May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! You can learn more about the origins of this month designed to “celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions generations of Asian/Pacific Americans have made to American history, society and culture” here. To celebrate, our librarians curated lists of books by Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander creators for readers of all ages to enjoy all year long. Below, we have included photos of our staff picks displays, learning resources, virtual events to attend, and ways to take action to support our AAPI community.
You can stop by to browse our displays and/or click the titles below to put materials on hold at our library or other libraries in our system. The pictures below are just some of the books we’ve put on our displays. This is definitely not a definitive list of books or resources, but hopefully a good place to start reading, discussing, and sharing. We’d love to hear from you about the resources you find useful.
In addition to our physical displays, you can access many of these titles, as well as films, documentaries, ebooks and audiobooks on Overdrive and Hoopla. Kanopy has also curated a selection of films and documentaries for Asian American and Pacific Islander month that you can access with your library card.
There are incredible virtual events across the country that we can attend from our homes. I’ve selected a couple suggested events, but there are definitely many happening throughout this month and beyond.
*author talks with Paula Yoo, author of The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement, An Na, author of The Place Between Breaths, V.T. Bidania, author of the Astrid and Apollo series, and Kao Kalia Yang, author of Somewhere in the Unknown World
*a talk with historian and librarian Sarah Okner to learn about the internment of more than 120,000 Japanese American adults and children during World War II
Join the Asian Author Alliance for AAPI Book Month, “a month-long celebration of AAPI identities and cultures. AAPI authors and artists will come together for virtual panels and events throughout the month of May! Join us for discussions and celebrations of Asian and Pacific Islander identities and cultures!” Set reminders to attend their YouTube Panels, which you can always watch at your convenience.
We’re especially excited for the Diversity in YA 10 Year Anniversary Discussion (Instagram Live) with Malinda Lo and Cindy Pon on Friday, May 7 at 7pm CT.
“A decade ago, Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo launched Diversity in YA, a national book tour and website that celebrated diversity in young adult books. Today they look back on the ten-year anniversary of DiYA and talk about what’s changed and what hasn’t since 2011.”
Some of the best learning experiences we’ve had this year have been at Skokie Public Library’s Civic Lab. Civic Lab returns on Monday, May 10 from 7:30-8:30pm CT for a session on Asian American Activism.
“The term “Asian American” did not come into existence until the 1960s. Learn about the history of the term, its inclusion of Pacific Islanders, and the legacy of Asian American solidarity movements.” Register here.
“Introduced by Sen. Villivalam and Rep. Gong-Gershowitz, the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) Act (HB 376) will paint a more complete picture of our shared history by adding Asian American history to the Illinois School Code.” According to the Asian American Caucus, “This bill would ensure Asian American students learn stories that reflect their experiences. Further, all students will have a better understanding of Asian American communities, experiences, and histories as part of our country.”
The bill has passed in the Illinois House of Representatives, and now goes to the Senate. You can email your Legislators to Co-Sponsor and vote to pass the TEAACH Act ((HB 376 and SB 648) here. You can learn more about the efforts to pass this bill here.
Support providing Asian American Studies and Asian American Literature classes. Check out the Defining Safe podcast hosted by Yiming Fu with Albert Chan, a social studies teacher at Niles North High School & Niles West High School, about the process to create the Asian American studies class in D219.
Check out the Guide for Parents of Asian/Asian American Adolescents (William James College Center for Multicultural and Global Mental Health (CMGMH) Asian Mental Health Program, in collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Cross Cultural Student Emotional Wellness).
“Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. As America becomes more diverse, and more divided, while facing unimaginable challenges, how do we move forward together? Told through intimate and personal lives, the series will cast a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played in shaping the nation’s story.”
You can also access behind-the-scenes process interviews, educational resources and lesson plans, and an interactive gallery.
Our Youth & Teen librarians have created a special Staycation Kit which includes yarn, DIY Tic Tac Toe, DIY puzzle, a Take a Break with a Book list for the whole family, books, and more to help you spend time with family and create new, special memories together. You can also request DVD and book bundles to help with your spring break entertainment.
Lincolnwood residents can sign up for a Staycation Kit (pictured above). Fill out this formto request a kit – while supplies last. One kit per family, please.
The Lincolnwood Public Library is brimming with resources to help our community celebrate traditions, create memories, learn new skills, express gratitude, and spend time with family. Here are a few ideas compiled by our librarians to help everyone enjoy time together!
Finger Knitting Kit
Artists and crafters of all skill levels can find thousands of classes on CreativeBug. To access CreativeBug on our library’s website, go to Research & Learning, select Quick Links, then CreativeBug and log in with your library card. You can access the Finger Knitting class here. Use the yarn we’ve provided to make something fun!
DIY Tic Tac Toe
Cut two long strips and two shorter ones from your scrap fabric to use as the lines on your tic-tac-toe ‘board.’ Glue down strips of fabric in the shape of the # sign. Decorate your game pieces with either the traditional ‘x’s and ‘o’s or something more creative. You’ll need five of each design. Introduce your child(ren) to the simple rules of the game and then you’re ready to play! If you used a fabric bag as your ‘board,’ when you’re done playing, you can store the game pieces inside for easy clean-up.
You can create special family time by working together to color your own puzzle in the style of your choice. Feel free to share pictures of your finished products with us!
Host a Movie Night
Use our Movie Night Guide to plan a memorable movie night at home. Check out our suggestions of movies that can be fun for the whole family to watch together.
There’s nothing like a good book to enjoy inside while it’s cold outside – or to bring outside with you while spring begins. Our librarians have curated this Take a Break with a Book Booklist to offer suggestions for exploring places, experiences, and stories all from the comfort of home. This is just a list to get started. You can put these books on hold here. You can also always call or email our librarians to get personalized recommendations just for you or submit a Book Bundle request form at https://lincolnwoodlibrary.org/books-movies-more/what-do-i-read-next. We have included two FREE books you can read and keep.
Ty’s Travels: All Aboard! by Kelly Starling Lyons, Illustrated by Nina Mata
Ty’s Travels: All Aboard! is a fantastic read aloud for families – and a marvelous first independent read for beginning readers. Use the activity sheets in the Kit to continue sharing Ty’s world. You can access more resources here. Explore the power of imagination together by creating your own cardboard train and setting off on incredible adventures together. You can even upcycle the Staycation Kit box!
This book is an enjoyable read aloud for all ages, capturing the joy of winter in its poetic prose. Work together to create a collaborative piece (ex: poem, comic, drawings) about twelve kinds of a natural feature, object, person or experience. Use this book as a mentor text to write or talk about a family memory of winter or spring.
The library has many activities to explore on our YouTube channel and Facebook page, including storytimes, youth activities and crafts, author visits, program recordings, technology tutorials, book talks, and much more. There’s truly something for everybody!
Which activities are you excited to do over spring break? Feel free to share your suggestions with us!
We are eager to get feedback from our community about our Grab & Go Kits. We rely on your input to help us develop future kits. Tell us what you and your kids think by competing our quick feedback form & you’ll be entered into a gift card raffle! You can access it at www.tinyurl.com/LNK-KitFeedback.
Our youth librarians chose Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham as our youth Lincolnwood Reads selection. Participate in Lincolnwood Reads on Beanstack by creating an account.
Our youth librarians chose Outside, Inside as our youth Lincolnwood Reads selection, recognizing as Kirkus noted, that this book is “a powerful ode to community [delivering] a timeless message of humility, perseverance, and hope.” With her signature gorgeous and affirming style that reflects her deep, empathetic understanding of young readers, LeUyen Pham uses the concepts of inside/outside to help offer support, care, and insight to both document this moment in time – and also show how caring for each other is timeless.
As a book about the past year, please note Outside, Inside does discuss and show loss related to COVID-19. It is a beautiful book that deals with hard things in a hopeful, compassionate way. We wanted to share some resources to help you take care of yourselves and express any feelings you’re feeling.
Our Youth Librarians have created a special Grab & Go Kit to explore Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham together and extend the literacy experience with a variety of reading, writing, crafting, and connecting activities. Several of the activities in the kit are Beanstack tasks you can complete, check off, and win prizes! We’d love to see what you create so feel free to share pictures or videos with us at email@example.com. You can pick up a free Grab & Go Kit in our Great Green Box while supplies last. You can also use all of the ideas and resources available in this digital kit.
*Please note that several activities come from the activity guide created by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group..
Read Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham. You can put a copy on hold at our library. You can share it by asking open-ended questions. This is a technique called ‘dialogic reading,’ and research shows that it helps children increase their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Some suggested questions: Where is the cat? What do you notice? What do you wonder? How does this spread make you feel?
Call our Dial-a-Story line at 847-999-7600 to listen to a Read Aloud of Outside, Inside, read by Ms. Ann. This is a wonderful activity you can do as a family.
Join our Outside, Inside Book Discussion/Storytime
Attend our family book discussion/storytime on Wednesday, April 7 at 6–7pm CST! Register here. You can even share what you’ve created using this kit during our program! We will make the paper house together in the program.
Write a Thank You Note*
Every day nurses, doctors, grocery-store workers, post-office employees, teachers, and many others help make a world a better place. Write a thank you note to someone who has made a difference in your community. You can use the card, worksheet and envelope. Sesame Street Communities has resources to provide ways for everyone to say thank you. You can even create this Mail a Hug craft.
Interview Someone You Love*
Is there someone you miss seeing every day? Call them on the phone or set up a video call and interview them! You can use the worksheet for ideas for questions. You can even interview them for My Lincolnwood Story!
Support our local independent bookstore partner, Booked in Evanston, by purchasing a copy of our Lincolnwood Reads selections here. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to request any of our readalike titles – or any book you desire! They are the best!!
Draw a picture of your favorite thing to do outside.
Draw a picture of your favorite thing to do inside.
We have also included some activity pages from the readalike book, Why Are You So Quiet? by Jaclyn Desforges & illustrated by Risa Hugo.
Make a Memory Jar
Inspired byIn a Jar by Deborah Marcero and Memory Jars by Vera Brosgol, create your own memory jar. A memory jar can be a time capsule of an hour, a day, an event, or an entire season/year. Use the scrapbook paper and your own art supplies to draw or write down words that remind you of moments or feelings you want to capture. You can even put little objects into the jar. This is an activity you can do with the whole family. You could even make the jar to share with a friend or family member.
Host a Dance Party
Host a family dance party with your favorite music and dance moves. We have created a fun playlist of music we love to help you get moving and get everyone at home involved in creating your epic playlist. You can use speakers or a computer for quality sound. You can even dim the lights and set up some string lights or color-changing led lights to make it fancy. We’ve provided a glow stick bracelet and connector to add to the fun, which are recommended for ages 3 years old and up.
Make a paper house using the provided template from the Eric Carle Museum. Watch the tutorial video with LeUyen Pham to learn how to make the paper house. The project starts at around 16 minutes.
Speaking of the Carle Museum, check out ART in PLACE: Social Distancing in the Studio, “an exhibition featuring inspiring artworks created by more than 20 of today’s leading picture-book artists during the global pandemic. Each illustrator shares one artwork, a self-portrait taken in their studio, and a statement about their selection.”
The pairing of opposites of outside/inside offer an opportunity to use this book as a powerful mentor text for writers of all ages. Use the format of Outside, Inside as a prompt for a creative writing response after reading this book.
Watch virtual author visits and storytimes with LeUyen Pham talking about creating Outside, Inside.
“Using Outside, Inside, rich conversation, and multimodal activities, author/illustrator LeUyen Pham and educator Kass Minor will help caregivers and educators develop a foundational landscape for engaging kids in authentic conversation and reflective practice grounded in and connected to the 2020-21/Global Pandemic teaching and learning experience. Kids, teachers, and caregivers have few opportunities to talk about how COVID-19 has shaped their lives, and many have become desensitized to its omnipresent force. LeUyen Pham’s newest book Outside, Inside offers a gentle touchstone for initiating and/or continuing these conversations.” This session is recorded so you can always register and watch it at your convenience.
Check out readalike books that explore similar themes, such as community, kindness, family, creativity, various emotions, and resilience. Picture books are for everybody!
You can also pair Outside, Inside with other kinds of media such as poetry performances, art, comics, and film. Watch National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman read her poem, ‘The Miracle of Morning (presented in April 2020). You can access a performance video here.
We’d love to hear what you think about our Grab & Go Kit! Fill out our survey with your input and you’ll be entered into a prize raffle.
A librarian always shares their sources 🙂 Here are some of the awesome learning resources we’ve found and used to create this Grab & Go Kit and Lincolnwood Reads programs:
Welcome back to our 2021 Caldecott Club! I’m Miss Eti, one of the Youth & Teen Services librarians at Lincolnwood Library. We have come full circle during this, our 4th Caldecott Club, inspired by the fantastic program that Brian Wilson created at Evanston Public Library in 2016. This year we are hosting a collaborative virtual Caldecott Club WITH Mr. Brian and Evanston Public Library. We have been learning so much about how to host this program virtually – and it’s been so fun to join together across our community to geek out about gorgeous picture books!
We met together on Zoom on January 19, 2021 with a group of wonderful readers, their families, and friends to talk about all things picture books. We designed this program to be open to kids from around 1st grade through 8th grade and up because picture books are for everybody and everyone can learn from each other. I’ve tried to recap their brilliance in this post. (You can read the recaps from Session #1 here, Session #2 here, and Session #3 here.) We reached the culmination of our hard work picture walking and evaluating picture books for months: The Voting Party! We were joined by our program buddy, Ann, and our Evanston Library buddy, Laura. We also were joined by a special guest, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blogger, author, and librarian, Julie Danielson!
During this program series, different kids have attended a variety of sessions so it was pretty exciting to have most of our regular attendees – and some new friends attend our culminating program. The wonderful thing about picture books is their accessibility for engagement, whether you’re a first timer at Caldecott Club or a longtime fan.
We began our session by reviewing what the Caldecott award is, which is “most distinguished American picture book for children awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children.” Mr. Brian, as usual, revealed the books we’d discuss and helped get us excited! He also encouraged us to listen to each other and approach each book with an open mind. We then jumped into our discussion. We started the conversation about each book with a quick booktalk/picture walk to ensure everyone was familiar with the books. (The summaries below are from the descriptions from the publishers’ pages.) During our discussion, we asked the kids to share what they liked about the art, starting with the positive things first, as per the CCBC Book Discussion Guidelines, and then share what didn’t work for them about the art. A reoccurring theme throughout our discussion that the kids brought up was comparing the books to each other, which is a helpful strategy for all committees.
Our essential questions were:
What did you like about the art?
How well did the art express the themes/ideas/story?
Why should it win our Caldecott Club Award?
What could have been done better? Why shouldn’t it win our Caldecott Club Award?
Iris loves to push the elevator buttons in her apartment building, but when it’s time to share the fun with a new member of the family, she’s pretty put out. That is, until the sudden appearance of a mysterious new button opens up entire realms of possibility, places where she can escape and explore on her own. But when she’s forced to choose between going at it alone or letting her little brother tag along, Iris finds that sharing a discovery with the people you love can be the most wonderful experience of all.
Brian led our discussion about Lift. He started with a fantastic booktalk to recap Iris’s whirlwind adventures with the magical elevator button. He pointed out the unique features of the art in the comic-book style, the evocative facial expressions and body language, the use of humor, the dramatic page turns and double-page spreads, and use of perspective.
One reader shared how the art showed the girl’s emotions and how mad she got each time she didn’t get to press the button. Mr. Brian affirmed, “you could feel what she was feeling.” M. shared, “I love Lift because it’s drawn super well with all the little details.. and how every time [she] goes to a different place…” This led us into a discussion of the medium of Lift, which is usually found on the copyright page, but not in this book. The art is so fantastic and seems like it could be oil painting. We looked back at our notes and determined that it was made using Photoshop and Procreate. I have linked a video from Politics & Prose with Minh Lê and Dan Santat where Dan shows his process illustrating the book, including many of the things he changed between drafts (yay for the magical places inspirations)! A. shared that “every page has a special detail.” It was interesting how the comic book style worked for some readers and others did not prefer the format. Readers did share how they liked how it really showed emotion. L., shared, “I like it just fine. I actually love it. It’s one of my favorites.”
When is an old truck something more? On a small, bustling farm, a resilient and steadfast pickup works tirelessly alongside the family that lives there, and becomes a part of the dreams and ambitions of the family’s young daughter. After long days and years of hard work leave the old truck rusting in the weeds, it’s time for the girl to roll up her sleeves. Soon she is running her own busy farm, and in the midst of all the repairing and restoring, it may be time to bring her faithful childhood companion back to life.
Julie led our discussion about The Old Truck. She shared an excellent booktalk about the little girl growing up on the farm with the old truck as the constant in her life, and eventually she fixes up the old truck. Julie pointed out how it’s made with a mixture of traditional stamps and digital art, the limited color palette, simple shapes and patterns that express big ideas about working hard and family, inspired by the women in the creators’ family who worked really hard. Julie also pointed out how the truck stays in the same place in each spread. Y. shared that “this story is kind of unique. Most people end up buying different vehicles, but they keep this one, like it’s just as special as their family.” S. added, “I like how you could see the time passing.” R. said, “it’s kind of interesting to see how she grows up on every page.” M. added, “I really liked how the whole stamp thing. It looked really cool and I loved the color scheme – and I could see myself painting my walls using it.” Jules helped us think critically about the use of earth tones to convey meaning in The Old Truck – and how fitting it was for the themes of the story. Lu. shared how when we flipped through the book, it felt like a movie seeing the truck in the same place with everything changing. (10 points to us for making digital versions of the books available!)
Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption–a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.
Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all . . .
When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth And poison her people’s water, one young water protector Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.
I (Eti) led the discussion for We are Water Protectors. I reminded our group that it was illustrated by Michaela Goade, using watercolors, which is absolutely fitting and perfect for this book. I talked about how this book focuses on our relationship to water, and when the black snake/oil pipeline threatens the water, plants, animals, and people, the Indigenous-led resistance movement rises up to speak up and protect the water, which continues on today. H. shared, “I like this book because it teaches people how to treat the environment.” La. added, “I liked the watercolors. It really showed nature. I also liked why it was written and explained what was happening and why it’s bad.” You know I love good back-matter, too, my friend. Y. shared, “What I like about this is that they’re fighting for their water, just like some people right now during COVID, who don’t have water which is why they’re suffering so much.” (This powerful comment shows how incredible both this young reader is – and this gorgeous book that provokes this thoughtful comment. I can’t help but be reminded about the vital importance of access to clean water in Indian Country.) M. shared her favorite spreads when people are in a circle, declaring, “We stand/with our songs/and our drums./We are still here. She also really liked the spread that shows the negative impact of the pipeline on the wildlife, recognizing the creativity to express it.
A breathtaking picture book featuring a Korean girl and her haenyeo (free diving) grandmother about intergenerational bonds, finding courage in the face of fear, and connecting with our natural world. Dayeon wants to be a haenyeo just like Grandma. The haenyeo dive off the coast of Jeju Island to pluck treasures from the sea–generations of Korean women have done so for centuries. To Dayeon, the haenyeo are as strong and graceful as mermaids. To give her strength, Dayeon eats Grandma’s abalone porridge. She practices holding her breath while they do the dishes. And when Grandma suits up for her next dive, Dayeon grabs her suit, flippers, and goggles. A scary memory of the sea keeps Dayeon clinging to the shore, but with Grandma’s guidance, Dayeon comes to appreciate the ocean’s many gifts.
Julie led our discussion about The Ocean Calls. Julie talked about how Dayeon overcomes her fear of diving to join her grandmother, who is a haenyeo. Julie pointed out how the art was made digitally, pointing out the textures throughout the book, the mermaid imagery, playful perspectives, and magical purple. Julie also pointed out that Jess X. Snow worked really hard to accurately represent the haenyeo women in their culture. H. shared, “when they draw the ocean, if I were to do that, I would draw a straight line, but they drew waves, which is kind of cool.” Y. shared that he liked how Dayeon overcame her fear. M. shared how much she liked the backgrounds and surroundings with the colors, especially the ocean and the field. Lu. commented, “the ocean looks so real, you can almost feel it.” Julie talked about how the medium was really effective to express these ideas. Another reader added, “I like the way they draw everything. It makes it look super realistic and shows the expressions. Everything looks really fitting to the story.” B. shared, “I really like that they made the shadows into mermaid shapes. Also, I love mermaids. They’re one of my favorite things.” Julie shared that there’s a lot of mermaid imagery since the haenyeo are, as the author’s note states, “fondly known as Korea’s granny mermaids” and also “Indigenous marine biologists.” H. shared, “I think it should win since Dayeon had a fear of the water … and she went through it bravely and it tells the reader that fear is just another reason why you should try harder to do the things you’re afraid of.”
In this lively, rousing picture book from Caldecott Honoree Jillian Tamaki, a crew of resourceful neighbors comes together to prepare a meal for their community. With a garden full of produce, a joyfully chaotic kitchen, and a friendly meal shared at the table, Our Little Kitchen is a celebration of full bellies and looking out for one another. Bonus materials include recipes and an author’s note about the volunteering experience that inspired the book.
Ann led our discussion of Our Little Kitchen. She shared a fantastic booktalk about community kitchen bringing everyone together. She pointed out how it was drawn with nib pens and colored digitally, with a comics art style. She also pointed out how the book uses onomatopoeia to visually show the sounds, immersing you in the kitchen noises and smells, with a mixture of realism and surrealism. Ms. Ann also pointed out the excellent author’s note and recipe endpapers. Y. shared, “I like how in the end, the kid says, ‘Ok, time to clean up!'” H. shared how she liked the use of onomatopoeia “to show the reader what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.” A. shared that she’s learning about onomatopoeia in school for writing, which is such a great personal connection. B. shared how she liked how there’s so much detail on all the pages. She also noticed the shape and size of the text. S. shared that she liked it because she likes graphic novels and also likes to cook and bake. R. pointed out how the book starts out quiet, gets loud and then gets quiet again. Ann pointed out how the use of white space helps communicate in the book. J. shared, “This is my favorite book. I like how the art is like a comic book.” Ann modeled a fantastic text-to-text comparison to reflect on the comics features between Our Little Kitchen and Lift. L. shared that the comics features felt stronger in Lift but liked Our Little Kitchen better because of the drawing style that feels like a page of well-drawn doodles. H. shared that “they’re making food to help people who don’t have it, so that’s nice to know . . . so it’s kind that they’re helping others.”
Captain Swashby loves the sea, his oldest friend. And he loves his life by the sea just as it is: salty and sandy and serene. One day, much to Swashby’s chagrin, a young girl and her granny commandeer the empty house next door. All Swashby wants is for his new neighbors to GO AWAY and take their ruckus with them. When Swashby begins to leave notes in the sand for his noisy neighbors, however, the beach interferes with the messages that are getting across. Could it be that the captain’s oldest friend, the sea, knows what Swashby needs even better than he knows himself?
Laura led our discussion of Swashby and the Sea. She framed it as a story of “eventual friendship,” which is such a perfect way of putting it. Laura helped point out how the art shows how the sea is another character in the book. She shared how the expressions are larger than life, especially noticing the character’s eyes, noting the muted colors to convey it’s a beach story. H. shared how she liked how it’s an unlikely friendship story, appreciating how the girl never gives up and keeps coming back. B. added how it’s funny and liked how the ocean didn’t wash all the letters out, but made different words from the letters. L. declared that, “it should be first. It’s a good book – it’s about friendship – and I’m all about friendship. And it’s very funny too.” Y. shared that it’s also a favorite, and like The Ocean Calls, the girl went into the ocean even though she didn’t want to.
After we had walked through each book in a whirlwind of color and conversation, we were ready to vote for the winner of our 2021 Caldecott Club. This year, since we met virtually, I created a google form for people to vote for their first, second, and third choice. (If you’re interested in the technical details, I downloaded the results into an spreadsheet, calculated the number (1st place gets 3 points, 2 gets 2, and 3rd place gets 1) and then added up the totals. I then was able to screenshare to show how we got our results for full transparency. Finally, the math was complete and we were ready to announce our winners!
The Winner of our Evanston Public Library and Lincolnwood Library 2021 Mock Caldecott is….
Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat
Our group selected 3 Honor Books:
Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki
Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey
But wait, there’s more!
We will have a live Youth Media Awards Viewing Party on Zoom on Monday, January 25 at 8:00am CST! You can even get a special Grab & Go Kit in Lincolnwood Library’s Great Green Box. Register here.
Then, in the evening, we’ll meet up together at our regular Caldecott Club time (Monday, January 25 at 7pm CST) to watch selections from the Youth Media Awards webcast and react to the winners.
You can put Caldecott Club books on hold at our librarieshere.
I have created a RESOURCE GUIDE with activities, videos, podcasts, program kit supplies, handouts, and more to share the sources we’ve used and continue the learning! We hope it will be useful for you to explore these books at home!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for Caldecott Club! Thank you so much to Mr. Brian for this incredible collaboration! Thank you so much to Ann and Laura for being our awesome buddies and facilitators. Thank. you to our special guest, Julie Danielson, for joining our Caldecott Club community, leading two discussions, and sharing your notable picture book expertise! And of course, thank you to our friends, families, and young readers who are our Caldecott Club!
We are so grateful to host author Alicia D. Williams & illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara of Jump at the Sun: The True-Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston, at an interactive presentation about the art and craft of making books, including a live drawing demonstration and a drawing activity. This event was offered in partnership with Winnetka-Northfield Public Library on January 14, 2021.
Jacqueline and Alicia prepared a wonderful multi-faceted event for our libraries that had our group engaged throughout the entire program!
It began with Alicia sharing an outstanding and captivating read aloud of Jump at the Sun: The True-Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston that demonstrated her incredible skill as a storyteller, performer, and writer. (Seriously, I hope that they produce an audiobook of Jump at the Sun and hire Alicia as the narrator, with Live Oak Media producing it to help bring Zora’s story to life.) Alicia shared the beginning of the story with us – and left us intrigued to find out more. (Make sure to check out the recording to watch for yourself!) As Alicia pointed out, make sure to look for the wonderful hats and animals throughout the book.
Jacqueline then led us in a drawing activity to learn how to draw Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox in motion. You can see the finished illustration below and then our group’s creations! It was so helpful to have Jacqueline break down each step of the creation of these characters into smaller pieces. (And the good thing about the recording is that you can watch it and pause it if you want more time with your drawing, too.) I love when grown-ups and kids can draw together. Everyone did a fantastic job! Feel free to share your Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit drawings with us!
Alicia then shared a captivating folktale about Brer Rabbit getting thrown in the briar patch that had us all laughing out loud throughout the tale. Honestly, I could listen to Alicia tell stories all day. (Make sure to check out the recording only available for the next two weeks to watch for yourself. You don’t want to miss it.)
Finally, Jacqueline and Alicia kindly took questions from our audience. Our group had great questions about research, the art process, favorite animals, and more. It made me see the book in new ways after learning how Jacqueline “played compositionally with Zora, the sun and the horizon.” Alicia shared how she used jumping at the sun to create structure for the courageous moments when Zora jumped. As Alicia shared, make sure to check out the fantastic back-matter in Jump at the Sun. There was so much to learn from these creators! (I also just learned that you can buy beautiful original edition prints from Jump at the Sun from Jacqueline Alcántara!)
And of course, the time went by so quickly while we were having fun. Thank you to Anny from Winnetka-Northfield Public Library for collaborating on this event! Thank you to our program buddy Ann for all of your help!
Thank you SO much to Alicia D. Williams & Jacqueline Alcántara for visiting our virtual library and sharing your beautiful book with our communities! It was such a pleasure to host you – and we look forward to having you visit again in the future. We highly recommend inviting Alicia and Jacqueline to your school or library for an unforgettable visit!
You can check out the additional resources we’ve curated below to continue learning and sharing!
A recording of our author visit will be available here for 2 weeks (until February 3, 2021) after the program to watch and enjoy at your convenience.
Grab & Go Kit
Lincolnwood Library created Grab & Go Kits to celebrate these wonderful authors and their beautiful book! You can get them while supplies last from our Great Green Box outside the library. As always, they are free and available for everyone. You can also use the resources in this post to make your own kit. Here are some of our suggestions we included in the Kit to explore the book’s themes.
Our librarians have created a Movie Night Staycation Kit to help you host your own movie night at home with your family and create new, special memories together. You can put DVDs or Blu-rays on hold to pick up through curbside pick-up. You can access movies with no waiting using Kanopy and Hoopla. You can also check out a Roku from our Library of Things to access Netflix. You can find animated adaptations of picture books on Hoopla and Tumblebooks to host a literary film festival.
Lincolnwood residents can sign up for our Movie Night Staycation Kit (pictured above) that includes a popcorn, cocoa, a DIY puzzle, & movie lists for the whole family. Fill out this formto request a kit – while supplies last. One kit per family, please.
Everyone can use the resources in this post to host their own family movie nights. You could even host a watch party on Zoom with friends and family!
Hosting a Movie Night
You can apply print and visual literacy strategies with young people during and after watching movies together. Here are some suggested questions to discuss:
What was your favorite part of the movie?
Which character is your favorite?
What did you notice? What do you wonder?
What did this movie remind you of (ex: other films, books, stories, toys)?
What is something new you learned?
Would you recommend this movie to a friend? Why or why not?
Move Night Extension Activities
Encourage young people to create their own interpretations of films you’ve watched through playing pretend, LEGO creations, craft, art, and/or film responses, and extending the story with their own ideas.
You can create your own movie reviews, whether it’s an essay, a 3-panel comic, or a picture inspired by the film. Submit your review to the library via email to email@example.com and we’ll share your recommendations.
Make Your Own Puzzle
You can continue the family time by working together to color your own puzzles in the style of your choice. Feel free to share pictures of your finished products with us!
Take a break from the movie to play a board game such as the ever-popular Exploding Kittens, Telestrations, Super Fight, Meow, Uno, Suspend, or Fluxx. You can see a full list of suggested games at https://tinyurl.com/LNK-Games.
Our librarians have curated a collection of movies that can be fun for the whole family to watch together. From old favorites to modern classics to hidden gems, we hope you will find something everyone will enjoy. These films are general suggestions from our librarians. They may appeal to younger or older viewers. You can use resources like Common Sense Media to learn more about them and determine what is the best fit for your family. You can also always call or email our librarians to get personalized recommendations just for you. We’ll even create a movie bundle for you! You can also put DVDs we own on hold here.
Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices (also available on YouTube)
The Baby-Sitters Club
A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting
The Dragon Prince
Mary Poppins Returns
Over the Moon
The Secret Lives of Pets
City of Ghosts
Which movies or shows would you recommend to host a fun family movie night? Feel free to share your suggestions with us!
We are eager to get feedback from our community about our Grab & Go Kits! Each kit comes with a postcard with a QR code you can scan using a device with a camera that can lead you to a form to complete. You can also access the form here. We’d love to know what you think about the kits – and ways we can improve.
Welcome to our 2021 Caldecott Club! I’m Miss Eti, one of the Youth & Teen Services librarians at Lincolnwood Library. We have come full circle during this, our 4th Caldecott Club, inspired by the fantastic program that Brian Wilson created at Evanston Public Library in 2016. This year we are hosting a collaborative virtual Caldecott Club WITH Mr. Brian and Evanston Public Library. Things will be a bit different in our virtual program, but the joyful fun of exploring awesome books together will be the same. And now we have the opportunity to welcome people from across our community – and beyond – to celebrate beautiful picture books together!
We met together on Zoom on November 9 with a group of wonderful readers, their families, and friends to talk about all things picture books. We were even joined by friends in other states, including teachers and a library school student! We were joined by our program buddy, Ms. Ann, and our Evanston Library buddies, Laura and Louise.
We designed this program to be open to kids from around 1st grade through 8th grade because picture books are for everybody and everyone can learn from each other. I’ve tried to recap their brilliance in this post.
We began our program by reviewing what the Caldecott Award is. Mr. Brian shared how it is the award for the most distinguished American picture book for children, given out each year by the Association for Library Service to Children. He pointed out last year’s Caldecott medal winner, The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander, as well as the Honor books, Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris, Double Bass Blues, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney, & Going Down Home With Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyon. Thank you to Curt Leppert at Baker & Taylor who has shared print posters with us in years past – and provided this graphic for us to use this year. You can find it in our resources.
Mr. Brian then talked about the criteria for evaluating picture books. Shoutout to Holly Jin at Skokie Public Library for sharing this resource with me in past years to make the evaluation language more accessible. Brian and I emailed the criteria handout to those who registered to print out or view during the program if they wanted to use it.
Once we established our criteria, we were ready to explore the books. Mr. Brian put the books in a cardboard box, so he could dramatically open it just like the grown-up committee does when books arrive in the mail.
The books we discussed in session 1 were:
A Girl like Me by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Nina Crews
I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James
Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat
The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey
I guess this is the place I should put a spoiler alert for all the books we’re discussing…
Rather than doing a formal read aloud of each book, we did picture walks. For the picture walk, we discussed each book’s visual features to examine the techniques the artists used and how they worked. Often we would prompt the group by asking them: How well does this book do what it’s trying to do? What did you notice? What does it make you wonder? How does this page make you feel? What makes this art distinguished? (Shout out to Megan Dowd Lambert’s Whole Book Approach. I highly recommend her book, Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking about What They See.)
We used a strategy that ended up working well last year in person: scanning in the books so everyone could see them. While we had our copies of the physical books (insert my soapbox about books as objects, case cover secrets, and the texture and smell of picture books), it was very helpful to have digital versions to share with the group. We also added to our usual picture walk toolbox by encouraging participants to share and listen in lots of ways. People could unmute themselves and talk, raise their hands, use the chat, and use the reactions – and people did all of these things throughout the program, so ended up having a rich discussion in many places at the same time.
A Girl like Me by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Nina Crews
I (Eti) began our discussion by sharing some of the behind-the-scenes details about Nina Crews’ process to make A Girl Like Me. According to Nina, she made “patterns, scanned hand-made textures and used vector shapes created in Photoshop and collaged these with my photographs.” I was able to share some process pictures including thumbnails, sketches, and photoshoots she did with real girls – and emphasize how these real kids are the stars of this book, with their names on the copyright page and facts about them at the end. It was also able to share it as an ebook directly from Hoopla, which you can borrow and read without any waiting.
We began our discussion about A Girl Like Me by talking about the crowds of people who tell the girl who is flying that she shouldn’t be. L & S said, “they look mad.” We talked about Nina Crews used silhouettes to personify the crowds of naysayers – and how the girls have the color and focus on the page. When we explored the spread about the girl in the flowing scarves and a cowgirl hat, another participant pointed out, “she looks confident and brave.” Another participant noticed how “the building is slanted away from us and she’s standing upright, so she’s almost popping out of the building.” Another reader pointed out, “isn’t there a saying, on top of the world?” which is really the perfect way to express the emotions you feel looking at this spread. When we explored the spread with the girl swimming, someone pointed out that “her face makes it look like she’s trying to be a fish.” Ms. Ann commented, “This one is my favorite — she looks like a beautiful mermaid!!” Someone else added, “she looks like a dolphin too, when you see pictures of dolphins jumping out of the water.”
When the girls find community in the real world, people pointed out how much fun they are having with the capes and hats – and there are no grown-ups. We talked about how when the girls come together in the real world, walking past tall buildings, Nina Crews composed the real world elements to still feel fantastical. When we talked about the spread of the girls looking up at the butterflies on the way to the ocean, people pointed out how butterflies symbolize freedom and “they can do what they want.” Y & Z shared, “They chose butterflies because Monarchs migrate which means they are free.” We talked about the finale at the beach where they are all exploring their own interests. Another reader pointed out the buildings in the background, where they have journeyed from, perhaps swimming or boating to the beach. We talked about Nina Crews’ use of different geometric shapes throughout the book and what they symbolize. L. shared that “I think she used the stars because they are having fun.”
I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James
Mr. Brian began his picture walk of I Am Every Good Thing by sharing that the boy on the cover is the illustrator, Gordon C. James’s, son, Gabriel. Gordon C. James shared in an NPR interview, “My son is autistic, and so he doesn’t often get asked to do things or asked to be the center of things…It was powerful to illustrate his child “looking like how I feel he sees himself and how we see him as his family.” Mr. Brian shared how it is a celebration of joyful Black boyhood. He shared how the boys are doing different things throughout the book with the oil painting art sometimes being realistic and sometimes being expressionistic to show the feelings and moods the boys are feeling. We talked about how much we love the cover and how it makes you feel – and the sensory experience of the textured gold lettering.
We talked about how Derrick Barnes dedicated the book to Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, EJ Bradford, Jordan Edwards, Michael Brown, Jordan Davis, and Julian Mallory, who were Black young people who were killed, who come from families who love them and are unconditionally deserving of love and a future. Gordon dedicated the book “to my son, Gabriel, and all little brothers like him.”
Our journey began with the flying boy. A reader shared, “I really like this picture because he looks like flying – but it really looks realistic like a regular kid who happens to have wings on him.” D. pointed out that the “cape looks like feathers of a bird.” Y & Z shared, “he’s going fast.”
Mr. Brian then pointed out how the next spread of the boys playing in the snow is more realistic. Ms. Ann pointed out the shadows on the spread make it look like “like during real winter.” We then talked about the skateboarding boy and how he felt after falling down. L. shared, “You can’t give up right away because you’d never do it again and then you would think about it and maybe want to try again.” Another reader shared how they did that with their bike. Our group noticed how determined he looks. L. shared that “I like the sole of his shoe.” (I literally never noticed it until this kid pointed it out, which is amazing!) Mr. Brian pointed out how Gordon C. James’ art draws your eye to the shoe and makes it look real.
Mr. Brian then showed how the next spread is more fantastical with the boy looking into the microscope and the other exploring space. He drew our attention to how the art in the background reveals what the boys are looking at, mixing molecules and the cosmos. L & S shared that “it seems like the book is showing different jobs.”
We talked about how Gordon C. James hired models to inspire the kids throughout the book, which helps make it all feel real. The next spread returns to realism with the boy standing with his grandmother “looking at something intently,” according to Y & Z.
Mr. Brian asked about the emotions on the “coooooooool breeze” spread with people pointing out how happy and silly the boys look. They personify that perfect paper airplane metaphor with the joyful fun they are having. On the next spread, L & S pointed out that “he seems like a star himself.”Mr. Brian asked if we’d want to join the boys having fun in the pool, which we wholeheartedly agreed we’d love to do. He talked about how the colorful art expresses this joy. Mr. Brian talked about how the art expresses movement on the page where he’s playing basketball and baseball.
On the next spread, the kids shared how he looks “serious and calm” when “people are saying bad things to him.” Ms. Ann pointed out he looks “strong with the halo behind him.” Mr. Brian shared how the words hurt but he doesn’t let them defeat him.
Mr. Brain shared how amazed he is by the versatility in the art in showing so many different experiences and settings to convey the themes of the book. As Gordon C. James shared, “I wanted through the illustrations for these kids to feel empowered …I want them all to feel like they belong everywhere, like there are no limits to the places they should be, or the things that they can be. No part of this life — this full, amazing life — should be off limits to you just because of who you are.”
Mr. Brian talked about the double-page spread showing their ancestors and successful Black men who have come before them – with the confident boys at the front of the spread, looking directly at the reader, happy and proud. We admired the final spread of the boy who is very expressive, declaring, “I am worthy to be loved.”
Good news! You can participate in the Penguin Kids #IAmEveryGoodThingContest. Here are the details: “Do your kids have their own affirmations like the ones in the uplifting picture book? We want to see them! Submit a photo of your kid holding a sign that says “I Am…” followed by a positive adjective for a chance to win a custom portrait from Gordon C. James! There are two ways to enter: 1) Share your photos on Instagram using the hashtag #IAmEveryGoodThingContest 2) Submit using this link. The contest ends November 30 – but sharing affirmations is forever.
We then took a quick movement break to get our wiggles out. People could participate by doing jumping jacks or whatever they preferred to move a bit after sitting through two picture walks.
Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat
Mr. Brian began the picture walk by asking us who likes graphic novels. Everyone’s hands went up. He shared how Minh Lê also loves graphic novels and wrote the amazing Green Lantern: Legacy graphic novel, which is illustrated by Andie Tong. (We’ll actually be discussing it at Books & Bites in the winter!) He shared that Dan Santat also loves graphic novels – and created Lift basically like a comic book brought to life. This is also a funny book, so he encouraged us to look for the comical expressions, body language, perspective, and camera angles!
Mr. Brian pointed out how Dan Santat shows motivation on the characters’ expressions and body language. We noticed how Iris is surprised by the baby pressing the button, then mad, and then green with envy. Then betrayal again! Mr. Brian shared how miserable everyone is after Iris presses all the buttons. He then pointed out how we’re looking up at Iris from the garbage can when she looking at the broken elevator button and what an innovative way it is to show perspective. (Is it just me or is the elevator repair man a Stan Lee cameo? Can we just make this canon?)
Mr. Brian showed the power of the dramatic page turn going from the button dinging and Iris traveling through the door. As A. pointed out, “welcome to Narnia.” Mr. Brian pointed out the realistic tiger in the jungle, connecting to the stuffed tiger in the real world. Ms. Ann pointed out, “The tiger has Iris’s name on its belly!! It must have been hers!” D. pointed out, “I think she wants to go back because she realizes the tiger is “her” tiger.” Mr. Brian showed how the art reveals how unhappy Iris is compared to how fun her sibling and babysitter are having – making it a hilarious sequence.
We had a great prediction suggesting that Iris would go to outer space. As Iris lifts off the floor, a reader pointed out that it looks like no gravity. After the dramatic page turn, Y & Z pointed out that “it looks like the International Space Station.” Ms. Laura pointed out, “that’s a magic button!”
Mr. Brian pointed out how Iris finally smiles after she has the lovely moment with her sibling reading Summit – and decides to bring them with her to the button. D. suggested, “There are snowflakes on the page with the cat as foreshadowing.” Ms. Ann added, “Kitty is going inside too!” (I’m here for a spin-off adventure with their cat…) A reader pointed out how the sibling was thinking about their story, Summit, which led them to their wintery imagined world. Laura added, “books take you places.” Mr. Brian pointed out how Iris is with her sibling at the final endpapers. We then had to share the case cover secret because it is glorious. We closed by asking everyone where would you want to go with a magic doorbell? Y & Z suggested Hogwarts. A. said, “to meet people.” Another reader said, “outer space since I want to be an astronaut when I grow up and I don’t really want to wait that long.”
The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey
I (Eti) began our picture walk by talking about how this This Old Truck is created by brothers, Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey, who are co-author-illustrators. I talked a bit about the process how they created this book with over 250 handmade stamps, challenging themselves with limitations to provoke creativity. Jarrett and Jerome shared their process with Jules Danielson on her invaluable blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: “Once we had stamps, we’d use them to make prints with black ink on Bristol board. If an object appeared on multiple spreads, we’d use the same stamp but make multiple prints, so each appearance of the object in the book would be unique. That was a rule we gave ourselves. Another rule was to never use the same stamp twice on the same spread. So even though all those trees kind of look the same, each one got its own stamp with its own print.”
We began our picture walk by predicting the setting, considering that maybe it’s by a greenhouse or about nature or farmlands. We talked about how the story starts even before you get to the title page, cold open style. (L& S even pointed out, “in the first picture before the title page the mom was pregnant.” What careful artist eyes!) We thought about how the Pumphreys use limitations creatively, using only 8 colors and using them well.
We discussed how the old truck worked long. One reader suggested how it could drive things to the market. We noticed how the colors shifted between spreads, subtly showing how the seasons have changed, perhaps also showing the transition to harvest time. We talked about how the perspective changed as we look straight ahead at the barn, but the truck never moves throughout the book. Also, I love the chickens and they are my favorite.
We talked about the dramatic tone shift as the girl/truck dream and sail the world and go on adventures. We pondered whether the girl was dreaming of the truck or the truck was dreaming of the girl. It got very metaphysical and I’m here for it. Y & Z. pointed out the great use of personification. L & S shared, it’s “showing her love for the truck.”
We talked how the art shows the passage of time as the truck and the girl grow older – and learns how to take care of the farm and the tractor. We noticed how the weeds around the old truck are growing with each spread. We talked about the illustrators used whitespace to show us the truck covered in snow. L & S said, “the truck is covered in snow.” D. said, it “helps us know the truck is under there because the truck stayed in the same place.” Another reader shared “it kind of looks perfect because the snow is only on the roof and windows of the house.”
Our group shared some predictions for what the new farmer – the girl all grown up – would do with the truck. Some suggested she would sell it or take it somewhere or maybe broke it. Y & Z shared “she fixed it and made it better.” We pointed out how the “but she dreamed and persisted” spread works like comic panels to show the passage of time and the hard work she put into fixing the truck.
A reader suggested how she made the fixed truck her own, likely replacing things to make it like she wants it. In the finale, after the “vroooom!!”, we see our chicken friends again who are startled by the car noise. On the next spread, we see her daughter on the truck, showing the generations of perseverance and persistence and hard work taking care of the land. I then shared how this book is inspired by the incredible women in Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey’s life.
After we had walked through each book in a whirlwind of color and conversation, we were ready to ballot. This year, since we met virtually, I created a google form for people to vote for their first and second choice. (If you’re interested in the technical details, I downloaded the results into an spreadsheet, changed the 1s to 3s (since 1st place gets 3 points, 2 gets 2) and then added up the totals. I then was able to screenshare to show how we got our results for full transparency. While we were waiting for everyone to vote (and for me to do the maths), we played a read aloud of I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes & Gordon C. James.
And the Session 1 Winners Are…
Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat
The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey
Join Us Next Time!
Please join us for our next Caldecott Club session on December 7, 2020 from 7:00-8:15pmCST! I am also working on creating Caldecott Club Grab & Go Kits to pick up at Lincolnwood Library. Register for the program here and we’ll contact you to pick up your free Grab & Go Program Kit through our curbside pick-up. You can also access our digital Grab & Go Kit at https://bit.ly/3pIi0QJ.
Since you’ve spent all this time reading this post, I’ll even let you know which books we’ll be discussing. You can even watch us share the reveals below:
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade
The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho, illustrated by Jess X. Snow
Honeybee by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
You Matter by Christian Robinson
You can put Caldecott Club books on hold at our librarieshere.
I have created a RESOURCE GUIDE with activities, videos, podcasts, program kit supplies, handouts, and more to share the sources we’ve used and continue the learning! We hope it will be useful for you to explore these books at home – and maybe even create your own Caldecott Club!
Thanks for sticking all the way through this post… I hope to see you next time at Caldecott Club!
Join us in celebrating Native, Indigenous and First Nations voices this November, which is Native American Heritage Month, throughout our library. The fantastic video below, created by co-founders of Little Cheiis, Wade M. Adakai (Diné (Navajo) & Antonio Ramirez (Navajo/Hopi), offers the history and origins of Native American Heritage Month.
Last year we created several book and interactive displays in our Youth & Teen Services department for Native American Heritage Month. This year we’ve expanded our displays throughout our library across all genres and ages by Native and First Nations creators. There’s truly something for everybody – all year round! Visit us any time to borrow any of these fantastic books and take a copy of our resources. You can also use the links below to put books on hold to pick up at your convenience. They also make excellent gifts from your local indie bookshop. (We have also updated this post with additional resources throughout the year.)
Adult & Teen
For a full list of recommended adult books, click here.
For a full list of recommended teen books, click here.
We also have included resources and Change the Story infographics from Illuminatives in our display. You can learn more and take action here.
We have also added an invaluable resource to help advocate for more incredible, authentic books by Native creators to be published. The Diversity in Children’s books 2018 Infographic* shows the “percentage of books depicting characters from diverse backgrounds based on the 2018 publishing statistics compiled by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC).” Please take a copy of the infographic postcard, which includes the infographic and resources to take action and learn more on the back. You can see the 2019 CCBC Diversity Statistics here.
For a full list of recommended middle grade books, click here.
For a full list of recommended informational books, click here.
For a full list of recommended picture books, click here.
This year we have innovated to create touchless listening stations where patrons can listen to incredible audiobooks/read alouds from Native creators. You can use a smartphone to scan the QR code on our signs, which takes you the readalong book in Hoopla to listen with your headphones.
You can create your own listening station at home (or in your classroom/library), too! You can listen while reading your copy of the print book or even while you do an activity from the activity guides. (Thank you to Lisa for making this beautiful signs.)
Listen to the award-winning readalong audiobook of We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation) & illustrated by Frané Lessac on Hoopla! Read by Cherokee citizens Lauren Hummingbird, Agalisiga (Choogie) Mackey, Ryan Mackey, Traci Sorell, & Tonia Hogner-Weavel. You can listen here on Hoopla. You can access an incredible activity & discussion guide and coloring sheets here. We are also so excited for Traci & Frané’s new book, e Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know, coming out on April 21, 2021, from Charlesbridge! Check out this amazing video with Traci and editor Karen Boss about the making of this outstanding. book!
Listen to the readalong audiobook of the award-winning book, Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard (Mekusukey band of the Seminole Nation), illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal. Read by Kevin Noble Maillard. You can listen here on Hoopla. You can access an activity and discussion guide here.
Listen to the read aloud of We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom (Anishinabe/Métis and is a proud member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe Indians) and illustrated by Michaela Goade (member of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska). You can access an activity and discussion guide here.
We also have a Grab n’ Go Gratitude Jar activity that you can pick up in the Great Green Box or inside the library. It is inspired by ThankU: Poems of Gratitude, edited by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Marlena Myles (Spirit Lake Dakota, Mohegan, Muscokee Creek). You can read it right now without waiting on Hoopla! The Editor’s Note to Educators and Parents in ThankU is a valuable resource to discuss and focus on gratitude all year.
Digital Resourcesfor Learning More about Native, Indigenous,and First Nations Peoples
We have compiled resources that we hope can be helpful. This is NOT an exhaustive or definitive list of resources, but a collection of tools and resources we have found useful and informative as we have been curating our display and continuously learning more. The descriptions are from their websites. We put together a paper brochure in our displays for patrons to take, explore, & share. We’ve adapted the handout to make it accessible online here.
Reclaiming Native Truth is a national effort to foster cultural, social and policy change by empowering Native Americans to counter discrimination, invisibility and the dominant narratives that limit Native opportunity, access to justice, health and self-determination. Reclaiming Native Truth’s goal is to move hearts and minds toward greater respect, inclusion and social justice for Native Americans. It was co-designed and co-led by IllumiNative founder Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma) and Echo Hawk Consulting.
Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian provides educators and students with new perspectives on Native American history and cultures. NK360° provides educational materials and teacher training that incorporate Native narratives, more comprehensive histories, and accurate information to enlighten and inform teaching and learning about Native America.
Informational text and Alaska Native culture form the basis of the groundbreaking Molly of Denali series and its educational resources. This collection offers videos, digital games, lessons, teaching tips, and activities so that educators can utilize the series in the classroom and home.
Each location marker reveals a Native Nations poet and features an image, biography, and a link to hear the poet recite and comment on an original poem. This body of work forms the foundation of a “Living Nations, Living Words” online collection in the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center.
Established in 2006 by Dr. Debbie Reese of Nambé Pueblo, American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) provides critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books. Dr. Jean Mendoza joined AICL as a co-editor in 2016.
Cynthia Leitich Smith, a citizen of the Muscogee Creek Nation, is a best-selling, award-winning children’s-YA writer, writing teacher, and the author-curator of the Native-centered Heartdrum imprint at HarperCollins Children’s Books. This bibliography is compiled in hopes of improving education related to Native peoples and Nations. (Cynthia’s entire website is an invaluable resource.)
You can learn more about Heartdrum here! You know we’ll be ordering all the Heartdrum books (and raffling off ARCS we just received from the publisher!)! Check out the graphic below from Heartdrum to behold all the beautiful books coming in 2021. “Heartdrum is the first Native imprint at a major children’s publisher. In uplifting and centering Native voices, Heartdrum offers a wide variety of heartfelt, groundbreaking, and unexpected stories by Native creators. Heartdrum books place an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes.”
Join the Heartdrum virtual launch event at Birchbark Books on Wednesday, February 10th at 7pm CST! “Join HarperCollins, We Need Diverse Books, the National Indian Education Association, and Birchbark Books for an evening celebrating the launch of Heartdrum, a new Native-focused imprint led by award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith. Heartdrum offers a wide range of innovative, unexpected, and heartfelt stories by Native creators, informed and inspired by lived experience, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes This virtual event will feature authors Cynthia Leitich Smith, Christine Day, Dawn Quigley, and Brian Young and will be moderated by Ellen Oh, co-founder of We Need Diverse Books. All Heartdrum titles purchased from Birchark Books will include an exclusive art print. While supplies last!”
Native America Calling is a live call-in program linking public radio stations, the Internet and listeners together in a thought-provoking national conversation about issues specific to Native communities.
Unreserved is the radio space for Indigenous community, culture, and conversation. Past host Rosanna Deerchild (O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation) & current host Falen Johnson (Mohawk and Tuscarora (Bear Clan) from Six Nations Grand River Territory) take you straight into Indigenous Canada, from Halifax to Haida Gwaii, from Shamattawa to Ottawa, introducing listeners to the storytellers, culture makers and community shakers from across the country.
All My Relations is a team of folks who care about representations, and how Native peoples are represented in mainstream media. Hosts Matika Wilbur (Tulalip and Swinomish) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation), delve into a different topic facing Native peoples today, bringing in guests from all over Indian Country to offer perspectives and stories.
Hosted by Rebecca Nagle, a citizen of Cherokee Nation. An 1839 assassination of a Cherokee leader and a 1999 murder case – two crimes nearly two centuries apart provide the backbone to a 2020 Supreme Court decision that determined the fate of five tribes and nearly half the land in Oklahoma.
Kīwew is a five-part podcast in which Governor General award-winning author David A. Robertson (Norway House Cree Nation) dives into his family’s history and mysteries as he discovers and connects with his Cree identity.
Session 1(11/10, 6pm CST): Engage with primary sources and artwork to grapple with the mythology of the “First Thanksgiving”. Teachers will identify how misrepresentations contribute to the false narratives around the First Thanksgiving and its participants.
Session 2(11/17, 6pm CST): Learn about the food traditions practiced by different Native communities, as well as why some communities give thanks throughout the year. Teachers will then engage with suggested resources and discuss appropriate strategies they can use in their classrooms.
For untold centuries, storytelling has been foundational to the ways Black and Indigenous people understand and connect to the world around them. However, knowledge systems upheld in academic settings continually disavow these narratives and those who hold them as valid sites of intellectual production. For BIPOC heritage professionals, storytelling taps into historically marginalized ways of knowing. It offers ways to reclaim and retell histories that often counter the harmful and one-sided narratives told about Black and Indigenous peoples through archaeology, museums, and heritage sites. In this webinar, we explore storytelling through artifacts, cultural landscapes, comics, graphic novels, and video games as a means of counter-history, illuminating new ways of imagining pasts, presents, and futures for Black and Indigenous people. Panelists will discuss how they engage storytelling as an intellectual entryway to interpretations of the material evidence of Black and Indigenous histories.
Award-winning authors Kate Messner and Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation) offer a thought-provoking author visit based on their books about the real history of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, the myth of the “First Thanksgiving,” and modern-day Native traditions of gratitude.
Join Lee & Low Books as they discuss high-quality, #ownvoices and contemporary Native literature, classroom applications, and ways to make sure that you are teaching about modern Native history authentically and accurately in your relevant setting. Authors Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation), and Carla Messinger (Turtle Clan Lenape) will share their insights, experiences and knowledge about their writing processes, tips and strategies for selecting quality Native literature, and applicable classroom activities.
What would be the first thing you would do after a good night’s sleep? That was a question that was recently posed at our Early Literacy Event. Recently, Katie Guzan, a certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, gave a presentation on how both young children and their caregivers can get better sleep. It was beneficial for both kids and adults alike. Please enjoy some of these tips below, or check out more from Sleep Wise Consulting.
Join us for our brand new book club, Books & Bites, Jr., specially designed for families to explore and share books together. Our first session will be about back to school. It will take place on Wednesday, September 16 at 6-7pm on Zoom! You can register here. No library required & all are welcome.
We have created FREEPROGRAM KITS that you can pick up at the library or schedule curbside pick-up. We have included our program hand-out, snacks, supplies for our craft, and of course, book swag. Feel free to give us a call at the library to reserve your kit, which supplies last. You can also pick up your kit after the event.
We will be discussing The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López, & Yasmin the Teacher by Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Hatem Aly. You can borrow these books from our library or put them on hold in Overdrive. You can also watch out the videos below before or after the program and continue the discussions with your children.
But, wait, there’s more!
Sign up for our next Books & Bites, Jr, when we’ll celebrate Superheroes on October 14 at 6pm!
We are also honored to welcome back Saadia Farqui to our virtual library on October 28 at 3:30pm and celebrate her middle-grade books, A Place at the Table (co-written by Laura Shovan) and A Thousand Questions! You can register here.