A Perfect Picture Book Pair about courage. These stories show it’s possible to overcome fear with the love and support of family.
In JABARI JUMPSby author-illustrator Gaia Cornwall, Candlewick Press, 2017, a boy declares to his dad that he is ready to jump off the high diving board for the first time. Or is he?
In THUNDER CAKE by author-illustrator Patricia Polacco, Philomel Books, 1990, a grandmother distracts her granddaughter frightened by an incoming storm by gathering all the ingredients needed to make a Thunder Cake – some from outside!
A PerfectPicture Book Pairshowcases two books with universal themes, but one must include a diverse setting, or life experience, or main character. My goal is to support books in the market that contribute to diversity in children’s literature.
Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” I believe reading is too!
Kids love to see their reflections in books. Join me and #ReadYourWorld!
When Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) voiced her objections about the nomination of Jeff Sessions for US Attorney General during his confirmation hearing on February 7, 2017, she was silenced. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) interrupted Senator Warren as she read from theletterwritten in 1986 by civil rights leader Coretta Scott King.That letter helped prevent the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as a federal judge for his home state of Alabama. McConnell accused Warren of making statements that impugn thecharacter of Sessions which he determined was against Senate rules. [spacer height=”10px”]
The senator presiding over the hearing advised Warren that she was out of order under Senate Procedural Rule 19. “I’m reading a letter from Coretta Scott King to the Judiciary Committee from 1986 that was admitted into the record,” Senator Warren argued. “I’m simply reading what she wrote about what the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be a federal court judge meant and what it would mean in history for her.” [spacer height=”10px”]
Senator McConnell asked for a vote. After a 49-43 vote split across party lines, Senator Warren was not allowed to finish nor speak again. Instead, she continued reading theletteroutside the door of the Senate floor. [spacer height=”10px”]
Defending his actions, Mitch McConnell later explained,“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” [spacer height=”10px”]
Inspired by that event, Chelsea Clinton wrote this book and featured thirteen other women in America who also faced opposition and or adversity but succeeded because they persisted. [spacer height=”10px”]
Written by: Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by: Alexandra Boiger
Publisher: Philomel Books (May 2017)
Suitable for ages: 3-8
Themes/Topics: Women in US history, perseverance, resilience [spacer height=”10px”]
Brief Synopsis: In She Persisted, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to thirteen American women throughout history who, despite resistance from others or society, made positive contributions to our nation because of their persistence. [spacer height=”10px”]
Opening pages: “Sometimes being a girl isn’t easy. At some point, someone probably will tell you no, will tell you to be quiet and may even tell you your dreams are impossible. Don’t listen to them. These thirteen American women certainly did not take no for an answer. They persisted.” [spacer height=”10px”]
Why I like this book: She Persisted is an inspirational tribute to thirteen women whose contributions to our nation deserve recognition. Some of the women featured are well known and others are not. The colorful illustrations by Alexandra Boiger include a diverse cast of characters, girls and boys, that reflect our nation’s multicultural population. [spacer height=”10px”]
Perseverance, persistence, fairness, and dreaming big are common themes in children’s books. I enjoyed the inclusion of women in a book that also teaches US history. As a non-fiction book, there are endless opportunities for educational use. Students could conduct more in-depth study of each character, or research other lesser known female figures who have also helped shape our nation. The adults in this book are role models children should know about and look up to. The author includes a quote that explains why every child, especially girls, should read this picture book, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” -Astronaut Sally Ride [spacer height=”10px”]
Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick isTHE RING BEARER. It’s normal for the bride and groom to be nervous on their big day, but imagine a young child who is part of a wedding party feeling nervous. Now imagine it’s his mother’s wedding! [spacer height=”10px”]
Written/Illustrated by: Floyd Cooper
Publisher: Philomel Books (April 2017)
Suitable for ages: 3– 7
Themes/Topics: overcoming fear, anxiety, dealing with change, love, weddings, blended family [spacer height=”10px”]
Brief Synopsis: Jackson’s mother is getting married. And he is an important part of the ceremony. Jackson is the ring bearer! But he’s worried. What if something goes wrong? He could trip. He could drop the rings. Sophie, his younger new stepsister is part of the ceremony too. She’s the flower girl. But Sophie isn’t worried at all. In fact, she’s having fun. [spacer height=”10px”]
Opening pages: “Mama is having a wedding, and Jackson is worried. What will it be like to call Bill “Dad”? And share stuff with Sophie, his new little sister? Things won’t be the same around here anymore.” [spacer height=”10px”]
Why I like this book: This story made my heart smile. I adore the cover with a cautious Jackson and playful Sophie. Through text and illustrations, Floyd Cooper created an endearing story about the power of family. Readers will love his inter-generational characters and blended family because they express their love of one another throughout the story.
With the support of his family, old and new, Jackson is able to overcome his fear. And because of the wonderful examples in his life, Jackson even saves the day! [spacer height=”10px”]
Find answers to your burning questions about having children in a wedding party here.
Find the article from the site, Today’s Parent, Kids at weddings: Essential do’s and don’ts here. [spacer height=”10px”]
Find an article, Children’s feelings about blended families, here. [spacer height=”10px”]
Read more of today’s reviews at author Susanna Hill’s blog. [spacer height=”10px”]