BHM Children’s Read Alouds: Day 2: Pink and Say

February 2 – Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

Genre: Non-Fiction. Oral History

Biography: Pinkus Aylee – Hero, enslaved man and soldier in Georgia, US. About 1840 – 1861

Historical Time Period: Civil War.

Geographical Relevance: Georgia.

Authenticity: The author and illustrator, Patricia Polacco, is the great great granddaughter of ‘Say’. Say is the man that Pinkus Aylee rescues from the hands of Confederate soldiers. The true story of Pinkus’ bravery has been orally passed down through Polacco’s family.

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco Originally published by Philomel 1994

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
Originally published by Philomel 1994

Author Patricia Polacco

Author Patricia Polacco

The book is potentially quite powerful in teaching children about white privilege. I haven’t had the opportunity to use it in the classroom  yet. Up until recently, I’ve taught Kindergarten and first grade, and I don’t find it appropriate for the early childhood classroom, as it is quite sad and gruesome in parts. I aim to incorporate it into the curriculum of my new third grade class, that I begin teaching tomorrow.

The Picture Book Pusher

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‘Tis the Season with Lucille Clifton and Patricia Polacco

Recommended holiday reads:

1. Everett Anderon’s Christmas Coming by Lucille Clifton. Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. Published by Henry Holt and Co. 1993. An owlet book. We read this book in the classroom, this past Friday before vacation.

ImageNow, this book is out of print, and selling for a small fortune on the Amazon market. I bought it for about $3.00, including shipping, this summer….because I KNEW the price would sky rocket, because that’s what’s been happening of late with invaluable picture books..(that’s what I’ve been trying to tell ya’ll). Anyways, if you nag the sellers on Amazon, the price should drop.

For example, back in February of 2012, I bought bell hooks’ out of print picture book, Skin Again, for $6.00 off of Amazon.Then, this past summer, I had a house flood, and the precious book was nearly destroyed. When I searched Amazon, and elsewhere online, for a replacement, the prices ranged from $65.00-$900. Hmmph. The sums of those hefty prices were not being pocketed by Ms. hooks, I can assure you that. Just another case of literature gentrification. I see it often in the #kidlit world. Anyhoo, I nagged every single dealer of Skin Again on Amazon, and stated that I wouldn’t pay more than $19.00 for it. All dealers refused to lower the price claiming they go by rankings blah dee blah. I began following the sales of it online. I also removed my praising blog posts of bell hooks’ picture books, in order to depopularize the book, as I had been the only blogger of hooks’ works for children, in the last year. The price finally dropped to the teens in November, and I bought a used copy for $18.00, from one of the sellers who originally listed it for $65.00.

So, I don’t recommend paying outlandish prices for necessary children’s literature. If the money was going into the hands of people in the community, then fine. I’d pay the small fortune. But it’s not, so I won’t. I just wait for sales to go down. GIVE US BACK OUR LITERATURE, I say.

ImageI prefer the vintage illustrations, by Evaline Ness, in the original 1971 publication of Clifton’s Everett Anderson’s Christmas Coming.  Take an inside look below:Image

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2. Three Wishes by Lucille Clifton. Illustrations by Michael Hays, Delacorte, 1992. It’s a New Year’s tale about friendship, loyalty, and faith. I plan to read this story in the classroom, on January 3rd, when the students return.

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The original Three Wishes was illustrated by Stephanie Douglas, published by Viking (New York, NY) 1976.

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4. The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco

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5. Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco

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I realize that I didn’t get into much, or any, description of what these beloved holiday stories entail. However, if you appreciate the authors I’ve chosen, and are moved by the illustrations, and can google a summary of the books, then I say that you’re in good shape to go discover more about these books on your own.

Happy 2014, everyone! Love greatly and read fervently.

– The Picture Book Pusher

K2 Read Alouds: Week 8: Lesser-Known Halloween Reads

Week of October 28 – November 1, 2013.

So this is what I plan on reading this week:

Monday:

Behind the Mask by Yangsook Choi

“Halloween is coming. “What are you going to be?” the children ask one another. Kimin says he will be his grandfather. “Going as an old man is not very scary,” they tease.  What the children don’t know is that Kimin’s grandfather was a Korean mask dancer.” – Choi

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Tuesday

Jenny Reen and the Jack Muh Lantern by Irene Smalls. Illustrated by Keinyo White

Once upon a time,…there was a time of great tears…In this hardest of hard times there was still joy because there were children, children with round cheeks and round curls. Such a child was Jenny Reen. – Smalls

Jenny Reen and the Jack Muh Lantern 1996 Published for Atheneum Books for Young Readers New York

Jenny Reen and the Jack Muh Lantern
1996
Published for Atheneum Books for Young Readers
New York

Wednesday

Picnic at Mudsock Meadow by Patricia Polacco

This was a Halloween that would go down in the annals of Mudsock Meadow. Not only had William shown uncommon bravery, but he had stopped, once and for all, the talk about Quicksand Bottoms. – Polacco

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Thursday

The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg.

Out of a moonlit sky a dark cloaked figure came spinning to the ground. The witch, along with her tired broom, landed beside a small white farmhouse, the home of a lonely widow named Minna Shaw. – Van Allsburg

What I like about this story is, EVERYTHING, but more specifically, I like that the “dark cloaked figure”d witch is a good, and beautiful character. A symbol of admiration rather than fear.images-9

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Friday

The Loud Book by Deborah Underwood. Illustrated by Renata Liwska.

I will read The Loud Book out of respect to the students’ anticipated sugar highs.

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Thanks for reading The Picture Book Pusher

Black History Taught in September & The 50th Anniversary of ‘I Have a Dream’

Illustration by Kadir Nelson 2012

Illustration by Kadir Nelson 2012

As we embark on the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s  delivery of his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and march again to Washington, on August 24th, 2013, I like to think my young students will be having discussions about these events in their homes, with their families, during these last weeks of summer before the school year.  Goodness knows they’ll be having them with me in the classroom, come September.

I Have A Dream by Martin Luther King. Illustrations by Kadir Nelson.  Schwartz & Wade 2012

I Have A Dream by Martin Luther King. Illustrations by Kadir Nelson.
Schwartz & Wade 2012

We Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin by Larry Dane Brimner

We Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin
by Larry Dane Brimner

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco Published by Philomel 1994

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
Published by Philomel 1994

Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison

Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison

I, Too, Am America By Langston Hughes Illustrated by Bryan Collier Simon & Schuster 2012

I, Too, Am America
By Langston Hughes
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Simon & Schuster 2012

Ellington Was Not A Street By Ntozake Shange Illustrated by Kadir Nelson Simon & Schuster 2004

Ellington Was Not A Street
By Ntozake Shange
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Simon & Schuster 2004

The 50th anniversary of ‘I Have A Dream’ provides me with a perfect “excuse” to begin our American history lessons in September (through June), rather than the too-easily-embraced-custom of teaching it only from February 1st – 28th. Who can object to my lessons beginning in September? After all, I am a Dreamkeeper, and tomorrow’s march on Washington makes The Civil Rights Movement a current event.  The Civil Rights Movement is now.

Thanks for reading The Picture Book Pusher

New England Mobile Book Fair

My dear, long time, friend just had a baby girl. Tomorrow, I am going to meet Sarah for the first time. For a baby gift, I chose the best gift: books. I purchased 5 new board books, earlier today, from New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton, MA. They also have a clearance room with oodles of titles to choose from.

I would share the titles of the board books, I bought but I had the books wrapped at the store, so I can’t remember them now. Typical me. 🙂  Well, I remember one title: Please, Baby, Please by Spike and Tonya Lee. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

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But wait….my story does not end here, of course I couldn’t help myself from purchasing books for my classroom. Don’t worry, I got them in the clearance room, so my wallet is still swollen.

I purchased:

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$2.98

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$1.98

$1.98

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Hardcover $8.98
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$1.98
So those are my purchases. Now, I must be honest. I am not a huge fan of New England Mobile Book Fair, other than their discount room.  I have never had a warm and fulfilling interaction with one of the staff. They usually have never heard of the titles that I ask about, yet they work at what some view as the Mecca of bookstores. Hmmph. My least favorite memory of New England Mobile Book Fair was when I asked if they carried Happy to Be Nappy by bell hooks.  At first, they hadn’t heard of it. Then when they looked it up in their system, they said that they do not carry it because it is offensive. After that comment I asked them if they also do not carry Country Bunny and the Little Golden Shoes because it is also offensive. They said, that of course they carry that beloved tale. Double hmmph!! Therefore, I have made a rule for myself. I will only purchase from their discount room, because those books are already priced out, and when I purchase them, the title does not register in their system. Does that make sense?
Thank you for reading The Picture Book Pusher. Now I must focus on watching this game –  USA women’s basketball team plays for the gold against France.

A Picture Book A Day: Day 12 Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

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Pink and Say Written and Illustrated by Patricia Polacco

Published: Philomel Books, Penguin Young Readers Group, NY. for Babushka, Inc. 1994

I borrowed this book from the South End branch of Boston Public Library. The librarian recommended it to me. She said it was a must read. She was correct.

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This is a necessary piece of non-fiction for any age classroom. Although I have to be wise on how I present it to my young audience. It has a couple of gruesome deaths in it. I look forward to using it to raise consciousness in my young students on the concepts of  ‘privilege’ and ‘social blindness’, and ‘oppression’. I shall blog in depth at a later date. I look forward to adding main character Pinkus to my American History curriculum, so my students “will always remember Pinkus Aylee.”

Thank you for reading The Picture Book Pusher