestions, and more. The curriculum, now available for download, is a full-color PDF that can be read on a computer screen or tablet, or printed out. Designed for children ages 5-11, it is fun and easily-adaptable for all ages!

nature camp Collage 3

The At-Home Summer Nature Camp eGuide is packed with ideas & inspiration to keep your kids engaged all summer long. This unique eCurriculum is packed with ideas & inspiration from a group of creative “camp counselors.” Sign up, or get more details, HERE

The post Weekend Links: Discovering the Best BookLists of Summer for Kids appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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3. The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series: Project Mulberry

Welcome to the second week of Book Jumper Summer Reading Series! This is my way of inspiring parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer!

The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series

Our summer reading program will be a combination of some really neat things. All of our protagonists are girls or women and most of our showcased authors are women as well. I will be offering up a combination of themed weeks, great novels, booklist giveaways, and blog post recaps so be sure and stop by to discover more wonderful ways have A Bookjumper Summer while Exploring Our World and Beyond!

This week I want to focus on the wonderful works of author Linda Sue Park. Earlier this week I shared some history about Linda Sue herself and reviewed her wonderful book A Long Walk to Water. We also have have a giveaway going on where one lucky winner will win FIVE Linda Sue Park books! More details HERE.

This week on Book-jumper Summer we’re celebrating the great works of one of my favorite authors Linda Sue Park. Project Mulberry is one of our favorite books. Anyone interested in growing silk worms? Have a look below to find out more about both the book Project Mulberry and the actual project. Enjoy !!

I was walking in the yard the other day and discovered that some how we have a volunteer mulberry tree. Well it’s just huge and it’s growing mulberries.

DSC_0108

For someone who walks their yard everyday I don’t really know how I missed this but I did. As the family began picking Mulberries, we were reminded of the most incredible story about a mulberry leaf, silkworm project written by Linda Sue Park (author of The Single Shard) called, Project Mulberry.

Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park

240 pages for Grades 4-7


Julia, a 7th grader who has just moved to Plainfield Illinois with her family is coming to terms with her new home and school environments. From the moment they meet, Julia and Patrick become best friends. Needing a project to enter in the State Fair, they ask Julia’s mom , who suggests raising silkworms. Julia refuses this idea at first because she is wanting something a little more American. Julia’s parents are Korean and she feels very self conscious about her asian heritage. Julia doesn’t want to be identified or labeled by her culture.

Finally, Julia accepts the project and reluctantly takes on the responsibilities which are needed to complete the project. Each unfolding step into the world of silkworms helps Julia to embrace her heritage and value her friendship with Patrick even more.

Woven into the story are the themes of racism, nature’s cycles, life and death, folk art, family relations, self-acceptance and sustainable farming. At the end of each chapter Julia, the main character, has a discussion with the author Linda Sue Park about the direction the story should take. It opens the door to the inside world of the writer’s process.

Something To Do

As we stood under our mulberry tree remembering this great story, we decided right then and there that we had to grow our own silkworms. I must admit to you that we are at the beginning of this process and are waiting for our little silkworm eggs to arrive. We promise to keep you updated on our progress.

Would you like to join us in growing silk worms? Just leave a comment below and let us know if you will share this experience with us.

Here’s where you can order the silkworms:

The Carolina Company has a silkworm farm kit.

Silkworm kit

They also offer silkworm eggs and food.

A few weeks ago I saw the most interesting TED talk about what they are now using silk for. It’s amazing and is being used in ways one could not even imagine. It is taking science and technology to a new level. This is a great video for kids probably age 8 and older.

Looking for more ways to not only get your youngsters reading, but get them OUTSIDE as well? Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale for a limited time! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” More details HERE.

A Year in The Secret Garden

The post The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series: Project Mulberry appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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4. The Book Jumper Summer Reading Series- Linda Sue Park Booklist Giveaway

Welcome to the second week of Book Jumper Summer Reading Series! This is my way of inspiring parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer!

The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series

Our summer reading program will be a combination of some really neat things. All of our protagonists are girls or women and most of our showcased authors are women as well. I will be offering up a combination of themed weeks, great novels, booklist giveaways, and blog post recaps so be sure and stop by to discover more wonderful ways have A Bookjumper Summer while Exploring Our World and Beyond!

This week I want to focus on the wonderful works of author Linda Sue Park.

A Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water

The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

A Single Shard

A Single Shard

In this Newbery Medal-winning book set in 12th century Korea, Tree-ear, a 13-year-old orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated — until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself — even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min’s work in the hope of a royal commission . . . even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.

When My Name Was Keoko

Linda Sue park

Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them—even their names—are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war.

The Kite Fighters

Linda Sue park

In a riveting narrative set in fifteenth-century Korea, two brothers discover a shared passion for kites. Kee-sup can craft a kite unequaled in strength and beauty, but his younger brother, Young-sup, can fly a kite as if he controlled the wind itself. Their combined skills attract the notice of Korea’s young king, who chooses Young-sup to fly the royal kite in the New Year kite-flying competition–an honor that is also an awesome responsibility. Although tradition decrees, and the boys’ father insists, that the older brother represent the family, both brothers know that this time the family’s honor is best left in Young-sup’s hands. This touching and suspenseful story, filled with the authentic detail and flavor of traditional Korean kite fighting, brings a remarkable setting vividly to life. AUTHOR’S NOTE.

Project Mulberry

Project Mulberry

Julia Song and her friend Patrick want to team up to win a blue ribbon at the state fair, but they can’t agree on the perfect project. Then Julia’s mother suggests they raise silkworms as she did years ago in Korea. The optimistic twosome quickly realizes that raising silkworms is a lot tougher than they thought. And Julia never suspected that she’d be discussing the fate of her and Patrick’s project with Ms. Park, the author of this book!

**some of these links are affiliate links

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Linda Sue Park

ONE winner will receive a copy of A Long Walk To Water, A Single Shard, The Kite Fighters, Project Mulberry and When My Name Keoko.  Giveaway begins June 10th, 2015

  • Prizing & samples  courtesy of Audrey Press
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of each of the above books.
  • Residents of USA only please.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter
  • One entry per household.
  • Staff and family members of Audrey Press are not eligible.
  • Grand Prize winner has 48 hours to claim prize
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on June 21st, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post The Book Jumper Summer Reading Series- Linda Sue Park Booklist Giveaway appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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5. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | December 2014

This month, Secrets of a Christmas Box, a fantasy novel where the Christmas Tree ornaments come to life once the family go to bed, is The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book.

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6. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | November 2014

This month we have some truly intelligent fiction for our middle grade readers that really are must-reads. The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book is a regular on the list: Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy, by Matthew Reinhart.

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7. Diversity – What does it mean for writers and young readers?

I’m thrilled to be back blogging after a stellar three-month summer hiatus. I completed the first draft to my contemporary YA, which is my MFA thesis. I attended a superb writer’s craft conference for the benefit of the non-profit Sierra … Continue reading

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8. My Writing and Reading Life: Anna Kang

Children notice and point out differences all the time, and it’s natural. But hopefully as we mature, we learn that all individuals are unique and that everyone is “different.”

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9. Linda Sue Park: The How of It: Making Every Word Count

Here's a fun fact about Linda Sue Park: She once was a contestant on jeopardy. Yes, she is that smart. Which is why this room is packed and ready to soak up her brilliance.

Linda Sue has written novels, picture books, and poetry for younger readers, including A Single Shard, winner of the 2002 Newbery Medal, and the New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water. Lin Oliver also introduces her as adorable, fun, and full of energy.

Stealing a note from Tim Gunn (from Project Runway), Linda Sue tells us, "Don't bore the editor."

We need to make every word count. But how do we do it? By using the tools of the writer's craft.

Linda Sue shows us photos of the many illustrators tools: brushes, paints, pencils, etc.




What do writers have?





WORDS

As writers, we all use the exact same tool. That's all we've got so we have to use those words to the their maximum potential.

Linda Sue speaks to those in the room who believe they have a submission-ready manuscript. When you think your work is submission ready, Linda Sue suggests putting it away. Not for hours, but for a month. Or even two.

When you pull it back out you can make it better still, but how?

Linda Sue shares many practical way to examine the words you're choosing. Here are a few:


  • Choose a scene in your manuscript that has a lot of dialogue in it. Rewrite it entirely in dialogue alone. Then go back in and reinsert only the narrative that is completely necessary. 
  • Choose a small section of your manuscript and put it all caps. Doing this can make you examine the words differently. 
  • Read your manuscript out loud. Linda Sue reads each manuscript (even novels) at least two times before she submits. Have someone read it out loud for you, especially if it's a picture book.

Words are everywhere right now. They have become one of our cheapest currencies, which makes it even more important for the words in our stories to be special.



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10. Diversity Panel: Linda Sue Park

Linda Sue Park
Linda Sue Park is the Newbery Award-winning author of
A SINGLE SHARD. A recent title, A LONG WALK TO WATER, is a New York Times bestseller, and her picture book XANDA'S PANDA PARTY received three starred reviews. She's a master of both forms.

In 2003, Linda Sue was asked by School Library Journal to list three children's books that had meant a lot to her when she was a child. One of the books had an African hero, one had an African American boy as a hero, and the third was set in India. It had been 40 years since she'd read them, but the came back to her immediately.

"What these books showed me was that you didn't have to be white to be a hero." 

Linda Sue thinks anybody can and should be able to write about anybody or anything. But not all viewpoints are created equal. "If you are a member of the minority group, you are intimate with the dominant culture," she said. "You live in it. The reverse isn't necessarily true."

To write about something, you need a "passionate, personal stake" in it. Study a culture deeply. Learn a language (one writer she knows has learned 14 languages in the course of his research). There might be months or years of research into the culture, where you immerse yourself in it. Good intentions don't go deep enough. Not researching enough demonstrates a lack of respect. "That is what you are doing if you are not putting the time and the work and the passion into the story you want to tell."

When we write incorrectly about cultures, people feel disrespected, and readers get wrong information in their heads—and sometimes this wrong information never comes out. 

Also, when it comes to the sales potential of books with non-white characters, Linda Sue doesn't buy the notion that non-white people aren't a viable market. If they're not reading, then they are a huge, untapped market.

"Go hire whoever marketed 'Dora the Explorer,'" she said.

She had a plea for people who've read a diverse book they like: Even if you can't buy it, tell a librarian you loved it. That librarian will buy it and tell others, and that will really help a book succeed.




Learn more about Linda Sue Park
Follow her on Twitter

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11. PaperTigers Interview with Award-Winning Author Linda Sue Park


 Continuing our theme of Water in Multicultural Children’s Books, new on the PaperTigers website is an interview with author Linda Sue Park, in which she talks to us about her novel A Long Walk to Water, awarded the 2011 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award in the Books for Older Children category. Here are a couple of snippets to whet your appetite:
 

But of course, hope alone is never enough. In my experience, smart choices and hard work are essential as well, and my stories reflect that. It’s up to young readers to decide whether those values become important to them too. Hope, smart choices, hard work—that’s a pretty good formula in my opinion.

The most common reaction from young readers is that they want to meet Salva. I’m always sorry to have to disappoint them—Salva is now living in South Sudan, and working so hard that he doesn’t have much time to visit the U.S. At the same time, I find this response from readers truly moving. So often the people they dream of meeting are movie stars or professional athletes or rock musicians, and it’s terrific that Salva is right up there on that list!

When Water for South Sudan puts in a well, the knock-on effect is staggering. [...] Most important of all, nearly every village that has received a well has started a school for the local children, who no longer have to spend their days fetching water. Clean water directly linked to education—that was a real eye-opener for me!

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12. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

The Toronto Librarians are on strike. There is no need to panic… Ahhhhhhhh! Failing to reach a labour agreement over the weekend 2,400 librarians went on strike. All 98 library branches across Toronto are close as of Monday. The library is asking borrowers to hold on to all checked out books and materials. No overdue [...]

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13. PaperTigers Themes ~ Water in Multicultural Children’s Books

Over the past few months the PaperTigers’ website has been focusing on  the theme of Water in Multicultural Children’s Books. If you haven’t visited the site lately do check it out and see what treasures we have compiled . Highlights include:

Interviews with:

Dutch photographer Taco Anema who tells us all about his project that took him around the world photographing children and water and resulted in his beautiful book Tales of Water.

Acclaimed author Linda Sue Park who talks with us about her award-winning book A Long Walk to Water.

The Illustrators’ Gallery which features the work of :

Acclaimed Indian artist Pulak Biswas.

Chinese artist Li Jian.

Water illustrations selected from previous PaperTigers Gallery features.

Personal Views:

A River of Stories: Water-Themed Stories for Multicultural Readers by Alice Curry (who we had a lovely chance meeting with at the 2012 Bologna Children’s Book Fair)

My Water Story by Deepa Balsavar

Book of the Month:

One Arm Point Remote Community School,
Our World: Bardi Jaawi, Life at Ardiyooloon

Magabala Books, 2010.

A stunning, encyclopaedic book put together by the children from the One Arm Point Remote Community School at Ardiyooloon in Western Australia, along with their School Culture Team, School Staff, and Community Elders, as well as others from the local community.

Be sure also to pay a visit to the PaperTigers Outreach site a

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14. PaperTigers’ Global Voices feature with award winning author Holly Thompson (USA/Japan)~ Part 2

English-language Asia-set Children’s and YA Fiction ~ by Holly Thompson

Part 2 of 3 (read Part 1 here)

Some years back as we settled into our bicultural family life with young children here in Japan, although we were surrounded by books in Japanese and took full advantage of Japan’s healthy picture book and middle-grade market, we discovered that finding English-language reading material to support our bilingual children was no easy task. Because our children attended Japanese schools, English education happened in our home, and we needed a steady supply of English-language books. But libraries in Japan stock few English-language books, and bookstores here carry very few and at hefty mark-ups, so whenever friends or family visited from the U.S. they brought books to us. Returning from a trip back to the States, our luggage was always heavy with books. We book-swapped with families in Japan, we ordered from Scholastic with our English-after school group, and we pounced on book sale tables at international school fairs. At last, Amazon Japan with free and quick delivery of affordable overseas books came to the rescue.

Always on the lookout for books relating to our lives while raising our bilingual children, we soon became aware of a lack of English-language children’s books that reflect Japan. English-language picture books set in Japan were rare, and those that existed, we discovered, tended toward folktales and nonfiction. Where were the day-to-day stories that reflected the landscapes and people and value systems surrounding us? Where was Japan?

We treasured our Allen Say books, especially Kamishibai Man and Grandfather’s Journey.

We read and reread the bilingual Grandpa’s Town by Takaaki Nomura. We enjoyed folktale retellings like The Seven Gods of Luck by David Kudler and Yoshi’s Feast by Kimiko Kajikawa. and biographical works like Cool Melons—Turn to Frogs by Matthew Gollub. All excellent, but we were discouraged that such English-language titles set in Japan were few and far between.

Searching for other Asian cultures in English-language picture books yielded similar results—folktales, nonfiction and concept books, but few fictional stories set in Asia.

As the children grew older, we came to realize that even less common than English-language picture books set in Asia were English-language middle-grade and YA novels set in Japan and Asia. What we found was mostly historical fiction. Of course we read and loved Korea-set historical novels by Linda Sue Park, Japan-set novels by 0 Comments on PaperTigers’ Global Voices feature with award winning author Holly Thompson (USA/Japan)~ Part 2 as of 5/23/2012 10:49:00 AM

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15. PaperTigers 10th Anniversary: Top 10 Multicultural Children’s Books about Food – Double Helpings from Grace Lin and Jama Rattigan

We are extra lucky today as not one but two experts have concocted a gourmet feast of their Top 10 favourite multicultural stories about food.  It seems fitting that authors Grace Lin and Jama Rattigan should each select food as their theme, since they have both written stories revolving around tasty recipes – as you will discover by looking at each of their menus.  In fact, each has put a book by the other on her menu, while unaware that the other was cooking up their own recipe, so it seems fitting that we should bring you the whole spread for you to gorge on at a single sitting – and it’s also interesting to see which books come up as double portions…

Jama Rattigan is the author of Dumpling Soup illustrated by Lilian Hsu-Flanders (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 1998);  The Woman in the Moon: A Story from Hawai’i illustrated by Carla Golembe (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 1996); and Truman’s Aunt Farm illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Sandpiper, 1996).  As well as her website (check out the recipe for Dumpling Soup), Jama also hosts the truly delectable Jama’s Alphabet Soup, a must-visit blog for anyone interested in children’s books, food, or both at the same time.

Grace Lin‘s latest book is Starry River of the Sky (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012), the much-awaited companion novel to Newbery Honor Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009).  She has written and illustrated many books for a wide age-range of children, including The Ugly Vegetables (Charlesbridge Publishing, 1999) and Dim Sum for Everyone (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2001); and picture books she has illustrated include Where on Earth is my Bagel? by Frances and Ginger Park (Lee & Low Books, 2001).  You can read our 2010 interview with Grace here, and view some of her beautiful artwork in our Gallery here and here.  And do check out Grace’s website and blog, where she has a fantastic giveaway on offer in celebration of the launch of Starry River of the Sky.

Top 10 Favorite Multicultural Picture Books about Food by Jama Rattigan

Whether it’s a big platter of noodles, warm-from-the-oven flatbread, fried dumplings, or a steamy bowl of Ugly Vegetable Soup, there’s nothing tastier than a picture book about food. You eat with your eyes first, then step into the kitchens or sit at the tables of friends and family from faraway places, all of whom seem to agree that love is the best seasoning for any dish, and food tastes best when it is happily shared. These tasty tales always make me say, “More, please!”

~ Apple Pie Fourth of July by Janet S. Wong and Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Harcourt, 2002)

~ Aunty Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic by Ginnie Lo and Beth Lo (Lee & Low, 2012)

~ Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park and Ho Baek Lee (Clarion, 2005)

~ Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore and Kristi Valiant (Shen’s Books, 2009)

~ Duck for Turkey Day by Jacqueline Jules and Kathryn Mitter (Albert Whitman, 2009)

~ Hiromi’s Hands by Lynne Barasch (Lee & Low, 2007)

~ Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji by F. Zia and Ken Min (Lee & Low, 2011)

~ The Have a Good Day Café by Frances Park and Ginger Park, illustrated by Katherine Potter (Lee & Low, 2005)

~ The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin (Charlesbridge, 1999)

~ Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto and Ed Martinez (Putnam, 1993)

 

 

My Top Ten Food-Themed Multicultual Books by Grace Lin

In my family instead of saying hello, we say, “Have you eaten yet?” Eating and food has always been a successful way to connect us to culture, familiar as well as exotic–perhaps because it’s so enjoyable! So these books about food can be an appetizer to another country, a comfort food of nostalgia or a delicious dessert of both. Hen hao chi!

~ Hiromi’s Hands by Lynne Barasch (Lee & Low, 2007)

~ Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes, illustrated by Sanjay Patel (Chronicle Books, 2012)

~ Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park,illustrated Ho Baek Lee (Clarion, 2005)

~ How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman, illustrated by Allan Say (Sandpiper, 1987)

~ Apple Pie Fourth of July by Janet Wong, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Harcourt, 2002)

~ Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley, illustrated by Peter Thornton (Carolrhoda Books, 1992)

~ Yoko by Rosemary Wells (Hyperion, 1998)

~ Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic by Ginnie and Beth Lo (Lee & Low, 2012)

~ Peiling and the Chicken-Fried Christmas by Pauline Chen (Bloomsbury, 2007)

~ Dumpling Soup by Jama K. Rattigan, illustrated by Lillian Hsu Flanders (Little, Brown, 1998)

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16. Best Kids Stories – December 2013

Best Selling Kids’ Books & New Releases

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 1, 2012

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review and the most coveted new releases and bestsellers.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

20 of the Best Kids Christmas Books

Oliver Jeffers on Writing, Illustrating, and Bookmaking

Christmas Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child’s Development

20 Sites to Improve Your Child’s Literacy


THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

Pandora the Curious (Goddess Girls)

By Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Ages 8-12

Huggy Kissy

By Leslie Patricelli

Ages 1-3

The Twilight Saga White Collection

By Stephenie Meyer

Ages 14 and up

The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 5: Trust No One

By Linda Sue Park

Ages 9-12

Deadly Little Lessons

By Laurie Faria Stolarz

Ages 12-17


THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

This Is Not My Hat

by Jon Klassen

Ages 4-8

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

By Eric Litwin

Ages 4-8

Llama Llama Time to Share

By Anna Dewdney

Ages 3-5

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

By Sherri Duskey Rinker (Author), Tom Lichtenheld (Illustrator)

Ages 4-8

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

by Ian Falconer

(Ages 3-7)

_______
CHAPTER BOOKS

“Who Could That Be at This Hour?”

By Lemony Snicket

Ages 9-12

LEGO Ninjago: Character Encyclopedia

by DK Publishing

Ages 6-12

Lincoln’s Last Days: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

by Bill O’Reilly

Ages 10-15

Wonder

by R.J. Palacio

Ages 8-12

Insurgent (Divergent)

by Veronica Roth

Ages 14 and up

_______

PAPERBACK BOOKS

Divergent

by Veronica Roth

Ages 14 and up

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

Ages 14 and up

The Book Thief The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Ages 14 and up

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

Ages 12 and up

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

Ages 12 and up

_______

SERIES BOOKS

Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset Hunger Games Trilogy

By Suzanne Collins

Ages 12 and up

Dork Diaries

By Rachel Renee Russell

Ages 9-12

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Box of BooksDiary of a Wimpy Kid

By Jeff Kinney

Ages 9 to 12

The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries

by Rick Riordan

(Ages 10-14)

Matched Trilogy

By Ally Condie

Ages 14-17

This information was gathered from the New York Times Best Sellers list, which reflects the sales of books from books sold nationwide, including independent and chain stores. It is correct at the time of publication and presented in random order. Visit: www.nytimes.com.

Original article: Best Kids Stories – December 2013

©2012 The Childrens Book Review. All Rights Reserved.

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17. Weaving Currents

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18. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | September 2013

The best selling middle grade books in this list were gathered from the New York Times Best Sellers list, which reflects the sales of books from books sold nationwide, including independent and chain stores.

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19. X Marks the Spot (Part 3)

 Okay, y'all, we've talked about the catalyst of a

story: Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE.

So now I pick up where we left off.

The catalyst might also be situational; that is, a situation is presented

that grounds the reader in the story and reveals what the story is about. 

Sometimes the author chooses to ground the reader in character and setting before getting into the action. 

In A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park, the catalyst doesn’t come until the second chapter. 

The main character is Tree-ear, a poor orphan boy who lives under a bridge with Crane-man. Park uses the first chapter to set up the story: the main characters, the setting, the time-period, the backstory. 

But the reader doesn’t yet know what the story is about. 

By Chapter Two, we have learned about Tree-ear’s fascination with potters, and, in particular, with Min, the most brilliant potter in the village. 

When Tree-ear accidentally damages one of Min’s belongings on page 18, Tree-ear asks the potter, “Could I not work for you as payment?” 
 
Now the reader is beginning to figure out what the story is about. 

On the next page, Min answers, “Yes, all right.” 


We are finished with backstory; we are finished with the setup. 

The action of the story is set in motion. 

Whether your catalyst is a specific action (an inciting incident), a piece of information revealed, or a situation, it should come as early in the story as possible.

Repeat after me: The catalyst should come as early in the story as possible.

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20. Xander's Panda Party: Linda Sue Park & Matt Phelan

Book: Xander's Panda Party
Author: Linda Sue Park (@LindaSuePark)
Illustrator: Matt Phelan (@MattPhelanDraws)
Pages: 40
Age Range: 4-8

Xander's Panda Party, by Linda Sue Park, is, as you might expect, a picture book about a panda named Xander who wants to throw a party. It's also about inclusiveness and about battling loneliness. 

Xander wants to have a rip-roaring panda party. But this turns out to be a bit tricky, as he is the only panda in the zoo. So he expands his idea to invite all of the bears. But it turns out that Koala is actually a marsupial. He doesn't want to leave her out, so Xander has to expand the party to encompass all mammals. But then Rhinoceros wants to bring his bird, and so on, and so on, until everyone at the zoo is invited to the bash. Xander's generosity of spirit is rewarded at the end, when a very special new friend arrives at the zoo. 

Park's text is poetic, using lots of rhyme without being sing-songy. Like this:

"But Xander was the only panda. Just one panda at the zoo.
Xander sat and chewed bamboo. He changed his plans and point of view."

Doesn't that just beg to be read aloud?  And this:

"Xander's party preparations took great pains and perspiration.
"The menu needs some taste sensations, plus the proper vegetation!""

Delightful! This is a book that parents will be able to read over and over again, because the cadence is so enjoyable. There are also plenty of strong vocabulary words, like "congregating" and "fidgeted." 

The message of inclusiveness, while certainly present, is surrounded by the gentle humor of the story, such that it doesn't feel overwhelming. I like that it's not always obvious to Xander that he should keep expanding his party. He really struggles with the decision each time. This having to work to decide to do the right thing will certainly make the book resonate more with young readers. 

As rendered in ink and watercolor by Matt Phelan, Xander is adorable. His loneliness at the start of the book is palpable. His joy at the end will bring a smile to any reader's face. The other animals are sketched in, interesting though not quite realistic, but the focus remains on Xander. My favorite page is one filled with small vignettes, as Xander races about the zoo, inviting other creatures to his party, leaving a trail of colored envelopes behind. 

It sounds a bit trite to say that a picture book is heart-warming. But what can I say? Xander's Panda Party is heart-warming, entertaining, and eminently read-aloudable. It is not to be missed. 

Publisher: Clarion Books (@HMHKids
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

FTC Required Disclosure:

This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 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

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21. COMINGS & GOINGS: The Rochester Children’s Book Festival, November 16th

I’ve always heard great things about the Rochester Children’s Book Festival, but never got invited. I tried to weasel an invitation a few years back (clever Cynthia DeFelice reference), but that went nowhere. Finally, at last, I wore ‘em down. Good thing, too, because I’m hoping to promote my SCARY TALES series as well as, you know, meet some kindred, book-loving spirits. So if you are near the area — a teacher, a librarian, or merely a stalker — please stop by and say hello.

Some of the many authors & illustrators who’ll be there: MJ & Herm Auch, Julie Berry, Michael Buckley, Peter Catalanotto, Bruce Coville, Cynthia DeFelice, Jeff Mack, Daniel Mahoney, Matt McElligott, Linda Sue Park, Matt Phelan, Robin Pulver, Jane Yolen, Paul O. Zelinsky, and more.

Holy crap! What a list of luminaries! My knees are sweating already. I better pack a clean shirt.

I’m looking forward to it, with thanks to my publisher, the kind folks at Macmillan, for putting me up with a family of Armenian immigrants at a nearby trailer park for the weekend. I just hope they remember to roll out the red carpet. Remember, I’ll only eat the blue M & M’s.

Happily, the event places me in close proximity to my oldest son, Nick, who attends Geneseo College. And by “attends” I mean, I certainly hope so!

Over Halloween, he and some friends decided to go as “Dads.” I functioned in an advisory capacity, the content of which he politely ignored. My big idea was to get a Darth Vader helmet and cape, then pull on one of those t-shirts that reads: “WORLD’S GREATEST DAD!”

Because, you know, irony!

Anyway, check it out. Nick is the one in shorts, pulled up white socks, bad mustache, and “Lucky Dad” hat. Hysterical, right?

Lastly, hey, if you happen to be in Elmira, NY, on November 6th, or Richmond, VA, on November 13, you can catch a lively, fast-paced musical based on my book, Jigsaw Jones #12: The Case of the Class Clown.

I did get to see it a few years ago, with a knot of dread in my stomach, and came away relieved and impressed. Everyone involved did a great job and, to be honest, the story is sweet, too.

Here’s the info on Richmond, VA (where, coincidentally, I’ll be visiting middle schools in early December, mostly giving my patented “Bystander/Anti-Bullying/Author ” presentation. Anyway, the info I promised:

Families, elementary schools and preschools are encouraged to make reservations soon for performances of a children’s show.

A 55-minute performance of “Jigsaw Jones and the Case of the Class Clown” will be performed at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at Civic Hall Performing Arts Center in Richmond.

The show is based on a children’s mystery series written by James Preller. Theodore “Jigsaw” Jones and his friend, Mila, are investigating who’s playing practical jokes. It includes music and humor.

“Jigsaw Jones” is presented by Arts Power, a professional theater company touring the nation.

Admission is $2 per student because a grant from the Stamm Koechlein Family Foundation is helping offset the cost for Civic Hall’s Proudly Presenting Series educational programming.

Teachers and chaperones are admitted free.

For Elmira, click here or call: 607-733-5639 x248 (and tell ‘em Jimmy sent ya!)

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22. What Does Bunny See? A Book of Colors Plus 6 Easy Color Activities for Kids



Teaching young children about colors can be fun if you get creative! Today I'm sharing a cute bunny-themed book of colors, plus 6 easy color activities for kids.


What Does Bunny See? by Linda Sue Park and pictures by Maggie Smith


Follow bunny along the garden path as she discovers a rainbow of flowers. Since the text is written in rhyme, you can even prompt your child to guess the next color before you turn the page. With its vibrant illustrations and adorable character, babies and toddlers will enjoy learning from this book. 

Be sure to follow up this story with one of these super simple color activities.

  

Repetition is one of the best ways for young children to learn new concepts, and presenting new concepts in different ways and in different contexts helps with the transfer of knowledge 
from one situation to another.

 

6 easy color activities for kids

1. Play "I Spy" with colors. "I spy something blue."

2. Sing a song about colors. "Spaghetti sauce is red, spaghetti sauce is red...I can think of lots of things that are the color red." Then try other objects and colors. 

3. Do the laundry. Sort the items by color {this is a great math skill builder too}.

4. Take a walk outside. Ask your child, "What do you see?" If he says "tree" - expand on that and respond, "Yes, a tree with green leaves and a brown trunk."

5. Create. Draw pictures with crayons, markers, or finger paints and name the colors as you go along.

6. Get moving. Play a game of tag by asking your child to run (or gallop, skip, or tip toe) to something of a particular color. Once they find and tag it, move on to another color.

If you are interested in trying a color mixing activity, check out this post.



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23. Linda Sue Park: The Pre-#LA14SCBWI Interview by Martha Brockenbrough

Check out Newbery Award-Winning and Best-Selling Author Linda Sue Park's interview with Team Blog's Martha Brockenbrough.


Linda Sue shares how research revs up her engine and tells us about the best piece of writing advice she's ever gotten - and how that's the secret to her process!

The SCBWI Summer Conference is almost sold-out, but you can still register and be there for all the inspiration, opportunity, business, craft and community it offers! You can find out all the details here.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee


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24. A Preview of the #LA14SCBWI Diversity Panel

I connected with panel moderator Suzanne Morgan Williams to get the scoop:



Whether or not you're able to attend the sold-out SCBWI Summer Conference that starts this Friday, you can be part of the online river of information and inspiration by visiting The Official SCBWI Conference Blog and following our conference hashtag, #la14scbwi, on twitter. Oh, and by watching videos like the one above!

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

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25. The Diversity Panel Begins!

The Diversity Panel, from Right to Left: Moderator Suzanne Morgan Williams, Linda Sue Park,  Meg Medina, Lamar Giles, Sharon Flake and Adriana Dominguez

0 Comments on The Diversity Panel Begins! as of 8/1/2014 10:36:00 PM
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