Beloved poet and educator Francisco X. Alarcón passed away on January 15, 2016. Francisco was a prolific writer of poetry for children and adults. Born in California and raised in Mexico, Francisco’s poems explore his Chicano identity and celebrate the double joy of being a poet in two languages. His awards include multiple Pura Belpré Honors as well the Chicano Literary Prize and the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award. His passing is a great loss to the world of Latino literature.
We asked some of the authors and artists who knew Francisco to share their memories of him: Continue reading
In this guest post, Sara Burnett, education associate at the American Immigration Council, presents strategies and resources to enrich the classroom with the legacy of César Chávez. This blog post was originally posted at the American Immigration Council’s Teach Immigration blog.
“When the man who feeds the world by toiling in the field is himself deprived of the basic rights of feeding and caring for his own family, the whole community of man is sick.” — César Chávez Continue reading
Today is Mix It Up At Lunch Day, an annual day started by Teaching Tolerance over a decade ago to encourage kindness and reduce prejudice in schools by encouraging students to sit and have lunch with someone new, one day out of the year. Teaching Tolerance offers some great resources to help schools celebrate Mix It Up At Lunch Day, and we thought we’d add our own list of recommended books that encourage kindness, giving, bravery and open-mindedness!
- Lend a Hand: Poems About Giving written by John Frank and illustrated by London Ladd- A collection of poems showing the many ways individuals can make differences.
- Antonio’s Card written by Rigoberto González and illustrated by Cecilia Álvarez – Antonio’s classmates make fun of Leslie, Antonio’s mother’s partner because of her paint-spattered overalls. Antonio decides to make a card for his mother and her partner.
- First Come the Zebra by Lynne Barasch – Abaani, a Maasai boy, sees a Kikuyu boy, Haki, tending a new fruit and vegetable stall alongside the road and they take an immediate dislike to each other. A short while later, a dangerous situation arises near Haki’s stall and Abaani and Haki must overcome their differences and work together.
- King for a Day written by Rukhsana Khan and illustrated by Christiane Krömer – Malik wants to become the king of the kite festival, Basant. Using his kite Falcon, Malik becomes the king of Basant! When he sees a bully take a kite from a girl, Malik uses Falcon to give her a nice surprise.
We pride ourselves on publishing diverse children’s books that feature characters and cultures from around the world. In 2012, we expanded when we acquired Children’s Book Press, an award-winning multicultural publisher based out of the Bay Area. Our new CBP imprint is a great place to find high-quality bilingual English/Spanish picture books and many more books by talented authors and illustrators of color.
We’re very excited to report that we’ve reprinted several Children’s Book Press titles already under our CBP imprint, and we have more on the way! We know some of you have been waiting quite a while to see your favorite CBP books back in print, so we’re happy to share our most recent reprints:
Animal Poems of the Iguazú/Animalario del Iguazú, by Francisco X. Alarcón, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez
Bears Make Rock Soup, by Lise Erdrich, illustrated by Lisa Fifield
Jennifer Brunk has been teaching Spanish and English learners from preschool to university level for over 20 years. She resides in Wisconsin where she raised her three children speaking Spanish and English. Jennifer blogs about resources for teaching Spanish to children on Spanish Playground. The following post is reprinted with permission from her original post at Spanish Playground.
Research has shown that reading to children helps them learn vocabulary and improves listening comprehension skills. As a parent or teacher, you are probably convinced of the value of reading to your child in Spanish, but how should you do it to promote language development?
Resident Literacy Expert Jill Eisenberg began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators.
Note: This lesson can be done with other books, but dual language/bilingual books offer a unique opportunity to engage non-English speaking parents in the classroom and provide a way to continue rigorous discussions with their children at home regardless of English in the home. Bilingual books additionally underscore the diversity of our classroom communities and equalize parents as teachers in students’ minds.
Using a bilingual book with a Spanish-speaking parent in the classroom is a strategy I learned teaching in San Jose, CA as a part of a parent engagement program called “Los Dichos de la Casa” by Silicon Valley YMCA. Whether your classroom has only a few English Language Learners (ELLs) or a majority, bilingual and dual language books can encourage close reading of a text and increase accessibility of the text to ELLs.
In this series, I’ve modeled how bilingual and dual language books are being used in classrooms to foster deep, critical thinking and a love of reading. Last week I looked at first and second grade, and this week I take a look at third and fourth grade:
Exemplar text: Grandma and Me at the Flea/ Los Meros Meros Remateros by Juan Felipe Herrera
Can’t decide on a theme for your birthday party? No problem—just put them all together! At least, that’s Marisol McDonald’s philosophy. Get ready for a princess-unicorn-soccer themed party like you’ve never seen before in Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash/Marisol McDonald y la fiesta sin igual, coming this September.
Our recent grant from First Book prompted us to ask our authors to reflect on why diverse books are important. Guest blogger, author/poet Pat Mora, talks about witnessing the special connection Spanish-speaking children make with books that include their culture and language.
“Once upon a time . . .” A magic phrase that can change our breathing. As far as we know, humans are the world’s story-telling creatures. Let’s think about the unique period in the lives of children when they begin to savor that phrase, when in fresh ways little ones are experiencing their surroundings and deciding where they fit.
For many youngsters, media is their main source of information and entertainment. Children lucky enough to become readers discover that they can read those once-upon-a-time words to themselves—and others. They discover the pleasure and power of words. Since words and books are powerful, how can we doubt that the images of children, families, and cultures in their books have a subtle and significant impact on young readers and their families? Who merits having their stories shared and who doesn’t? How does it feel not to see people like you between the covers of beautiful books? Are all our books created and valued equally?
Many of you were fans of Children’s Book Press (CBP), an award-winning multicultural children’s publisher, long before it was acquired last year by Lee & Low Books. If you’ve been wondering which of your favorite titles have made it back to print under our new CBP imprint, I present you with our shiny new 2013 Children’s Book Press catalog: