illustrated by: Kathryn Mitter
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (2009)
Suitable for ages: 6-8
Topics/Themes: Vietnamese culture, American Thanksgiving, cultural awareness, cultural diversity, acceptance, assimilation, acculturation
Brief Synopsis: DUCK FOR TURKEY DAY is the story of a girl of Vietnamese heritage who learns about Thanksgiving in school. The class makes a turkey from pine cones, sing Turkey songs, and her teacher refers to the day as turkey day, but her family always serves duck. Tuyet’s plan is to convince her family to eat turkey, known by many as the ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving food. But they end up using her grandmother’s recipe for duck like they always do and Tuyet even has a second helping. When school resumes after the holiday, Tuyet is reluctant to talk about her holiday meal until other classmates tell about their dinners that included lamb, enchiladas, and noodles.
Opening pages: To get ready for Thanksgiving, Tuyet’s class sang Turkey songs. They made pine cone turkeys. They talked about Pilgrims and Native Americans.
“See you Monday.” Mrs. Cook said when the bell rang. “Have a good Turkey Day.”
Why I like this book: DUCK FOR TURKEY DAY is a delightful book which introduces children to Vietnamese culinary traditions. It is a perfect fit to include in a #weneeddiversebooks list. In addition to addressing cultural diversity, there is multi-generational component weaved into the story that I also enjoyed. It’s is a wonderful story that demonstrates there is no ‘right way’ to celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving. The day is also about giving thanks and spending time with family, not only eating turkey!
Click here for the Children’s Choice Award lesson plan on page 12.
Click here for the library sparks lesson plan.
Click here for multicultural Thanksgiving Songs by the Jacqueline Jules.
Click here to see the book trailer.
For more of today’s book reviews, click here go to author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book page.
Catch him if you can! #AmazonGiveaway! Enter here for a chance to win a copy of The King Cake Baby. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends September 21, 2015!
If you’ve ever had king cake, you know a tiny plastic baby belongs inside the cake. But what if the baby runs away before he’s hidden inside the cake?
The King Cake Baby is a tasty re-telling of the Gingerbread Man tale, told New Orleans style! The runaway baby is chased by an old Creole lady and an old Creole man, a praline lady in Jackson Square, and a waiter at Café du Monde. But can he outrun a clever baker?
Happy 4th of July Estados Unidos! Actually Louisianians would have said something like Feliz el 4 de Julio or Heureux le 4 éme Juillet. Thanks Google!
Language aside, the Spanish Colony of Louisiana under the leadership of Bernardo de Gálvez (photo below) joined forces with the British-Americans to fight for their independence against the British. Indigenous Native Louisianans fought alongside those of French, Spanish, African, German, Acadian, and Swiss descent. The rest as they say, is history. Why did Spanish Louisiana help British-America?
European wars profoundly affected the fledgling French colony. Spain supported the American Revolution because of their losses to Britain during the Seven Year’s War (1756–1763). On the same day France relinquished most of her empire east of the Mississippi to Britain at the end of the Seven Years’ War, she ceded all her possessions west of the Mississippi to Spain, her ally in the conflict. Spain lost all of her North American territories (Spanish Florida) to regain control of Cuba and became the new ruler of the Louisiana Colony. In order to recoup her losses and to protect what was left of her colonies in the Americas, Spain used both international and domestic policies to guard and develop her holdings. Internationally, Spain’s support of the American Revolution helped protect her borders from Britain, while on the domestic front Spain needed to develop a prosperous Louisiana colony.
Allowed to access supplies through the port of Havana in Cuba as well as the port in New Orleans during the revolution, Spanish Louisiana played a crucial role in American Independence.
You’re welcome America! Just sayin’!
Betty Bunny Loves Easter is today’s pick for Perfect Picture Book Friday! My pick for today is
Written by Michael B. Kaplan
Illustrated by: Stéphane Jorisch
Publisher: Dial Books (February 2015)
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: Easter, growing up, seeking independence, family, overcoming disappointment
Brief Synopsis: Betty Bunny wants to become the Easter Bunny one day but when she has difficulty finding eggs on her own at an Easter egg hunt she becomes discouraged.
Opening pages: “Betty Bunny was a handful.
She knew this because on the night before Easter, she was hopping all around the kitchen handing eggs to her parents, her brothers, and her sister. And that’s when everyone in her family said at once: “Betty Bunny, you are a handful.”
Why I like this book: Many families will recognize the character portrayed in the Betty Bunny series. She is indeed a handful! But even when naughty, Betty Bunny is loved. In this new addition to the series Betty Bunny discovers her older siblings are helping her fill her basket with eggs on the Easter egg hunt. She tells them she would prefer to find them on her own. But when she only finds one egg she decides “Easter is yucky”. Her parents encourage her to keep trying.
Resources: A page dedicated to the Easter Bunny theme can be found here.
For more of today’s book reviews, go to author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book page.
What do the King Cake Baby & Mr. Bingle have in common? They are both New Orleans icons. And about the same age too.
Every baby boomer who grew up in New Orleans visited Mr. Bingle in the Maison Blanche window then went inside the store to take a photo with Santa himself. Credit for the creation of this Christmas icon goes to Mr. Emile Alline who was the window-display manager at the store. Back in 1948, a French Quarter puppeteer named Edwin H.Isentrout was hired to promote the little snowman named Mr. Bingle and advertise the MB franchise. Between the storefront window display, TV commercials, and visits to other store locations, the image became a New Orleans icon.
We can thank Daniel Entringer, Sr. for popularizing the icon of the small plastic baby known as the king cake baby hidden inside king cakes.. He was a cheesemaker from Wisconsin who bought McKenzie’s Pastry Shoppes from Henry McKenzie in 1932. At one time, McKenzie’s bakery was the most popular bakery in New Orleans offering sweets such as buttermilk drops, blackout cakes, petit fours, eclairs, and chocolate turtles to name a few, in addition to their famous king cakes. When a Carnival Krewe named the Twelfth Night Revelers asked Entringer to make king cakes for them, they supplied their own trinkets to hide inside the cake as custom dictated. However, according to the history told, a friend of Entringer found a plastic baby in a French Quarter shop back in the 1940’s and suggested he use it. The baker started using the plastic baby then and created the tradition that continues to this very day. A king cake without a baby hidden inside is simply a cinnamon roll!
Susanna Hill is hosting her 4th annual Halloweensie Contest. The rules are to write a Halloween story in 100 words or less including the words pumpkin, broomstick and any variation of creak. Easy, say you? NOT! But I gave it a go. Here’s my entry using 99 words. Enjoy.
Hildy’s Halloween Ride
BAM! Hildy moaned. She picked up her hat, and put it back on. Then holding on to the broomstick once more, Hildy lifted her left foot on top of a pumpkin and carefully raised her right foot up and over. She tried to balance but wobbled. Then suddenly – SNAP!
“Owww-eee.” groaned Hildy.
Hildy’s heart raced. The witches will want to take off soon. She pointed her wand at the broken pieces. Nothing happened. The book of spells might work but she hadn’t yet learned to read. Then the door creaked open.
“Mooooom!” shouted Anna. “Hildy ruined my costume!”
Title: Ghosts for Breakfast
Written by: Stanley Todd Teraski
Illustrated by: Shelly Shinjo
Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc. 2002
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: Japanese culture, immigration, ghosts, community, cultural awareness
Brief Synopsis: Neighbors fear there are ghosts in the fields where they farm. A man and his young son go out to prove otherwise.
Opening pages: “PON! PON! PON!
The pounding at the door shattered my family’s peaceful evening
PON! PON! PON!
Who could it be at this time of night? I saw Mama’s puzzled look as Papa opened the door a crack and peered out.
“Ah, Papa delighted, “”The Troubelsome Triplets.”
Why I like this book: Set in a farming town during the 19th century when Japanese families immigrated to the west coast, this story is about how a father and son tackle fear of ghosts that their neighbors are convinced are real..
For more book reviews see author Susanna Hill’s page, Perfect Picture Book page.
Who else is counting?
Keep up with the latest in Carnival news at Mardi Gras Central Countdown
Title: Shy Mama’s Halloween
Written by: Anne Broyles
Illustrated by: Leane Morin
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers; (August 1, 2000)
Age Range:4 and up
Themes/Topics: holiday, courage, shyness, immigration, cultural awareness
Brief Synopsis: Anya and her sisters want to go trick or treating in their new neighborhood. Their papa agreed to take them but now he’s sick. Their shy mother overcomes her fear of all things new and experiences her first Halloween.
Why I like this book: A nice story about the holiday seen through the eyes of immigrants new to the United States.
Resources: See the author’s site for a teacher’s guide.
Just in time to find and read for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.
Title: Apple Pie 4th of July
Written by: Janet S. Wong
Illustrated by: Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; May 1, 2006
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: celebrating holidays, community, immigration, cultural awareness, third culture adults and kids
Brief Synopsis: A little girl questions her parents’ understanding of the Fourth of July holiday when they open their store to sell Chinese food.
Opening pages: “Seven days a week, fifty-two weeks, three-hundred-sixty-four days a year (and three-hundred-sixty-five in a leap-year) our store is open.
Christmas is the only day we close.
Even on Thanksgiving we open the store.
Even today, New Year’s Day.
Even today, the Fourth of July.”
Why I like this book: Firstly, the main character is a feisty female! The book is based on a true life conversation with the author and her father on the Fourth of July. The book is based on a true life conversation with the author and her father on the Fourth of July. But the conversation was brief because her parents were busy selling food from their family mini mart. When asked why the store opened on the holiday, “And why not, “Fireworks are Chinese, father says.”
Wong is able to show the complexity of cultural adaptation. A perfect book for third culture kids and adults.
How do you celebrate the Fourth of July?
http://www.teachingbooks.net/book_reading.cgi?id=5144&a=1 (author interview)
Title: Arturo and the Navidad Birds
Written by: Anne Broyles
Illustrated by: KE Lewis
Pelican Publishing Company, Inc. 2013, Fiction
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: honesty, accepting responsibility, courage, compassion, forgiveness, cultural awareness
Brief Synopsis: Arturo helps his grandmother Abue Rosa decorate her Navidad tree. She explains the origin of each ornament from her childhood, and those she received as gifts from friends. Arturo breaks one of her treasured ornaments when Abue Rosa is not in the room. And after she returns and asks if he’s seen the ornament, he hides it from her. Arturo then tries but fails to repair the ornament. But then he is remorseful and tells his grandmother what happened. Abue Rosa is forgiving and takes what Arturo made from the broken ornament and adds it to her Navidad tree and comforts him by saying to Arturo, “People are more important than things. mi’jo.”
Opening pages: “Arturo bounced up and down in front of the pine tree. “Hurry, Abue!”
His grandmother called from the kitchen, “Momentito, mi’jo.”
Arturo saltaba una y otra ves frente al árbol de pino. “Date prisa, Abue!”
Su abuela lo llamaba desde la cocina, “Momentito, mi’jo.”
Arturo frowned at the sting of unlit lights. “Our Navidad tree looks empty.”
Abue Rosa wiped her hands on her apron as she bustled into the living room. “It will soon be full.”
Arturo fruncíó el ceño al mirar las luces de Navidad sin encender. “Nuestro árbol de Navidad se ve vacío.”
Abue Rosa secó sus manos en el delantal mientras caminaba dentro de la sala. “Pronto estará lleno.”
Why I like this book: This is a heartwarming story of the relationship between a boy and his grandmother. The themes are universal. The boy, Arturo makes a mistake, is not honest in the beginning, and tries a resolution that fails. His grandmother is forgiving and shows Arturo her love by explaining that people are more important than things.
This book is an example of what the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign running this May 1-3, 2014 is all about. The front cover and title tell us the book is representative of one of the underrepresented groups in the world of children’s literature because the illustrations include a child and adult who have toffee colored skin. All people can be described by color; but this book is written about people with skin of a particular color who are part of a particular culture. In addition, Arturo and the Navidad Birds is a story any child or adult, regardless of the color of their skin, will enjoy. And for an extra bonus, the reader may learn some Spanish words since the book is published in both English and Spanish. Kudos to the author and illustrator. Well done, Pelican Publishing.
Resources: Free teacher study guide on the author’s site.