January 2010 Archives

Today I Will

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I was thrilled to receive a sweet note from Eileen Spinelli. I've been friends with her for a few years now, and sent her a copy of The Falling Flowers when it first came out. She and husband Jerry used my book as an entry in their new book, Today I Will, published by Alfred A. Knopf. It's a book about a year of quotes, notes and promises to myself... Anyway- looks like a great book- have it on order. :) And, it's always awesome to be part of something so special!

The Multicultural Minute #20: 826LA Workshop

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In which Renee leads a workshop for tutors at 826LA on using multicultural books to inspire kids to write.

Books shown in the video:
Afghan Dreams: Young Voices From Afghanistan by Tony O'Brien and Michael P. Sullivan
How My Family Lives in America by Susan Kuklin
Just Like Home; Como En Mi Tierra by Elizabeth I. Miller, Mira Reisberg, Teresa Mlawer
Hannah Is My Name by Belle Yang
You And Me Together: Moms, Dads, and Kids Around the World by Barbara Kerley
Cooper's Lesson by Kim Cogan, Min Paek, Sun Yung Shin
Romina's Rangoli by Jennifer Wanardi, Malathi and Michelle Iyengar
My Name Is Yoon by Gabriela Swiatkowska, Helen Recorvits
The Candy Shop by Jan Wahl, Nicole E. Wong
The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin
My Mexico by Tony Johnston

NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book 2010

ncss_logo.jpgWow! What an honor! Both volumes of Chinese History Stories have been chosen for the Notable Social Studies Trade Books list for 2010. About the honor:

chinesehistoryset.jpgThe books that appear in these annotated book lists were evaluated and selected by a Book Review Committee appointed by National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and assembled in cooperation with the Children's Book Council (CBC). NCSS and CBC have cooperated on this annual bibliography since 1972.

Books selected for this bibliography are written primarily for children in grades K-8. The selection committee looks for books that emphasize human relations, represent a diversity of groups and are sensitive to a broad range of cultural experiences, present an original theme or a fresh slant on a traditional topic, are easily readable and of high literary quality, and have a pleasing format and, when appropriate, illustrations that enrich the text. Each book is read by several reviewers, and books are included on the list by committee assent.

The Multicultural Minute #19: Debbi Michiko Florence

Debbi Michiko Florence talks about what she loved most writing her two non-fiction titles, China and Japan.

More about Debbi Michiko Florence's books:

Children can dig in with hands, feet and mind to 4,000 years of this country's history, traditions and culture. Through photos, illustrations, diagrams, interviews and activities children will gain a deeper understanding of China and its people.

A hands-on, interactive guide to the culture, history, people, and traditions of Japan. Children will:
  • learn how to write and speak some Japanese words
  • explore fascinating places like Mount Fuji and Tokyo
  • learn how to fold origami and how to use chopsticks
  • discover what schools in Japan are like
More than 40 activities, modern photographs, diagrams, and humorous art bring this fascinating country to life.

And for those wondering which bubble tea shop I like best: Fantasia Tea Cafe.

The Multicultural Minute #18: Spring Peek


Find out more:

Let Me Help by Alma Flor Ada and Angela Dominguez
Sharing Our Homeland by Trish Marx and Cindy Karp

Children's Book Press
Lee & Low Books

Jan. 16, 2010: Shen's Books at SCCRC Asilomar Conference

sccrclogo.jpgOh, it's coming up really fast-- in just over a week, I'll be heading to the Asilomar Conference Center for the Santa Clara County Reading Association's annual conference. We'll have a table and will be selling books, so stop by, say hello, and check out our newest publications! See you there!

Multicultural Review

Cora Cooks Pancit, by Dorina Lazo Gilmore and illustrated by Kristi Valiant, was reviewed in the Winter 2009 edition of Multicultural Review:

Cora is the youngest child in a Filipino-American family. She longs to do things her older brother and three older sisters do. One day when her older siblings are all gone, she sees her chance. This is the day she helps her mother make pancit, a chicken, vegetable, noodle dish. As Mother and Cora cook together, Mother tells stories of Lolo, Cora's grandfather, who migrated from the Philippines to California. The pancit is served for the evening meal with five children, Mother, and Father all enjoying this special dish. As Cora observes the dinnertime scene, she replaces the doubt she had about her contributions with pride in her work.

Both story and illustrations capture the frustration of being the youngest, while it celebrates a close family with a loving and understanding mother. And the story not only tells of the immigrant experience, it provides the very pleasant way of experiencing culture through oral family stories and food. A glossary reviews the Tagalog words used, and the recipe for pancit is on the final page.

The Multicultural Minute #17: Bilingual Pets

Happy New Year! Yes, I took two weeks off from making videos at the end of the year, but now I'm excited about the new year and ready to talk about multicultural books!

This week's video features a book called Minutka: The Bilingual Dog by Anna Mycek-Wodecki. It sparked my imagination about bilingual pets and bilingual texts. Take a look.

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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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