Wild Berries

WildBerries

Image Credit: Simply Read Books, Julie Flett

 

Guess what? It’s still Native American Heritage Month! Yippee!  If you didn’t see my first post celebrating this month, please check out my review for Hiawatha and the Peacemaker!

Wild Berries is a sweet little book. Julie Flett is Cree-Metis and lives in Vancouver, BC. Wild Berries is written in English with words translated into the n-dialect (Swampy Cree) of Cree. This particular dialect of Cree is from the Cumberland House area of Saskatchewan. As you enjoy the story, you can also pick up a few Cree words. Flett includes more information about the various dialects of Cree and a pronunciation guide at the back of the book.

In this book, Little Clarence and his grandmother set out for the day, exploring nature and picking all types of berries. Clarence starts out on her back but grows into a boy who is curious about his surroundings. He especially loves big, sour ininimina (blueberries). There are many animals in the woodlands and when his bucket is full of sweet berries, he is sure to leave a few as a gift for the animals…and they are thankful. The readers get a gift as well, Flett includes a recipe for Wild Blueberry Jam at the end of the story.

Flett’s style reminds me of cut paper though it looks to be watercolor and digital illustration. She uses basic shapes to make eyes, arms, animals and trees. The bright red orange sun follows the grandma and her grandson as they enjoy the day together. Maybe you’ll want to go berry picking after reading this book, I know I sure want to!  Come on spring.  🙂

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Diversity, Native American Heritage Month, Cree, Language, Colors, Food Culture, Family, Animals, We Need Diverse Books
Book Info: Wild Berries by Julie Flett, 2013 Simply Read Books, ISBN: 9781897476895

Advertisements

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors

GoldenDomesSilverLanterns

Image Credit: Chronicle Books LLC, Hena Khan/Mehrdokht Amini

 

Islam. Let’s celebrate it through a picture book, shall we?  🙂

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns is a gorgeously vibrant rhyming picture book. Henna Khan shares her culture and religion with readers in a beautiful way; through teaching colors and showing daily life. The book begins with an intricate red rug that the young girl’s father uses to kneel on and pray to Mecca five times each day. Her mother’s hijab or head scarf is blue. The dates her family eats during Ramadan look so plump and delicious. Each page is a new color and a new aspect of Muslim culture.

DatesRamadanGoldenDomes

Image Credit: Chronicle Books LLC, Hena Khan/Mehrdokht Amini

 

Sometimes we judge others and their beliefs before taking the time to learn; Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns introduces children to a culture and religion that might be different from their own and aims (and succeeds) to teach. Cultural relativism, understanding and education are important and essential to being a respectful global citizen and this book is a great one for your family’s diverse collection.

Amini’s illustrations are bold. She is inspired by islamic art and her style incorporates collage; real life photographs seamlessly blend into her scenes. I love the large almond shaped brown eyes, the strong noses and lips of the family members. The colorful images in the book will stay with you and after reading, perhaps your family or class will be more interested in learning more about the very old religion that is Islam.

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Colors, Family, Rhyme, Cultural Diversity, Cultural Relativism, Religion, Islam, Community, Vocabulary
Book Info: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan/Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini, 2012 Chronicle Book LLC, ISBN: 9780811879057

Awake Beautiful Child

AwakeBeautifulChild

Image Credit: McSweeney’s, Amy Krouse Rosenthal/Gracia Lam

 

Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s new book is sweet and clever. All of her books are very clever so I’m not surprised at how awesome this one is. Awake Beautiful Child follows the day in the life of several children and is an “ABC” book in that she writes the story only using words that begin with the letters A, B and C; “All Begins Cheerily” and leads to “Amusing Breakfast Chatter” with “Apples, Bananas and Cantaloupe.” And so the story continues with several more children as we learn how they spend their day. Rosenthal even begins the book (check the copyright page) with “Alert: Boring Copyright” Haha. Children are also encouraged to look closely at the illustrations to find more words that start with A, B, and C; this book is excellent for multiple readings and exploration.

Lam’s illustrations are very quaint and retro-inspired. For every child’s story, she sticks with a color palate and her illustrations seem to be a combination of screen print, digital and hand drawings. For the human figures, she focuses mostly on profiles, with their large beautiful eyes as the focus. One thing I would’ve LOVED to see in this book is more children and families of color. The story follows multiple children, so it would’ve been very easy to show not only diversity in daily activities but diversity in children’s ethnicities as well. I hope that Lam’s next children’s book is more diverse.

I just might add this book to my favorite “ABC” book list along with Take Away the A. You will enjoy the calm illustrations, the excellent vocabulary (so many great words!) and the thrill of looking for “ABC” words in the illustrations. Be sure to check out Awake Beautiful Child with your child.

Recommended for: Toddlers to 1st/2nd Grade
Great for: ABC Learning, Colors, Family, Vocabulary
Book Info: Awake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal/Illustrated by Gracia Lam, 2015 McSweeney’s, ISBN: 9781938073922