Showing posts with label race. Show all posts
Showing posts with label race. Show all posts

In the Nick of Time Too -- a Multicultural Children's Book Day Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I am sharing another review for Multicultural Children's Book Day. The special day is coming fast! Today's book is a holiday book that deals with embracing our differences. The book is In the Nick of Time Too by Deedee Cummings and illustrated by Charlene Mosley. It is recommended for ages 4 to 10. 

Dark Testament -- Powerful Blackout Poems in Response to George Floyd's Murder -- Black History Month


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I am sure you remember the George Floyd murder. It was May 2020. We were in the middle of the worldwide pandemic and yet we watched as a white police officer had his knee on George Floyd's neck for nine minutes. We hear George Floyd utter he cannot breathe. The country broke out into chaos full of horror, anger and more. There were peaceful marches as well as riots. The event brought racism into the forefront of the United States news and mind. It forced white people to think about how Black people are treated and to realize how many innocent Black people (often men) are murdered because of the color of their skin. 

Anything But Pink -- a fun picture book about accepting one's own true colors


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and J.C. Benthin and will receive a small stipend for this review. All opinions are my own.

What is your favorite color? Mine is pink. Would you want everything in your world to be your favorite color? I know I wouldn't. I don't even dress completely in pink ever. Today's book is about being a different color from everyone else. I will admit when I heard the title of the book, the first thought I had was of a baby girl. I remember getting a shower gift that was white with ladybugs. My friend who gave it to me said she got it so I would have something nonpink to put on my baby girl since everything for a baby girl is always pink. I figured the book would be about a girl who didn't like pink. I was very pleasantly surprised. This book is so much better than anything I was imagining. The book is Anything but Pink by J.C. Benthin and illustrated by Andy Catling. 

Steeped in Stories -- a Book about Reading Classic Children's Stories in Modern Times


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

What are the classic children's novels you read when you were little? Have you read them again as an adult? Have your children read them? Or are they on a banned list for the racism and other inappropriate things that are no longer acceptable in our modern society? Today I am sharing a book for adults about reading those stories as adults with or without kids and relating them to our modern world. Are you ready to reminisce? The book is Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children's Novels to Refresh Our Tired Souls by Mitali Perkins.

Two New Picture Books Perfect for Black History Month or Any Time


Disclosure: I was sent digital copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

February is halfway over and that means so is Black History Month. Have you done anything for Black History Month? Last week I shared a round-up of picture books that won awards and honors in January that were perfect for Black History Month. Today I am going to share two more picture books that are brand new (in 2022). One is about Ida B. Wells and the other is about a conversation about race. Both are very important to teach our kids about. Let's start with Ida B. Wells. The book is Ida B. Wells: Voice of Truth by Michelle Duster, Ida's great-granddaughter and illustrated by Laura Freeman. This book is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

From the Publisher:

Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth is an inspiring picture book biography of the groundbreaking journalist and civil rights activist as told by her great-granddaughter Michelle Duster and illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award Honoree artist Laura Freeman.

Ida B. Wells was an educator, journalist, feminist, businesswoman, newspaper owner, public speaker, suffragist, civil rights activist, and women’s club leader.

She was a founder of the NAACP, the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, the Alpha Suffrage Club, and the Negro Fellowship League.

She wrote, spoke, and traveled, challenging the racist and sexist norms of her time.

Faced with criticism and threats to her life, she never gave up.

This is her extraordinary true story, as told by her great-granddaughter Michelle Duster and beautifully brought to life by Coretta Scott King Award Honoree artist Laura Freeman.

From Me:

Have you heard of Ida B. Wells? What do you know about her? Back in 2004 or 2005, I went with a friend to see Constant Star. A good friend of mine volunteered at the theater and we went together. It was my first introduction to Ida B. Wells. At the time when I tried to find out more about Ida, I saw more criticism than positivity. I found more negative and not child friendly stories about her. It made me question her true identity. Of course, I was seeing what white people were writing about a Black woman who fought the system. She spoke up when she saw injustice. She did not go away but fought for equal rights for Black people, for women and more. What was available to me at that time was not the whole story and was biased. Finally, today there is a book that is perfect for sharing Ida's life with young children and it is written by her great-granddaughter. 

The book is wonderful. It shares about Ida's life including how she took care of her siblings when her parents died. She was only sixteen. It shares the injustice she witnessed and that occurred to her. I am sure it is only a fraction of the injustice she truly witnessed but has the emotions that go with witnessing and experiencing it. She witnessed lynching as well as being kicked off a train for not moving to the Colored car. Michelle shares the truth about Ida's tough life and all of her many accomplishments. It is written with love and pride and is a perfect book to introduce the younger kids to this amazing woman. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful as well. 

Our second book is Why? A Conversation About Race by Taye Diggs and illustrated by Shane W. Evans. This book is recommended for ages 3 to 6.

From the Publisher:

A piercing picture book about racial injustice from a child’s perspective from Taye Diggs and Shane Evans.

"Yes, my sweet boy."
"Why are those people shouting?"
"Our people are shouting because we need to be heard. We need to be heard."

is a question asked by children daily, and in this striking and timely story, it begins a straightforward and challenging conversation between children of color and the adults in their lives.

Why are the buildings burning? Why are people marching? Why are they crying? Taye Diggs has written a beautiful, powerful, and poignant story that peers through the eyes of a child as they struggle to understand why these events are happening.

Why? distills the conversations many children and adults are having about race, injustice, and anger in communities throughout our country, and gives them context that young readers can connect with. Heartfelt and deeply piercing illustrations from Shane W. Evans will leave a lasting impact on readers of any age. One that will hopefully lead to more conversations, change, and peace within our own communities and the world.

From Me:

Wow, this book is powerful. Kids ask why a lot through a day, but in our current situation there are many asking why. Why are there riots? Why are they looting and damaging buildings? I have heard these questions in the past year. Have you? This book answers those questions but not exactly how you may expect. After all it was adults asking those questions the past year, and this book is written for young children! The book shows Black/brown children asking family members questions about people and things they see. Why are the people shouting, crying, pointing, etc. The family member answers with answers about the injustice the people have felt because of their skin color. They answer with honesty. They answer with answers we all need to understand so we can truly change our society and its wrongs. Each answer could lead to discussions about current events as well as history. Each answer could lead to discussions with children but also with adults. 

As a white ally I cannot put myself into others' shoes and truly understand what they experience. I can show compassion and empathy for their pains. I can use my white privilege to try to change things. I can show love and kindness for all. This book provides a peek into the emotions and experiences of others. It provides answers to questions I have had, and it shares a bit of understanding. I can see this book read to a group of children ready to discuss race. I can see it used with older kids to begin the discussion as well. I hope you will check it out!

The Proudest Color -- a New Picture Book About Race, Racism and Racial Pride


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Today I am very excited to share with you a new picture book about race, racism and racial pride. When I read this book for the first time I knew I had to share it with you. It is that amazing!! The book is The Proudest Color by Sheila Modir and Jeff Kashou and illustrated by Monica Mikai. It is recommended for ages 5 to 8.

I Take My Coffee Black -- An Eye-Opening and Humorous Book about Being Black & Christian in America


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Remember back in June of 2020 when all over Facebook and social media white people were looking for ways to learn more about what it is like to be Black in America? We wanted book recommendations. We were asking our Black friends for information. We wanted to stand with them. We wanted to support them. Black Lives Matter protests were happening everywhere. And now a bit more than a year later it seems to have died down. Like we often do we have moved on but that does not mean there isn't still a reason to be concerned for or support Black people. It does not mean we shouldn't be looking for ways to better understand what it truly is like to be Black in America. Today I am sharing a wonderful book full of one Black, Christian man's life experience. This book is full of humor, truth and life. It is I Take My Coffee Black by Tyler Merritt. 

Books for Pride Month


Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

June is Pride Month! As a straight ally and a former GSA advisor, June always holds a special place in my heart. The gender and sexuality issues have morphed as we we gain more understanding but the issues still exist to get equal rights and fair and safe treatment for all. Today I am going to share three books--two picture books and one middle grade book that deals with different parts of our own uniqueness and identity. The first picture book is not particular to Pride Month but more about being different and finding acceptance. It is recommended for ages 2 to 5. It is Oddbird by Derek Desierto. 

Ace of Spades -- new YA novel that everyone should read


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you remember a year ago when many white people were claiming to stand with their Black friends as well as searching for information about what it is like to be Black in America? George Floyd has just been murdered by a police officer. We are a year later and the police officer has been found guilty. Racial riots were happening everywhere a year ago. People took "Black Lives Matter" for anti-police. The truth is people who are standing with the Black people aren't saying they are necessarily against the police. They are saying they are against the police who abuse their power and discriminate based on race. I know as a white person I have good friends who are different races and respect all races and I have friends who are police officers and have a huge respect for police officers. I also know when I have been pulled over for speeding a few times, I never once thought "Am I going to die here?" because of my skin color. That fear is what needs to go away and there is definitely a need for education all around. Today I am going to share a new young adult novel that deals with race, homosexuality (including bisexual), class, and so much more. This is a novel that I feel everyone should read. And it is also an amazing novel. The novel is Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé.

You Don't Have to Be Everything -- review of new poetry book for young adult girls about growing up


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

April is a month full of things I care about. We just had Easter weekend. April 2nd is World Autism Day. Earth Day is fast approaching, and it is National Poetry Month. I shared the first book last week that is a great one to share on Earth Day and will be sharing more this month. Today I want to focus on a new poetry book. It is You Don't Have to Be Everything edited by Diana Whitney. It was released March 30th. 

New Books about Race, Stereotypes and Black Lives!


Disclosure: I was sent digital copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

Have you been enjoying your holidays? I have not been writing since I have been taking time to be with my family. This holiday season has been special for us because we are realizing it is probably the last one with my father being somewhat mentally present. His Alzheimer's is getting bad and we know the end is coming whether he will be alive and not aware or die this year we are beginning to prepare ourselves. This week I am getting ready for Hazel's birthday. We decided to have a small gathering of girls from her school and doing our best to keep them socially distant and with masks. But before the year ends I wanted to review these four books. Two of these books have not been released yet and the other two are new in the past couple of months. It seems fitting to end 2020 with books about race, stereotypes and Black lives. 

This Is My America -- #blacklivesmatter Novel Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

After George Floyd's murder there was a cry from white people to find resources to educate themselves about how the Black people in our country are feeling. That cry seems to have calmed down but now is the time that it is even more important to step up and keep the movement moving. And please note I am not saying the rioting, violence and looting is appropriate. That to me is not part of the movement but some other organizations or sick individuals who want to cause trouble more than awareness. I have no problem with the protests as long as they remain peaceful. I also support our police but not the ones who have stepped beyond the boundaries so they think they have the power to kill or be violent to someone because of their skin color. That said today I am going to share a young adult novel with you that is eye-opening to me, a white person. Now I have gone through many diversity trainings and advised diversity clubs, so I have some experience and views into life as a different race but today's novel takes me farther and really helps me understand the life many of the Black people in America are facing today. I will be completely honest, I have not finished the novel. I was going to wait to review it until I finished it but I honestly just can't wait to tell you about it. It is that good and that powerful! I am just past half way through the book. The novel is This Is My America by Kim Johnson.

We Are Power -- a Timely Book for Kids Aged 10-14

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This has been a crazy year. We are in the middle of a global pandemic and then the protests over the death of George Floyd and others began. I know Hazel has been watching the protests and riots with curiosity and questions. Today I am sharing a book about nonviolent activism suggested for kids aged 10-14. This book shares history as well as how nonviolent activism works. The book is We Are Power: How Nonviolent Activism Changes the World by Todd Hasak-Lowy. 

Mamie Phipps Clark -- #blacklivesmatter -- the Black Psychologist Who Helped End Segregation in Schools

Today we are continuing our Black Lives Matter Series. Today we are getting to know about Mamie Phipps Clark. She and her husband, Kenneth B. Clark, helped end segregation in public schools. Kenneth often said he piggybacked on his wife's research and tried to give her more of the credit, but he often is the one who is credited still, so we are focusing on Mamie. I find her work and life so fascinating. She dealt with racism and sexism throughout her life and worked towards what we are still fighting for--equal rights. Even now her husband gets more credit for the work that was originally hers which he decided to participate in after she started it. Plus her most famous study was a doll test involving white and brown dolls. Now I have shared one of my biggest regrets of not saying something to a young Black girl at a store when she thought the white doll was more beautiful than the Black doll. This one hit me personally. Plus her work was used to end segregation. I think back to my own years of schooling and think of how much learning about other cultures from my friends of other races added so much to my life and still does. Plus to my own classrooms and how the mixed races always made the classes more interesting and a better experience. So with those thoughts, I would like to introduce you to Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark.

3 Multicultural Picture Books

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I have gathered a group of three new multicultural picture books to share with you. Each are multicultural in different ways and share about different important lessons. We will start with one that is good for teaching young children a bit of Civil Rights Movement history. It is A Ride to Remember by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan and illustrated by Floyd Cooper. 

Let's Read About Black Characters & People -- Round-Up of Children's Books

The other day as I talked to Hazel about current events on our walk and was telling her my plans for Crafty Moms Share, she said, "Did you ever notice that when there is a black person in a book there is just one in a group of white friends?" Oh, yes, we still have the token black person in our society of books and television shows. She even commented how sometimes the group is made up of one person of different races like in The Start-Up Squad Series. I recently read an article about how white people need to do more than talk to our kids about racism. Where we live, who our neighbors are, books we read/provide our kids, who our friends are, the diversity of the school we send our kids to all play a part in how our kids grow up and understand race relations. Now I cannot change your neighborhood or their school but I hope I can change the books in your house and your library. I asked some fellow bloggers as well as authors that are part of the Multicultural Children's Book Day group for any books, activities, and reviews they had with black people as the main characters. Today I am going to share a round-up of books shared and some others I found (on Amazon). I will link reviews and activities whenever possible. It is important that all of our kids read books that have people like them but it is also important that our kids read books with people who do not look like them. This will build their understanding and help them to grow and learn about race and culture and hopefully not be racist when they grow up. I have the books separated into picture books, fairy tales, chapter books/novels, and non-fiction/biographies. There are some separation within some of these genres as well. 

A White Girl's Thoughts on Current Events and White Privilege

My heart is broken. I am angered. I am ashamed. I am horrified. And I am saddened. Part of me wants to stay in my naïve little Covid-19 bubble. After all our state is just starting to open up and really hasn't opened much besides hair salons and pet groomers, but the news is there. It is on our local news. It is in my Facebook feed. It is all around us. And it has been, but we have been ignoring it for too long. As a white person I experience privilege. I do not have to think about my race every day. I do not have to worry when I go out or worry when my husband goes for a jog in our neighborhood. I do not have to worry not because we aren't doing anything wrong but because of our skin color. We are white. We are blessed to be able to live in a beautiful neighborhood. We are blessed to live a beautiful house and have so many other blessings, but the biggest blessing we really don't think about because it shouldn't be a blessing. 

New Kid -- Multicultural Children's Book Day Review

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Are you getting excited for Friday? It is hard to believe Multicultural Children's Book Day 2020 is almost here. Today I get to share another amazing book with you for it. But before we talk about the book by Jerry Craft I need to also mention that Jerry Craft is the artist who designed this year's poster! You can see it to the right as well as after my review and before the information about Multicultural Children's Book Day. Thank you, Jerry, for creating such a beautiful poster!

Remembering Black History

Disclosure: Macmillan Publishers sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is hard to believe today is the last day of February. Today end this year's black history month. Have you ever wondered why black history month is important? It is important for people to know their own history and relate to the people they are learning about. It is also important for us to study history so we learn from the mistakes and don't repeat them. Unfortunately, I think our society is struggling with this. As I read The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long and Jim Demonakos and illustrated by Nate Powell, I thought about how our society seems to be repeating itself with the current news  and this semi-autobiographical story from the 1967. 

Reflections on the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther KIng, Jr. and a simple craft

As I thought about what I wanted to do this year for Martin Luther King Day for Kids I reflected on what we have done in the past. We have shared numerous books on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as other Civil Rights Activists. We have done various crafts about unity and diversity and peace. I'll be honest I wasn't sure what to do. Hazel understands the teachings of Dr. King and we have focused quite a bit on the Civil Rights Movement in the past. I want to first reflect on a few things.