K2 Read Alouds: Week 10: Eboné Tales

Week of November 18-22.

Monday

We had a field trip to the Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary on Monday. One of our activities was to paint a mural on recycled paper, using bits of nature  to paint our strokes rather than bristled brushes. There was a book on a bench. So I read it to the children while they created our mural. The book was The Color Box by Dayle Ann Dodds. Illustrated by Giles Laroche.

The-Color-Box-Dodds-Dayle-Ann-9780316188203

Tuesday

Eboné tale, The Girl Who Spun Gold by Virginia Hamilton. Illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon. The children asked if we could act out this story sometime. So I’ll have to fit it into the curriculum at some point, to appease the budding actors.

The Girl Who Spun Gold By Virginia Hamilton

The Girl Who Spun Gold
By Virginia Hamilton

Illustration by Leo & Diane Dillon for Virginia Hamilton's The Girl Who Spun Gold

Illustration by Leo & Diane Dillon for Virginia Hamilton’s The Girl Who Spun Gold

Wednesday

The Science teacher read the students a story, but I don’t know which one. Though, I’m sure it was awesome because our Science teacher is pretty awesome.

 Thursday and Friday

Eboné tale, Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life by Jerdine Nolen. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

We’ve begun creating miniature furniture for Hewitt, in the classroom. The kids have begun learning to sew as well. Thus far, the protagonist, Hewitt, has three hand-sewn pillows to rest his petite head on beds of plastic crate pieces and feathers. Photos to come.

Hewitt-Andersons-Great-Big-Life-Paperback-P9781442460355

 

In the Listening Center

I picked up Nikki Giovanni’s Hip Hop Speaks to Children book & CD, for a steal at Rodney’s Used Bookstore in Cambridge.

hiphopcoverThanks for reading The Picture Book Pusher.

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K2 Read Alouds: Week 2

Monday

The students so enjoyed having our principal come in and read Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino. Illustrated by Steven Kellogg

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Tuesday and Wednesday

So many teaching moments in John Kilaka’s The Amazing Tree. The children were highly engaged in this story, and had so much to say about it that we read it the following day too. I will be definitely using this book again with the students.

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Thursday

The art teacher chose Thursday’s read aloud, Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson, to introduce the day’s art lesson. I wish I had some of their drawings to show you here, because the students did incredibly well with following the art teacher’s lead, and incorporating the ‘coloring-in’ technique that I had taught them the previous Tuesday.

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Friday

One by Kathryn Otoshi. This treasure of a book will also be used throughout the year. Mindful anti-bullying allegory at its finest. We are already saying to each other, “What would One do?” and “Let’s be number One. Okay?”

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In the Listening Center

Dr. Seuss’ books from last week stayed in the center, and I added some other great reads that included an audio CD of the story with the book. Other authors, take note, of how beneficial and appreciated an included book-on-cd is for teachers buying a picture book. Shout out to the following authors, who’s stories were able to join the ranks in the Listening Center:

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

Queen of the Scene by Queen Latifah Illustrated by Frank Morrison

Queen of the Scene by Queen Latifah
Illustrated by Frank Morrison

Where in the World is Away? by Michael Franti. Illustrated by Ben Hodson. 2012

Where in the World is Away? by Michael Franti. Illustrated by Ben Hodson. 2012

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

My purpose is to create a mirror for the reader to see themselves, to create a light for people to see themselves in the characters, pictures, and stories. So they resonate.

–   Award winning author and illustrator, Kadir Nelson, speaking on a panel entitled ‘Why Picture Books Matter’, at  The Boston Book Festival, October 27th, 2012.

My Joys and Pains at Boston’s Book Festival 2012


JOYS:

I met author and illustrator Kadir Nelson. He  spoke on a panel entitled, Why Picture Books Matter, with authors Anna Dewdney, and Harry Bliss; moderated by Leonard Marcus.   During the panel, he spoke about his uncle being one of his earliest mentors, and about being honest in your work. I took notes.

Let me transcribe the most relevant words, from my notes, for you below:

“Be present in your work because kids live in the moment, so as soon as you’re not in the present, you’re not being authentic.” – Kadir Nelson, BBF, October 27th, 2012.

“My purpose is to create a mirror for the reader to see themselves, to create a light for people to see themselves in the characters, pictures, and stories. So they resonate.” –   Kadir Nelson, BBF, October 27th, 2012.

“Be honest in yourself and in your books. Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.” –  Anna Dewdney , BBF, October 27th, 2012.

On Developing Empathy in Children via picture books: “Children should see themselves, feel better about themselves, and the world they live in, feel humanized.”  –  Anna Dewdney , BBF, October 27th, 2012.

Panel information can be found here: http://bostonbookfest.org/bookfest/schedule_detail/schedule_why_picture_books_matter/

Although I have many of Kadir’s titles in my classroom, I didn’t bring any of them with me to the BBF. So of course, I had to buy two additional copies of Heart and Soul, for him to sign. I bought one for a colleague, and another for…The Picture Book Pusher.

This book is so appropriately titled. When I hold it to my chest, my heart thumps. My soul is affirmed when I read his words, because he uses the same language that I do in the classroom with my students.

    When my granddaddy took his freedom, he was a young man. – Kadir Nelson, Heart and Soul. Chapter 6. Page 47.

Oil painting by Kadir Nelson for Heart and Soul. Page 38

Although, I admit, I don’t know why the author uses the word Indian to refer to Native Americans so prevalently in this book. Perhaps I will send him a direct message on Twitter, and ask.

“About one hundred thousand Indians were either swindled out of their lands by treaties the government didn’t honor or made to leave at gunpoint and marched hundreds of miles to live out in the middle of Oklahoma. ”  – Kadir Nelson, Heart and Soul. Chapter 6. Page 48.

I also purchased Kadir’s latest book, I Have a Dream, an illustrated picture book of Dr. King’s original “I Have a Dream” speech.  The book also comes with an audio CD of Dr. King’s original speech.


Ending just last week, Kadir’s oil painted illustrations from Heart and Soul were on exhibit in the gallery at The Society of Illustrators in New York, NY.  You can read more about the exhibit, and view paintings here: http://societyillustrators.org/The-Museum/2012/Kadir-Nelson/Heart-and-Soul—The-Story-of-America-and-African-Americans.aspx

If you are not familiar with Kadir Nelson’s breath taking, soul-stimulating paintings, then you can check out his web page: http://www.kadirnelson.com/

PAINS:

Hmmm. Well, let me say that I was not expecting the kinds of pains that I encountered this past Saturday at the Boston Book Festival, in Copley Square. I have four pains actually. They are below; compliments of Barefoot Books, Inc.

            

The Terrible Chenoo, The Beeman, The Boy Who Grew Flowers, and Ruby’s Sleepover are four, recently published, picture books that I will not be using in my classroom; even though I purchased them with the expectation that they were works of accurate and relevant literature. I will blog in greater detail, regarding their lack of authenticity and mindfulness, in a separate post. I’ll give you a hint, however, as to why they don’t meet my standard – because they completely contradict the intentions of the authors mentioned above, from the Why Picture Books Matter panel.

“Be honest in yourself and in your books. Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.” –  Anna Dewdney , BBF, October 27th, 2012.

Anna Dewdney is the author of the delightful Llama Llama series.

Thank you 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.