#Nonfiction Monday Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood

Time to get inspired by the nonfiction picture book Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood by Tony Hillery and illustrated by Jessie Hartland.

When Mr. Tony (Tony Hillery) spotted an abandoned lot across from a school in Harlem, he had an idea. Getting help from the community, he cleaned it up and invited children to help him plant a garden. Through trial and error a farm emerged.

The colors in Jessie Hartland’s illustrations reflect the journey of the story. The first few pages capture the gray mood of the abandoned lot. As things  turn around, the background colors move through shades of green to a lively and vibrant mix. Lovely!

The benefits of gardening with children are many. From getting outside for healthy exercise, to learning patience, to appreciating the taste of fresh vegetables, gardening is a win-win-win activity. Harlem Grown is about making it happen. Share a copy today and you will be glad you did.

Related suggestions:

Although designed to accompany another book, the delightful art-based activities in this video would be fun to accompany any gardening project.

See our growing list of books for gardening with children at Science Books for Kids.

Finally, we have a bunch of gardening ideas on our Pinterest Board.

 

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; Illustrated edition (August 18, 2020)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1534402314
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1534402317

Disclosure: The book was provided by my local library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

#Womenshistorymonth #STEMkidlit Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers

For Women’s History Month we have a middle grade book that explores women who are making history, Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careers by Erin Twamley and Joshua Sneideman.

Activity suggestion:

 

About the Book

Using the scientific method as a template, authors Twamley and Sneideman propose “six superpowers important to STEM fields”:

  • Imagination and curiosity
  • Observation
  • Problem solving
  • Collaboration
  • Data-collection and analysis
  • Communication

After defining each superpower, they use an alphabetical organizational structure explore 26 STEM careers, from Astronomy to Zoology.  In case you are wondering, they have to be creative with some of the letters, such as X is “Xeroxing Our DNA”  and the featured career is geneticist.

For each career, they give an overview of what it entails and then present a short biography of a particular woman in that field with emphasis on the superpowers they use.

Their choices are a diverse group of amazing women.

For example, A features Astronomer Wanda Diaz Merced

When Wanda Diaz Merced lost her sight, she developed a way to convert data into sound so she could analyze it. You can hear a sample of the sound in her TED talk below at about 5:40.

 

Wow! Talk about problem solving!

The illustrations are digital images created by the Illustrator Collective, a group of artists from around the world. This gives a sense of continuity that photographs from various sources would not have done.

The last section includes an activity for young readers to plan a STEM career of their own, a way to inspire and empower the next generation.

The back matter includes “Steps to Become an Everyday STEM Superhero”, a list other books by the authors, “Recommended Books”,  three pages of quotes from book reviews by educational experts (I’ve never seen this kind of promotional material in a children’s book before),  and a glossary, but no index.

If you are looking for examples of incredible women in STEM, then look no further than Everyday Superheroes.

Activity suggestion:

Check out these STEM Everyday Superheroes trading cards and then research and design one of your own (click on the researcher’s name to see the card).

Reading age : 8 – 12 years
Publisher : Wise Ink Creative Publishing (March 15, 2019)
ISBN-10 : 1634891988
ISBN-13 : 978-1634891981

 

Disclosure: The book was donated electronically for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

#ReadYourWorld The Big Day by Terry Lee Caruthers @StarBrightBooks

It’s finally the big day! For the final day of our Multicultural Children’s Book Day series, we have the picture book The Big Day* by Terry Lee Caruthers and illustrated by Robert Casilla (For more MCBD events, see our review of Hello, Mandarin Duck! and the links below.)

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

About the Book

The Big Day captures the momentous occasion when Agnes Sadler became the first Black woman to cast a vote in Knoxville, Tennessee on September 6, 1919. This fictionalized account is told from the first person point of view of a young girl named Tansy.

There on the bed lay my best dress, stocking socks, and my black patent leather shoes. I thought about what Big Mama said, Big day ahead.

The story reveals what life would have been like in 1919. Historical touches include what Tansy ate for breakfast, how she did her hair, and how she and her mother traveled to the voting location via streetcar.

The colorful watercolor illustrations are also contain subtle historical details, like the milkman making a delivery in the background of one scene, the clawfoot bathtub in the bathroom, and Big Mama’s feather-adorned hat.

The extensive back matter includes an Author’s Note, biography of Agnes Sadler, a woman’s suffrage timeline and map, plus Sources. To add authenticity, included is an image of an actual Tennessee newspaper article that reported the first women to vote in each ward that day, which lists Agnes Sadler’s name. The endpapers offer even more images of newspaper articles and headlines about suffrage.

Discussion

Although the road to getting the right to vote was long and hard for Black women, the book focuses on the positive, on the celebratory feel of this one historically significant day.

The Big Day is perfect to share for Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), and around elections.  Children, particularly budding historians, are going to be fascinated by this glimpse into an important time. Delve into a copy today!

Related Activities:

1. Visit your local historical museum.

Find out if your local historical museum has information about when women won the right to vote in your area. Check to see if they have displays or information about life in the early 1900s, as well. If your area doesn’t have a physical museum, check with your local librarian about your library’s historical collections.

2. Voting activities for kids

Accompany the book with information and activities about voting for children. There are many resources for lessons online, for example:

*****

Terry Lee Caruthers is a special projects librarian with the Knox County Library System. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, she grew up surrounded by strong, female role models who nurtured her imagination and imbued her with a love of reading, writing, and storytelling. The Big Day is Terry’s first book with Star Bright Books. Terry resides in South Knoxville where she shares her life with four rescue cats.

Robert Casilla was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, to parents from Puerto Rico. He received a bachelor of fine arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Robert has illustrated over 30 children’s books, including picture book biographies and multicultural titles. Robert won a Pura Belpré Honor Award for his illustrations in First Day in Grapes. The Big Day is his first book with Star Bright Books. Robert lives and works from his home in New Fairfield, Connecticut, with his wife, Carmen.

Reading age :  4 – 8 years
Publisher : Star Bright Books (October 30, 2020)
ISBN-10 : 1595729135
ISBN-13 : 978-1595729132

Disclosure:  As part of the MCBD celebrations, I was gifted a copy of The Big Day by Star Bright Books, a MCBD Bronze Sponsor. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Star Bright Books website
Facebook: Star Bright Books
• Twitter: @StarBrightBooks
• Instagram: @starbrightbooks
• Pinterest: Star Bright Books

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.
Eight years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Prgamaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s (Audreypress.com)

Platinum Sponsors: Language Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages, Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media

Gold Sponsors: Barefoot Books, Candlewick Press, Capstone, Hoopoe Books, KidLitTV, Peachtree Publishing Company Inc.

Silver Sponsors: Charlotte Riggle, Connecticut Association of School Librarians, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Pack-N-Go Girls

Bronze Sponsors: Agatha Rodi and AMELIE is IMPRESSED!, Barnes Brothers Books, Create and Educate Solutions, LLC, Dreambuilt Books, Dyesha and Triesha McCants/McCants Squared, Redfin Real Estate, Snowflake Stories, Star Bright Books, TimTimTom Bilingual Personalized Books, Author Vivian Kirkfield, Wisdom Tales Press, My Well Read Child

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Poster Artist: Nat Iwata

Authors: Author Afsaneh Moradian, Author Alva Sachs & Three Wishes Publishing Company, Author Angeliki Stamatopoulou-Pedersen, Author Anna Olswanger, Author Casey Bell , Author Claudine Norden, Author Debbie Dadey, Author Diana Huang & Intrepids, Author Eugenia Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Green Kids Club, Author Gwen Jackson, Author Janet Balletta, Author Josh Funk, Author Julia Inserro, Karter Johnson & Popcorn and Books, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, Author Keila Dawson, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Author Mia Wenjen, Michael Genhart, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Natalie Murray, Natalie McDonald-Perkins, Author Natasha Yim, Author Phe Lang and Me On The Page Publishing, Sandra Elaine Scott, Author Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher, Tales of the Five Enchanted Mermaids, Author Theresa Mackiewicz, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Author Toshia Stelivan, Valerie Williams-Sanchez & The Cocoa Kids Collection Books©, Author Vanessa Womack, MBA, Author Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series

MCBD 2021 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2021 is Honored to be Supported by these Media Partners!

Check out MCBD’s Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day:

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Join us on Friday, Jan 29, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party!
This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.
We will be giving away an 8-Book Bundle every 5 minutes plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **
Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. See you all very soon on Twitter!
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

#ReadYourWorld Hello, Mandarin Duck! @CapstonePub

For our Multicultural Children’s Book Day series, today we are featuring the imaginative picture book, Hello, Mandarin Duck!* by Bao Phi and illustrated by Dion MBD. (For more MCBD events, see also our review of The Big Day  and the links below).

About the Book

On the way to the park for the May Day parade, twins Hue and Hoa spot a colorful duck they had never seen before. It seems lost, so they decide to help it get to the pond. Along the way, many of their friends from the neighborhood stop to say hello in different languages and offer suggestions for how to help the new duck. Things get complicated when the duck gets caught up in the parade, plus the children hear a police siren, which sends them running. Will the little duck ever reach the safety of the pond?

We always appreciate back matter in a children’s book. In the “Author’s Note”, Bao Phi explains more about his experiences in the Minnesota neighborhood that inspired the story. The “Languages in Duck’s Neighborhood” section provides a guide to help readers pronounce the many words in different languages used in the text.

Fun fact:  Illustrator Dion MBD’s full name is Dionisius Mehaga Bangun Djayasaputra.

Discussion

The voice of Hello,  Mandarin Duck is not at all like the quiet, reflective tone of Bao Phi’s  Caldicott Honor book, A Different Pond. The children are boisterous, with a lot of activity, sights and sounds going on. You can help young readers stay focused by directing them to look for the duck in each illustration.

The book offers an introduction to a number of languages not often seen in picture books. More subtly, it is also has a positive message about being welcoming to people from other places, and how communities can work together to solve a problem.

Hello,  Mandarin Duck is a delightful picture book. Educators will find it useful to introduce inclusiveness. It is also a great book to pull out when someone new moves into a class or group to encourage children to be welcoming and helpful.

Related Activities:

  1. Explore one or more of the languages featured in the book.
  • Vietnamese
  • Dakota
  • Somali
  • Cambodian
  • Hmong
  • Anishinaabe
  • Russian
  • Tamil
  • Hebrew
  • Arabic
  • Swedish
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Thai
  • Lao
  • Korean
  • Karen

There are many programs, apps and resources online for learning more about languages. For example, see DuoLingo, Endless Spanish, or Mindsnacks to name a few (I’m not affiliated with any of these programs).

 

2. Mandarin ducks.

Public domain image of male and female mandarin ducks from Wikimedia.

Male Mandarin ducks are prized for their brightly colored feathers during the breeding season. The females are more subdued in color. They are originally from eastern Asia, but have been domesticated and escaped birds have established in parts of Great Britain, Ireland, and a few places in the U.S.

Activity:  How do ducks keep dry in the water?

Duck feathers are very smooth, plus they add a layer of oil onto their feathers to keep the water out. The oil comes from a special gland. They rub the oil around with their bill during preening.

1. You can show how oil floats on the top of water by putting some water into a clear glass and adding a layer of vegetable oil. Adding a bit of blue food coloring to the water makes the difference even more obvious.

2. You can also show how oil resists water with a resist painting.

Gather:

  • Paper
  • Oil pastels (preferred) or crayons
  • Watercolor paints and a paintbrush
  • Watercolor or heavy paper
  • Salt

Draw the outline of a mandarin duck using the oil pastels. You can use different colors. Fill in as much or as little as you like. You can also have your duck float on a pond or show a scene from the book. Then use the watercolors to fill in and around the duck as shown for the leaves in the video below. Watch how the water flows off the areas covered with oil pastels. Add the salt to the outside to create an interesting effect.

Hope you have fun.

Raising Lifelong Learners also has a duck feather experiment.

 

Reading age: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: Capstone Editions (January 1, 2021)
ISBN-10: 1684462568
ISBN-13: 978-1684462568

Disclosure:  I was gifted an electronic copy of Hello, Mandarin Duck! for review purposes by Capstone, who is a MCBD Gold Sponsor. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

 

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.
Eight years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Prgamaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s (Audreypress.com)

Platinum Sponsors: Language Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages, Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media

Gold Sponsors: Barefoot Books, Candlewick Press, Capstone, Hoopoe Books, KidLitTV, Peachtree Publishing Company Inc.

Silver Sponsors: Charlotte Riggle, Connecticut Association of School Librarians, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Pack-N-Go Girls

Bronze Sponsors: Agatha Rodi and AMELIE is IMPRESSED!, Barnes Brothers Books, Create and Educate Solutions, LLC, Dreambuilt Books, Dyesha and Triesha McCants/McCants Squared, Redfin Real Estate, Snowflake Stories, Star Bright Books, TimTimTom Bilingual Personalized Books, Author Vivian Kirkfield, Wisdom Tales Press, My Well Read Child

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Poster Artist: Nat Iwata

Authors: Author Afsaneh Moradian, Author Alva Sachs & Three Wishes Publishing Company, Author Angeliki Stamatopoulou-Pedersen, Author Anna Olswanger, Author Casey Bell , Author Claudine Norden, Author Debbie Dadey, Author Diana Huang & Intrepids, Author Eugenia Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Green Kids Club, Author Gwen Jackson, Author Janet Balletta, Author Josh Funk, Author Julia Inserro, Karter Johnson & Popcorn and Books, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, Author Keila Dawson, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Author Mia Wenjen, Michael Genhart, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Natalie Murray, Natalie McDonald-Perkins, Author Natasha Yim, Author Phe Lang and Me On The Page Publishing, Sandra Elaine Scott, Author Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher, Tales of the Five Enchanted Mermaids, Author Theresa Mackiewicz, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Author Toshia Stelivan, Valerie Williams-Sanchez & The Cocoa Kids Collection Books©, Author Vanessa Womack, MBA, Author Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series

MCBD 2021 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2021 is Honored to be Supported by these Media Partners!

Check out MCBD’s Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day:

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Join us on Friday, Jan 29, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party!
This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.
We will be giving away an 8-Book Bundle every 5 minutes plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **
Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. See you all very soon on Twitter!
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.