Category Archives: Book event

Happy Book Birthday NO VOICE TOO SMALL!

Happy Book Birthday NO VOICE TOO SMALL!

What an amazing day! Lindsay, Jeanette, and I planned a fun-filled virtual book launch for NO VOICE TOO SMALL. An Unlikely Story Bookstore agreed to host us. The anti-bullying activist featured in the book, DJ Annie Red, agreed to perform.

And the day finally arrived!

It started with book lovers sharing the news of our book birthday…

…on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Messages poured in. Friends, authors, our publisher, book reviewers, booksellers. All sending congratulations and praise.

All morning long! Here’s a snippet of what happened…

We felt so much love for a book that so many poured so much heart into so it would be ready for this day, to be sent out into the world, and into the hands of children.

We even got a mention in the Washington Post! WOW!

At the book launch that evening, Lindsay, Jeanette and I spoke a bit about the book and thanked the the fourteen young activists, poets, our editor, art director and the our Charlesbridge team that were all a part of this project. We shared the opening and closing poems and one of the contributing poets, Lesléa Newman, read the poem she wrote about Zach Wahls. Jeanette demonstrated how she created the art for the book and drew a picture for us – live! DJ Annie Red performed an acapella version of her song “No You Won’t Bully Me”. Who had fun? WE DID!

We asked our audience to promise to use their voices and take the NO VOICE TOO SMALL pledge. Lindsay and Jeanette’s kids joined in!

So many friends, family, and creatives from the writing community came to our virtual event to support us. It was an unforgettable experience!

For weeks we noticed the “orange banner” on Amazon that designates a book as a #1 Release in a particular category which also compares and ranks books in the same categories.

The three Amazon categories for NO VOICE TOO SMALL are:

  • Children’s American History of 2000s
  • Children’s Social Activists Biographies (Books)
  • Poetry (Books)

On our book birthday, NO VOICE TOO SMALL became an Amazon Hot New Release in the category of Social Activists Biographies! But that’s not all.

Something else happened that didn’t involve sales or marketing or book promotion. Instead, someone helped make this night more special than it already turned out to be. Because it reminded me of why I write books for kids. And why this book matters.

The same day NO VOICE TOO SMALL released, a blog post Lindsay, Jeanette and I wrote for Reading For Research Month went live. We discussed books that inspired us.

In that post I wrote, “I have witnessed the power of story. It is undeniable.” Although I know that to be true, I didn’t know I would witness it on our book birthday. We may not know how or when or for whom books may affect, but we know the power of books. It’s undeniable! What a gift to see the reaction by Judy Adams to her featured story. Judy speaks UP about living with DOWN syndrome. At age twelve, she created Dimes for Down syndrome and grants wishes to others.

Kids need to see themselves in books. They want their stories shared. Adults can help empower, uplift, and amplify their voices.

Thanks to all for the support that made this a wonderful day for us and NO VOICE TOO SMALL.

Keila

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Wednesday, January 27th!

official poster by Robert Trujillo
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  • TWITTER PARTY! Diversity discussion during #ReadYourWorld Twitter Party from 9-10pm EST.

  • BOOK GIVEAWAY every 5 minutes during the Twitter Party!

  • BLOGGERS BOOK REVIEWS: find links to reviews here (MCCBD blog)

  • TEACHERS: Giving away more than 600 diversity books to classrooms provided by the Junior Library Guild. Details here.

  • MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S BOOKLIST:  find an extensive list of diversity books and extension activities for kids sorted by country, holiday, ethnicity, genre, and age group here.

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PLEASE SUPPORT MCCBD #ReadYourWorld SPONSORS:

Platinum Sponsors:

Story Quest BooksWisdom Tales PressLil’ Libros

Gold Sponsors:

Candlewick PressTori Nighthawk: Don’t Judge A Bird By its Feathers

Silver Sponsors:

Lee & Low BooksChronicle BooksCapstone Young ReadersChina Institute.orgTuttle PublishingNY Media Works, LLC/KidLit TV

Bronze Sponsors:

Jacqueline WoodsonPomelo BooksPapa Lemon BooksGoosebottom Books LLCAuthor Gleeson Rebello, M.D .,  Shout Mouse PressMahvash ShaheghLive Oak Media

Honorary Sponsor: 

The Junior Library Guild

Author Sponsors:

 Lisa YeeJoseph BruchacJacqueline JulesValerie TrippDebbie DadeyTodd DeBonisMaría de Lourdes VictoriaSherrill CannonPack-n-Go Girls®D.G. DriverJanet BallettaJ. J. ParsonsCharlotte RiggleMiranda PaulLeza LowitzAnn BerlakMarti DumasCarl GundestrupCarole P. RomanCathleen BurnhamHeidi Smith HydeGreg RansomKeila DawsonStephanie WorkmanGloria D. GonsalvesStephen HodgesQuentin HolmesJeaninne Escallier KatoKarl BeckstrandFrancesca FostP.J. LaRueFrancesca ForrestDiana Lee SantamariaTerrie HoopsCerece Rennie MurphyZ. AltugHoliday House PublishingMaria DismondyMichael SmithIcy SmithAphrodyi AntoineElsa TakaokaErik NielMarimba BooksKaren Leggett AbourayaShout Mouse PressKaneMiller EDC PublishingShweta AggarwalDurga Yael BernhardLorRonCoHeather GoetzDania Ramos

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Amazon Book Giveaway, Ends 09/21/15

Amazon Book Giveaway, Ends 09/21/15

That ended quickly!! Check back tomorrow. New giveaway will be announced!!

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?

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Multicultural Book Day is January 27, 2014

Multicultural Book Day is January 27, 2014

One day there may no longer be a need to have a ”day” to remind people to read books about the diversity within our own country and the world. But until that day comes, I invite you to celebrate Multicultural Book Day. Yay!

Why you ask? Meera Sriram lists 10 reasons in her blog post. http://www.incultureparent.com/2012/07/10-reasons-to-read-multicultural-books-to-your-kids/

And who can argue with what Mahatma Gandhi said, No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive. Diversity is all around us to embrace.

Anyone looking for titles can check out the sites below. Some of my favorite books are about different cultures found here in the USA and around the world. Read a few, or read a lot, and maybe some will become favorites of yours too.

http://www.pragmaticmom.com/multicultural-books-for-children/

http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/booklists/multicultural-books.htm

http://www.reading.org/General/Publications/blog/BlogSinglePost/rty/2013/04/17/multicultural-books#.UuBfff0o6os

Multicultural Book Day

International Picture Book Month

International Picture Book Month

Today marks the end of International Picture Book Month. I started my collection long before I had children of my own. What makes them so appealing?

Picture books are described as an art of visual storytelling. Lots of pictures but not a lot of words yet are quite challenging to illustrate and or write. The story must be compact yet have a beginning, middle, and end. There must be a setting that includes characters, a problem, and solution. The illustrations are accompanied by text of complex simplicity. The pictures help to construct meaning in the absence of words. In most cases, each on its own is not enough.

Children enjoy picture books because illustrations help them add meaning to the text. The Bracelet written by Yoshiko Uchida and illustrated by Joanna Yardley comes to mind. Emi and her family are Americans of Japanese heritage sent to an internment camp during WW2, and her best friend gives her a bracelet as a reminder of their friendship. The words tell a story about a difficult time in American history, the illustrations help the reader with the emotional journey Emi and her family experience during this time. Another book that comes to mind is The Elijah Door: A Passover Tale written by Linda Leopold Strauss, and woodcut illustrations by Alexi Natchev. The story is about two Jewish families living in the old country (Russia) who get into a feud. This review explains the importance of the book’s pictures, ”Alexi Natchev’s beautifully colored block prints evoke an Old World feel but also are playful and filled with expressive detail and movement.” – Arizona Jewish Post, 3/20/2012. The illustrations help the person being read to, or the reader, to imagine Russia back then. Eve Bunting’s book One Green Apple illustrated by Ted Lewin is a story about Farah, a Muslim girl who struggles to learn English and fit in her new school after her family immigrates to the United States. The illustrations are bright and engaging giving hope that the character will indeed find her place.

Picture books can be timeless and address issues common to childhood. They are often used to support curriculum in schools. Parents and teachers are often able to find just the right book to address a particular topic like belonging, bullying, courage, conflict, motivation, etc. at a time when it matters most to a family or student. Where the Wild Things Are is a timeless classic written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak that has 12 lines. The emotion is packed in the words and illustrations and certainly germane to children who are in or have been to that dark place and time in their young lives.

Are picture books still relevant? According to the PEW research center, even in this digital age, tech savvy parents still consider reading print books very important when it comes to their children. Yet, for the first time, Dr. Seuss books are now available in e-book format. Susan Brandt, the president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises says the e-books will mirror the classic print versions. The debate rages on about ”real” print media vs. the ebook format, but one thing is crystal clear, when a need arises, picture books have it covered.

Read and write on.