What we are reading this week! Seattle-area author and illustrator, Dana Sullivan has created an great story about an imaginative boy, Mateo, who is hoping for a cape for his birthday. Sullivan’s illustrations really capture the little boy’s superhero cape plans as well as the series events leading up to his birthday. This story is also a useful introduction to the concept of rhyming works, as Mateo and his sister heard two different things cape and cake (both of which can be red velvet, of course). Mateo also demonstrates good manners despite disappointment when he thinks his grandma made a cake (despite dreams of a cape). Spoiler alert, he gets the cape.
Rhyming is a new concept for us to tackle (three year old reader) and this book is a fun way to discuss and learn. I also really love that the main characters are from a family of color and appreciate the simple craft suggestion at the back of the book to make your own red cape. We improvised and just used a red scarf.
Dana Sullivan has written and illustrated quite a few other books. Take a look at his website for some sneak peaks.
I received a copy of this book to review from Sleeping Bear Press but I was not financially compensated, nor required to say something positive, in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my experience and observations while reading this book
A biography of a pretty amazing man, Benjamin Banneker. Never heard of him? Me neither until I read this book with my son. Ticktock Banneker’s Clock is a illustrated children’s book telling the story of Benjamin Banneker, who all things consider, is an unlikely, but very welcome, character to be showcased for science and innovation. Benjamin, although born as a free black man in Maryland in the early 1700s, was only able to attend some schooling, spending the majority of his time as a farmer. Remember this is during a time that slavery was still prevalent, so his ability to self-education and, as shared int he story create his own clock after studying a friends pocket watch, is all the more inspirational.
The story is written in just the right detail and just the right length for both reading aloud and eventually reading to oneself. Benjamin displays qualities of patience, care, curious, persistence and ingenuity as described in story and via illustrations. While this book only shares one small part of Mr. Banneker’s life, building a clock in his early 20s, it leaves you wanting to go research and learn more. What else can you hope for in a book! The illustrations are bright, contain a lot of detail, show the passage of time and seasons beautifully. The most memorable picture for me is that of a cardinal in winter. The pages are full of fun ‘I spy’ items like turkeys, bees etc.
In a time where there is still an under representation of diverse characters in children’s books, the author Shana Keller and illustrator David Garnder offer a solution. I look forward to more of Banneker’s inventions.
Want to learn more about Benjamin Banneker? Here are some additional sources. Please add others the comment section.
I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated, nor required to say something positive, in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my experience and observations while reading this book
Love this book! It is a great, inspiring (as much as little kid books can) story and actually gives me ideas of how I can encourage my son with writing, creative thinking and play in the future, when he writes with implements, not just eat them or scribble on the table.. It features children that do not seem to be Caucasian (certainly not the cover character, but not profiling beyond that), an encouraging older sister (love to think that this was me, but I know I was bratty-at times), collaborative class mates and a fun story that is seemingly built on the fly using pictures and some letter. I hope more little squiggles stories will be coming out, and maybe an activity book someday??
I received a electronic copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated, nor required to say something positive, in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my experience and observations while reading this book.
The What: Join Bee in his SECOND philanthropic event! So what if he as been on this planet approximately the same number of days that there are hairpin turns in the road to Hana? Bee is for Books is about ensuring that all children have books of their own and removing a barrier to the critical adult child interaction of reading aloud and together.
The Why: Right now, there is so much going on in the world, in particular regarding stereotypes: race, religion, gender, income. No better way to fight the negative energy of ignorance and hate than with education, awareness and language of acceptance and kindness. For children, this can happen in a lot of different ways depending on where you live, your family and experiences. But one activity makes things far away near, or foreign friendly or frustrating reassuring; Reading, specificially reading books about diverse characters or themes. Maybe they look like you, maybe they don’t, maybe their family is different than yours or celebrate different holidays or have different toys or play in a different manner. It is this curiosity and interaction that leads to conversations and opportunities to grow together with your child, influence identity and values, foster moxie and credence and develop tolerance, acceptance and understanding.
The Ask: Share the titles of your favorite books featuring diverse characters so that we can create a massive list of resources. Then make a donation! For every $25 you donate up to $100, Beckett will match your donation! Curated list will live here.
The Who: Children of patients and clients at the Bailey Boushay House in Seattle. We provide the donation straight to the children. This summer there are almost 40 children ranging in age from baby to teenager who will benefit from your support!
The More Why: Philanthropy, community support, empathy, awareness, loving kindness and just being a good human being are only a few of the many many attributes we want to cultivate in our young family, now more than ever. Research shows [link to prove it!] that involving your children in charitable activities is key to lifelong community support, much more so that just watching their parents donate money. I use community loosely in that there are some many different ‘communities’ we are a part of: neighborhood, cultural, hobby, professional, political, demographic, social, special interest… on and on. But even without a robust study to test hypothesis, we have known from before our little Bee was part of our life that philanthropy was an important part of our family.
Guess what? We aren’t uber rich major donors, nor logging in 20 hours a week at a soup kitchen – but we are involved in charity and causes that resonate with us, giving of time, goods and financial support. Sure we could do more but we could do less and there is no perfect level, it is what is meaningful for you at that time, for that particular cause. Including our toddler is the next step for us and fits right in with wanting to build our family more around experiences and less around things, but also teaching important life lessons. I don’t have all the answers right now (or likely ever) for the hard WHY questions Bee will ask as he grows up (why do some children in the world not get to go to school/does that man sleep in the van on our the street/would someone give up their pet/do some kids get a special meal at school/why ….) BUT I know that sharing and learning and discovering together overtime will ease this.