December 2008 Archives

Deborah Diesen, children's book author and proprietor of the blog Jumping the Candlestick, has posted an interview with Carolyn Reed Barritt, illustrator of The Day the Dragon Danced. Barritt talks about her life, being a Michicander, The Day the Dragon Danced, and some future projects.

I love getting insights about how different authors and artists respond to being published. These little tidbits of information are so fascinating. For example, Barritt says,

"When The Day the Dragon Danced came out I had a reading at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor and did a school visit and I realized how bad a case of stage fright I have. It's pretty pathetic that a room full of 6 year olds can give me the shakes. When my own books get published I'll have to decide whether or not I do any more appearances."
Read the whole interview for more!

Mom's Choice Award

We are pleased and honored to announce that Grandfather's Story Cloth has won the gold medal Mom's Choice Award in the category of Children's Book: Health and Safety!

The Mom's Choice Awards is an annual awards competition that recognizes authors, inventors, companies, parents and others for their efforts in creating quality family-friendly media, products and services.

Congratulations to Linda Gerdner, Sarah Langford, and Stuart Loughridge on this honor!

Happy Holidays! Gifts For You...

It's the season of giving, and Shen's Books wants to participate! We have just made available for free download the full version of the Jouanah Teacher Guide and a brand-new set of Grandfather's Story Cloth Discussion Questions.

For years, we had been offering a 32-page teacher's guide for Jouanah: The  Hmong Cinderella, including introductory and background information about the story and Hmong culture as well as 18 pages of reproducibles for classroom use. This 3-ring binder used to cost $9.95, but now we are offering it for free to our registered friends.


Author Linda Gerdner has also put together a 4-page discussion question guide to help adults talk with kids about the important issues brought up in Grandfather's Story Cloth. It addresses both questions about Hmong culture and Alzheimer's disease. Again, absolutely free.


Click here to access the download links.

Grandfather's Story Cloth Discussion Questions Free Download

To aid adults in understanding more background about Grandfather's Story Cloth, author Linda Gerdner has put together a set of discussion questions (and their answers) that address many of the difficult issues presented in the book. Prefacing the questions, she writes,

"While children will enjoy reading Grandfather's Story Cloth on their own, we also suggest sharing the experience with the guidance of an adult who can answer questions and initiate discussion. To assist adults in the interactive learning process with the child, here is a list of questions with corresponding answers focused on enhancing understanding of the behavioral and psychological symptoms of Grandfather and Alzheimer's disease. These in-depth answers give adults a broader base of knowledge about the book, and they in turn can discuss the ideas at the child's level of understanding."

The file is 23K. Adobe Reader or other pdf reader software is required for viewing and printing the free download.

Download Now!

Teacher's Guide for Jouanah Now Available for Free Download

Good news! The 32-page teacher's guide for Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella is now available for free download as a pdf file. This version of Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn and illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien reflects the folklore and traditions of the Hmong tribe of Laos, and the teacher's guide has, up until now, been only available for purchase as a three-ring binder.

The guide includes an introduction to the Hmong, prereading activities, and 18 reproducible activities that explore both the literature and the culture reflected in the book.

The file is 1.8MB. Adobe Reader or other pdf reader software is required for viewing and printing the free download.

Download now! Review

| | Comments (1)
Grandfather's Story Cloth was reviewed by, an incredible web site devoted to multicultural children's literature. It is an honor indeed to garner such a nice review of the book.

Just an excerpt (the good part, of course!):

"Although the book does not have a conveniently wrapped up happy ending, the story does end on a glimmer of hope.  While it can cause great pain to family members and carers when sufferers of the disease do not recognise their present , a connection can often be found through the past and memory, as Chersheng discovers. 

We are reminded in an afterword that there are millions of people who suffer from Alzheimer's - which means that there are also many, many children whose lives are touched by it in some way. Grandfather's Story Cloth will be a welcome tool to facilitate understanding and compassion of the heartbreaking effects of this disease on the lives of those both afflicted with and affected by it."

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Blog Contributors

Renee Ting is the President and Publisher of Shen's Books. She is the author of The Prince's Diary and the blog, Renee's Book of the Day.

Emily Jiang is a writer of children's and YA literature. She also blogs at TLeaf Readings.

Shen’s Books is a publisher of multicultural children’s literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.

Through books, we can share a world a stories, building greater understanding and tolerance within our increasingly diverse communities as well as throughout our continuously shrinking globe.


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