World Food Alphabet Children’s Book

Today we’re featuring photographer, food writer, and restauranteur Chris Caldicott’s book World Food Alphabet, which was just re-released in paperback.

World Food Alphabet starts with a breathtaking color photograph of bright orange apricots laid out to dry against the dramatic gray mountains of the Hunza Valley in Pakistan. With that first image, “Aa is for Apricots,” readers know they are in for a visual treat.

Readers will also know this is not simply an ABC concept book for preschoolers, but the type which uses the alphabet as a way to organize more complex information. Every page features a letter representing a type of food or food-related idea, and one to four photographs. Accompanying is a paragraph revealing something about the food or idea, plus information about where the photograph(s) was(were) taken.

In World Food Alphabet, Chris Caldicott uses his camera lens to give us a window to the people and food of world. It is a wonderful trip!

Jama’s Alphabet Soup has some glimpses into the book.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Bks; Reprint edition (May 15, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1847806538
ISBN-13: 978-1847806536

World Food Alphabet begs to have some accompanying activities.

1. Study geography using the book.

Pull out a world map or atlas, or find one online. Locate countries or regions of the world as they are mentioned in the book.

Afterwards, visit Free Rice and use the Geography section to brush up on landmarks, maps, capitals and flags of countries around the world.

2. Make snacks, beverages or even meals using the foods featured in the book.

Suggestions for child-friendly recipes found at our sister blog, Your Individual Taste:

3. Make your own “World Food Alphabet Book.”

Gather:

  • Illustrations and photographs of food from around the world, from magazines and the Internet
  • Paper (bound notebooks or sketchbooks would work well)
  • Markers, pens, pencils
  • Age-appropriate scissors
  • Glue or tape

Plan a page for each letter of the alphabet. Label with a title containing the name of the food/idea and the letter it represents. Choose appropriate photographs/illustrations, and glue or tape them on. Then do some research and write some text to accompany each.

Share the finished project with family and friends.

Aa is for Apples

Fuji_apple(“Fuji apple” by Scott Bauer, USDA ARS -Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.)

 

Disclosure: The book was provided by the publisher 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.

nonfictionmonday

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

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Shines with Sparkalina

Have you heard the big news? It’s time for the second annual  Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature being held on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

PicMonkey Collage

The co-creators of this event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book. They have done a wonderful job generating excitement and promoting the event.

Why multicultural books? They say:

Mission:

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.

“MCCBD team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along…”

You may want to:

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After signing up to participate, I found out I would be receiving a brand new picture book from author Shana Bernabela to review. I feel so lucky.

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Sparkalina (Sparkalina Brights) (Volume 1) by Shana Bernabela and illustrated by Maythe Carpertino is a delightful little book with a big message:  It is okay to be different!

Sparklina Brights lives for glitter and sparkles. Her clothes are shiny, her pencils shimmer, even her breakfast bowl and spoon are sparkly. When Sparklina encounters the neighborhood bully, aptly named Tiger Rex, he puts down her look and says it is weird.  Sparkalina is deeply hurt, but her wise mother knows exactly how to help her appreciate her unique qualities.

Many readers are going to be able to relate to Sparkalina’s struggles with identity and self-esteem. In fact, in this interview author Shana Bernabela reveals she had similar issues when she was young. Sparkalina (Sparkalina Brights) (Volume 1) helps give victims of bullying some much-needed tools to feel more confident.

Activities to Accompany Sparkalina:

Wow, this book really begs to be accompanied by some sparkly crafts and activities to reinforce learning. Prepare to be bedazzled.

1. Dress up!

What better way to try on new identities and looks than a game of dress up?

Gather:

  • Scarves
  • Bright clothes
  • Wacky shoes
  • Costume jewelry
  • Hats
  • Tiaras

The fun outfits in the book are sure to be inspirations. Make it a party and have the “paparazzi” take a lot of pictures.

2. Design sparkly clothes

Gather:

  • Glitter glue (takes some time to dry)
  • Paper:  construction, poster, shiny wrapping paper, etc.
  • Glitter shakers
  • Glitter tape
  • Sparkly stickers, etc.
  • Scissors
  • Markers

Have the children draw and cut out clothes, either to stand alone or as outfits for paper dolls. Then decorate the outfits with all things sparkly.

spark-craft-1Let their imaginations run wild!

Extension:  The book mentions several items that could also be fun to decorate, such as:

  • Pencils
  • Plastic or paper bowls (for decorative purposes only)
  • Plastic spoons or forks (for decorative purposes only)

Series: Sparkalina Brights
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (December 31, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1505481937
ISBN-13: 978-1505481938

Disclosure: Book provided by the author 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.

 

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 Let’s not forget the Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature Sponsors.

2015 Sponsors include:

Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop, Gold SponsorsSatya House,  MulticulturalKids.com,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof, Silver Sponsors: Junior Library GuildCapstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books,  The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

CoHosts: The co-creaters have nine amazing Co-Hosts, as well. You can view them here.

Ninja Mouse: Haiku

Quietly, stealthily Ninja Mouse: Haiku, written and illustrated by J. C. Thomas, creeps into your heart.

It isn’t easy to know what to expect when you see the cover of this book. The fierce mouse in the ninja garb and the comic book/graphic novel illustrations might lead the potential reader to believe this will be an action-packed story full of conflict and violence. Instead it is an almost silent journey of discovery, beautifully delivered entirely in haiku.

The illustrations in this book are inspiring. There’s something about dignity of the mouse, set against nature scenes, the dark versus light, and the splashes of color that are mesmerizing. Each two-page spread consists of the left-hand page divided into thirds, with the haiku text spread throughout. The right-hand page is a full scene with the Japanese text down the right side.

The book trailer gives a taste.

Author J.C. Thomas has a degree in International Relations and East Asia studies and he is currently an elementary school teacher. He is also a sixth-degree black belt in Taekwondo. This combination assures that the book is authentic, detailed, and useful for the classroom. There is a note about haiku in the back that explains how it differs in Japanese.

Ninja Mouse:  Haiku would be perfect for poetry month and to accompany a unit on haiku, especially for reluctant readers who might be drawn in by ninjas and comics. It would also be a wonderful accompaniment for a unit on Japan and East Asia studies.

Suggested related activity:

This book is so inspiring, it begs to be accompanied by an activity for children to create haiku and then illustrate it. For example, Scholastic has a haiku lesson plan. The Exploring Nature Educational Resource has a number of drawing lessons, like this one for a grasshopper.  Please feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments, if you choose.

Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: SuperUltraGo! Press (October 16, 2014)
Language: English and Japanese
ISBN-10: 099132403X
ISBN-13: 978-0991324033

Disclosures:  This book was supplied by the author for review purposes. 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 not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

 

Conflict Resolution and The Olive Tree

In the new picture book, The Olive Tree by Elsa Marston and illustrated by Claire Ewart, the main characters are having trouble sharing the fruit of an olive tree. Will they learn to resolve their differences?

Sameer had long enjoyed climbing in the old olive tree and gathering the fruit, although the tree technically was in the neighbors’ yard. The house next door has been empty for a long time, but now the neighbors are moving back in.  Although he would like to get to know their daughter, who is named Muna, she does not greet him. In fact, when Sameer starts to gather the olives that have fallen in his yard, as he has done so many times before, Muna gets angry and tells him to stop because the tree belongs to her family.

Set in Lebanon against the backdrop of a recent war, the story helps guide children through the process of resolving their conflicts. After Sameer and Muna’s initial differences about who should own what drive them apart, the two children learn their shared experiences may be more important and extensive than they first thought.

Elsa Marston studied Middle Eastern history and has traveled extensively in the Middle East. This background allows her to realistically capture subtle details of setting that others with less experience might overlook, such as the fact Sameer’s mother processes the olives in jars with salt and lemon. At the same time, Claire Ewart’s vibrant watercolors are awash with bright sunlight, giving the feeling of actually being in the Middle East, which you can see in this trailer for the book:

Being able to find common ground and to forgive someone for past disagreements are important skills for children to learn. The Olive Tree is a gentle, delightful book that helps bring this message to light and might bring some understanding of how arguments can arise, as well as how to begin to mend relationships. It would also be useful for children who are learning about the Middle East.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 2
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Wisdom Tales (November 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937786293
ISBN-13: 978-1937786298

olives-22

Disclosures:  This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. 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 not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.