Thursday, March 19, 2020

22 Asian American #ownvoices Picture Books for #classroombookaday

With everything happening and changing quickly with the concerns around Covid-19 and most schools being closed, I wanted to do some posts recommending picture books that you could record to share as virtual read alouds for your students (sharing in password-protected/closed groups or unlisted on YouTube preferably) to keep your #classroombookaday community going...if you are in an area where all families have access and the school supported providing devices if necessary. If not, then these recommendations would be good for you to read and add to your list for when we are back in school again. 

Most publishers have provided temporary open permissions during this time, but please see their sites for the complete detailed requirements before you record. Kate Messner is keeping an updated list of them here.& SLJ has an updated list here.
*Starred titles are from publishers who I have not yet seen a permissions statement from for video read alouds.

As I was contemplating how to focus this recommendation list, I saw this tweet from Kate, which clarified it for me. *Edited 3/19 4:45pm: I was called in on the fact that using Asian instead of Asian American is not the best way to word this as it "others" and erases the American identity that Asian Americans have. I have corrected each of my uses of the term & share to make my learning transparent and to help others learn also.

One of the ways I use my #classroombookaday choices intentionally is to help combat racism, bias, and stereotypes. What better chance than now to make this impact by featuring books from Asian American creators? 

March #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on At the Mountain's Base with Author Traci Sorell & Illustrator Weshoyot Alvitre

Though we are dealing with a new normal at this point with the majority of schools closed across the country for social distancing purposes, I don't want to lose sight of putting the spotlight on some amazing picture books. *Penguin Random House has given a temporary open license during this time to record a read aloud for your students. Please read, and follow, the specific details found here.

Today I'm shining the spotlight on 
Traci Sorell & Weshoyot Alvitre,
author & illustrator of #cbadspotlight pick 
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A family, separated by duty and distance, waits for a loved one to return home in this lyrical picture book celebrating the bonds of a Cherokee family and the bravery of history-making women pilots.

At the mountain's base sits a cabin under an old hickory tree. And in that cabin lives a family -- loving, weaving, cooking, and singing. The strength in their song sustains them through trials on the ground and in the sky, as they wait for their daughter/sister/granddaughter/niece, a pilot, to return from war.

With an author's note that pays homage to the true history of Native American U.S. service members like WWII pilot Ola Mildred "Millie" Rexroat, this is a story that reveals the roots that ground us, the dreams that help us soar, and the people and traditions that hold us up. 

Thank you, Traci & Weshoyot, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight conversation today!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

#classroombookaday Recommendations: Global Perspectives

Each month of this school year I am getting a chance to share a themed list of 20 recommended picture book titles for #CLASSROOMBOOKADAY read alouds in partnership with Follett Classroom. Each booklist is accompanied by a blog post explaining more in depth my thoughts in creating the list and why I chose those specific titles.

One of the great parts of this partnership is that my recommendation lists are also being saved in Titlewave which allows them to be easily found and shared with librarians for purchasing for school libraries!

My March list is picture books with Global Perspectives! 
[Please visit the link to read the accompanying blog post]
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You can also find all of my posts & lists I've done with Follett at my landing page

Book Trailer Premiere: SHORT & SWEET (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast book 4) & #classroombookaday Recommendation List from Josh Funk

Josh Funk has been a huge supporter of #classroombookaday since the early days, and the Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast books are popular with those participating. And now there is a 4th book coming in the series! I'm honored to host the premiere of the book trailer for SHORT & SWEET today!
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Take a peek and then scroll down below as Josh shares a list of his picture book recommendations for #classroombookaday read alouds!

Here are three weeks worth of #ClassroomBookADay picks from Josh Funk: 

Monday, March 9, 2020

March #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on Festival of Colors with Co-Authors Kabir & Surishtha Sehgal

Today I'm shining the spotlight on #cbadspotlight pick 
Festival of Colors,
with co-authors 
Kabir & Surishtha Sehgal
and their other books A Bucket of Blessings, The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk, Thread of Love, & P Is for Poppadoms!: An Indian Alphabet Book 
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Learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from bestselling mother/son duo Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal.

Spring is here, and it’s almost time for Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers to make into colorful powders to toss during the festival. And when at last the big day comes, they gather with their friends, family, and neighbors for a vibrant celebration of fresh starts, friendship, forgiveness, and, of course, fun!

Thank you, Kabir, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight interview today!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Reading Across America with 50 Inclusive Picture Books

You may not be aware yet, but as of last year NEA changed the focus of Read Across America away from Dr. Seuss and to "Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers" - moving away from a singular focus on, and raising up of, one white male author who has a history of racist imagery* and toward a year-long celebration of the diversity that makes our country what it is. Dr. Seuss can be both a beloved author AND ALSO problematic. So it's time to move away from a day celebrating Seuss and into a year-long focus on inclusive choices

Because we cannot let nostalgia guide our decisions. Because we cannot allow racist or stereotyped imagery to be part of what we promote through our read aloud choices. Because we cannot refuse to move on from the past and bypass our responsibility to represent the entirety of what America is about today. 
As we head into Read Across America Day, here is a list of some alternative titles that would all make valuable choices as a replacement for Dr. Seuss in your read alouds this week.