SO..what in the world is “On My Desk” anyway?
This series got started because, with my role as Project Manager, I get to enjoy the avalanche of amazing multicultural books for kids that are donated to our project. A good chunk of the year my office looks like a small bookstore and I love every second of it.
Being appreciative of every book that crosses my desk, I wanted to find a fun way to share those books with the loyal folks who show up here to read every week and support this non-profit. In that moment, On My Desk | #ReadYourWorld Kidlit Books for 2019 was born! It’s my way of sharing some amazing titles that don’t always get the attention they deserve.
So even though MCBD2019 hasn’t occurred yet (1/25/19), I am LOVING all of the amazing books all these wonderful multicultural books for kids that I am discovering every time I open the mail.
Here’s what the Mailman Book Fairy brought me this week:
On My Desk | Great Diverse Kidlit Finds for 2019
The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros
What’s Happening to Grandpa meets Up in this tender, sensitive picture book that gently explains the memory loss associated with aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together.
But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice!
Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one.
What The Wind Can Tell You by Sarah Marie Aliberti (Island Port Press)
Silver Medal Award, 2018 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, Best First Book (Chapter Book)
2018 Windows and Mirrors List (annual list of diverse titles that demonstrate strong representation of marginalized identities as well as great literary merit), New England Children’s Booksellers Advisory Committee.
Isabelle is fascinated by wind. And this year, she’s determined to win the middle school science fair with her wind machine. She’s just as determined to have her brother, Julian, who has a severe form of epilepsy and uses a wheelchair, serve as her assistant. But after Julian has a grand seizure, everything changes. Isabelle is suddenly granted entry into Las Brisas, a magical world where Julian’s physical limitations disappear, and one, she discovers, that he visits every night. The more Isabelle explores Las Brisas, the more possibilities she sees––for Julian, and for herself––and the more she finds herself at odds with her parents. Debut author Sarah Marie A. Jette has told, with remarkable insight and humor, a powerful story of a family struggling to love without fear.
Jake, Lucid Dreamer by David Naiman
12-year-old Jake has been suppressing his heartbreak over the loss of his mother for the past four years. But his emotions have a way of haunting his dreams and bubbling to the surface when he least expects it. When Jake learns how to take control in his dreams, he becomes a lucid dreamer, and that’s when the battle really heats up.
Using his wits to dodge bullies by day and a nefarious kangaroo hopping ever closer by night, Jake learns about loss, bravery, the power of love, and how you cannot fully heal until you face your greatest fear. This uncompromising novel is a magical yet honest exploration of emotional healing after a devastating loss.
Hideki and Kenji Save the Day by Bonnie West
Hideki and Kenji Save the Day tells the story of two Japanese boys who experience what they think is an earthquake but discover it is really the running and jumping of a baby dinosaur. Their boisterous new friend runs and jumps and the shaking ground scares everyone in the village. The boys need to figure out a way to stop the earth from shaking while still keeping a baby dinosaur happy. The two authors first met in 2001 in a Community Education Japanese class. They became study partners and friends. In March of 2011, a friend in Japan told West how afraid her two young boys were after the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Bonnie and Diane decided to write a story for the boys that their mother could read to them. The book is illustrated by Minneapolis resident Jamie Mosel who studied in Sapporo, Japan. The text was translated by Kazuko Ito West of New York. While intended for children ages 4-8, it is also suitable for people of all ages learning either Japanese or English.
Maya and Annie are friends who play together on Saturdays and Sundays. They make lemonade with lemons from the big tree in Annie’s yard and play with Maya’s two little dogs. Maya likes the different food Annie’s dad cooks: noodles, rice, fish and dumplings. And Annie likes eating dinners Maya’s mom makes: tacos, chicken, tamales, rice, and beans.
Weekends are special because the girls don’t see each other on school days. Annie’s dad takes them to the beach and they swim, make sandcastles and catch crabs with nets. At the carnival with Maya’s mom, they go on scary rides, eat cotton candy, play games and win prizes. They don’t want the weekend to end!
One special night, Annie’s dad and Maya’s mom invite their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to a big dinner and make a special announcement: they’re getting married! The girls will become sisters, and they’ll spend every day of the week together.
From posadas to Lunar New Year, each girl recounts her perspective of their friendship on alternating pages that are paired with lively illustrations by Thelma Muraida. Based on Gwendolyn Zepeda’s own experiences with her family, this engaging bilingual picture book for ages 4-8 explores blended families from a multicultural perspective, combining Asian and Latino cultural traditions.
Mama’s Needle by Jeanette Stickel
A young boy tells of his Mama’s needle and her spool of long white thread. She uses it to patch holes in the knees of his pants, bind scraps of cloth into quilts and stitch dreams into reality. When he has a magical dream of her needle and thread, mama stitches a quilt together for remembering, and on it, are patches of his dreams. Wearing his quilt as a cape, he flies with his imagination.
Our Poverty Doesn’t Discriminate: Understanding Poverty in America kit is ready to be downloaded and enjoyed by parents, librarians, and educators. This free classroom kit includes:
~Over 2 dozen poverty in the U.S.-themed books for ages 4-12,
~Two classroom or home activities
~Our official “Poverty Doesn’t Discriminate” Classroom Poster thanks to the talents of award-winning illustrator, Mehrdokht Amini
~ Helpful Poverty Talking Points for Teachers
~ Links, resources and services available to under-served families in the U.S.A.
Link to sign up on the website: https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/multicultural-reading-resources/teacher-classroom-poverty-kit/
As always this non-profit thanks you for helping us to continue our mission of getting diverse books into classrooms or the hands of young readers while also helping authors and publishers shine the spotlight on their work.