Here Is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays

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Today is day one of Hanukkah, and what better time to teach children about the Jewish culture than during one of the most important Jewish holidays. In Here is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays, the book features Hanukkah and 10 more celebrations, including Yom Kippur, Purim and Passover.

Here is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays teaches children about the symbols of different Jewish celebrations and their purposes through fun rhyme. One such symbol, the menorah – a type of candle holder used during Hanukkah is illustrated, as well as food eaten at the various celebrations including latkes at Chanukah/Hanukkah and matzah, (unleavened bread) at Passover.

Shabbat, which begins on Friday evening and ends Saturday evening is a time of rest, and on Saturday, many go to synagogue, during which the men wear a yarmulke – a type of hat worn during special occasions. The tradition of Passover is featured, which is an eight day festival that celebrates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Purim is also featured, and is celebrated with a parade and and noisemakers called groggers. Purim celebrates the story of Esther, who saved the Jews from destruction. During Purim people attend synagogue in costume and make noise with groggers when the story is told during the service.

Here is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays includes rhyme, and its beautiful illustrations give the reader a real sense of joyful celebration. While the explanations of each tradition aren’t explained fully until the end of the book in the glossary, it is a wonderful book for introducing young children to Jewish celebrations, as well as a great bedtime book and one for school book reports and/or projects.

With the world’s current state of political and religious uproar, Here is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays is a great book to read to non-Jewish children to teach the the beauty of Judaism and instill an early sense of tolerance in young children.

Here is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays
Author: Leslea Newman / Illustrator: Susan Gal

About CalicoKidz.com

CalicoKidz.com reviews books that celebrate diversity for young children ages 1-10. Our mission is to promote educational children’s books that give parents, librarians, and educators of children from diverse communities access to books that represent diverse communities, including those with special needs.

Our vision is to one day live in a world where love of diversity is the norm, and where all cultures, races and religions can exist together in harmony.

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Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks, is the perfect book to celebrate with a child! This simple yet poignant picture book for children ages 2-8 reminds children of the importance of being thankful for both the big and small things in life.

The narrator of the book shares his excitement about Thanksgiving; his anticipation of eating good food and seeing family. He speaks of how it is important to not only give thanks for the pumpkin pie and turkey that he will eat, but also for the things in his life that is sometimes overlooked. He gives thanks for his parents and grandparents, as well as his teacher and friends and even the things we take for granted such as sunny days and hot chocolate.

Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks, is a wonderful book to read for bedtime to to children for Thanksgiving Eve, the night of Thanksgiving, or even the day after Thanksgiving. What I love most about the book, other than its message is the delightful, colorful illustrations of diverse children and adults and its simple message: lets not only give thanks on Thanksgiving, but always.

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Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks
Author: Margaret Sutherland / Illustrator: Sonja Lamut

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November is Picture Book Month!

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Activities, curriculum and freebies, OH MY! Find out how kids, parents, and teachers can celebrate Picture Book Month with bookmarks, crafts, teacher’s guides and more at:

 http://picturebookmonth.com/activities/

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What is a Veteran Anyway?

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Veterans Day is coming soon and what better way to celebrate than to read a book to a child that educates them on the sacrifices of our servicemen and servicewomen. What is a Veteran Anyway?  is the perfect book to read to kids about what a veteran is and does. Through emotional watercolor illustrations that tell the story of a veteran.

This wonderful picture book informs children on the many different roles that service men and women play, including construction, police, parachuters, pilots and mechanics (that are also women!). It’s culturally diverse illustration of diverse families make it not just a representation of military, but a representation of the diversity of America.

The book not only explains the many roles of our veterans served but also explains some of the sacrifices that veterans must make to serve our country. While children may know the sacrifice of time away from the family, the book also addresses the conditions service members endure, including:

  • Going days or weeks without a shower, or change of clothes.
  • Working in the field without running water or a bed to sleep
  • Having to eat food from a pouch
  • Serving in harsh weather, sometimes with no blankets surrounded by bugs and even rats!

A great part of the book is that it gives kids suggestions on how to thank a veteran for his/her service. If you want to instill a respect for veterans in children,  What is a Veteran Anyway? is a great book to begin with.

 

What is a Veteran Anyway?
Written by Rob Snyder l Illustrated by Ron Himler

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The Porcupine and Skunk

To showcase the vibrant theme of our blog, BookBuzz4Kids.com is now CalicoKidz.com.  Like calico fabric, our blog is diverse and represents various cultures and communities. Now, ON TO OUR LATEST REVIEW!

The Porcupine and the Skunk is a story about Penelope the Porcupine and Edward the skunk who have no friends in the forest because being around them was not pleasant. The skunk was stinky, and the porcupine was prickly.

Since Penelope and Edward never get invited to birthday parties, and decide to move to the other side of the forest and build a house to protect themselves from predators.

Back in the forest, the small animals including the squirrels, chipmunks and others worry about contending with a wolf that has come to eat all the small animals. The small animals have a meeting to figure out how to protect themselves.

At the protest of a few, the small forest animals finally decide that they must seek refuge in Penelope and Edward’s home.  Although Edward the skunk and Penelope the porcupine are still hurt from being shunned earlier, they allow the small animals to seek safe haven in their home, and all the animals in the forest are safe from the wolf, and become friends.

The Porcupine and the Skunk teaches several good lessons all children should be taught including helping friends in their time of need and loving one’s neighbors despite differences.  It is an excellent book for storytime or bedtime. Learn about more books in the Frazier Tales series at www.fraziertales.com.

 

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Lila and the Crow

Did you know that October is National Bullying Prevention Month? Bullying has unfortunately become an epidemic in the United States, so much so that an awareness month has been set aside to address the problem. In recognition of the effort to end bullying, this month’s book review is of the picture book Lila and the Crow.

In this book, Lila is a Native American child who will be attending a new elementary school, and she’s excited about making new friends. However when the day comes, she isn’t greeted by her classmates as friendly as she had hoped to be. When Nathan, one of her new classmates begins teasing her about her dark skin and dark hair, her excitement for her new school is cut short. Nathan taunts Lila relentlessly, and unfortunately gets his classmates to follow in his bullying of Lila.

At first Lila feels ashamed, and in the following days comes to school wearing a hat throughout the day to hide her hair. Days later, after what seems like a supernatural occurrence with a crow that has been following her home, Lila embraces her dark features, and discovers a way to show the beauty of her differences in a stunning display on the day of the annual school harvest festival.

This beautiful and heartfelt story with themes of courage, self-esteem and resilience is a perfect read for children who may be experiencing bullying in school,  on the playground or even bullying from a family member. The book gives children a brave and original example of conflict resolution, and shows that a positive response to adversity can bring beautiful results. Lila and the Crow also addresses one very important lesson – that one’s culture – no matter what it may be, is to be celebrated, not ridiculed.

Lila and the Crow
Author/illustrator: Gabrielle Grimard

About CalicoKidz.com
CalicoKidz.com reviews books that celebrate diversity for young children ages 1-10. Our mission is to promote educational children’s books that give parents, librarians, and educators of children from diverse communities access to books that represent diverse communities, including those with special needs.

Our vision is to one day live in a world where love of diversity is the norm, and where all cultures, races and religions can exist together in harmony.

 

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Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

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Ada Lovelace Day is coming in one week! What is Ada Lovelace Day? It’s the day when we celebrate the awesome Ada Byron Lovelace, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculums, AND all things women in technology! This year we will celebrate the Ada Lovelace day on Wednesday, October 11th, and in recognition, we’re reviewing the picture book Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine!

Ada Byron Lovelace was a gifted mathematician who became know as the “Princess of Parallelograms” because of her many inventions and theories using math calculations. Ada’s love of science filled her journals with inventions and equations. One day after testing one of her theories outdoors, Ada got sick with the measles and was temporarily paralyzed and blinded. However, her mother kept Ada busy by challenging her with constant mathematical problems, which kept Ada’s mind sharp while she was sick. Once fully recovered, Ada received tutoring from the scientist and mathematician Mary Fairfax Somerville. Through Ms. Somerville, Ada met scientist Charles Babbage and became his friend and colleague.

Ada eventually worked to help make Babbage’s design of his “Difference Machine” – the first mechanical computer, a reality by creating an algorithm – a set of mathematical instructions to help the machine solve complex math problems. Her algorithm helped to develop the world’s first computer program, and today a computer language used to guide modern air machines is named after Ada Lovelace.

Ada Lovelace’s accomplishments set the stage for women to explore careers in math and science and what eventually became the information technology (IT) field. Every child should know of Ada Lovelace, not only for her career accomplishments, but also because of how she overcome a terrible illness to become one of the most influential women in math and science.  Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine is a great book for children with an aptitude for science and math, but also for any child who faces obstacles in their youth. With vivid illustrations that accompany its important  message,  Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine is a timeless story that is  both informative and inspiring and a wonderful book that is equally effective for a school report or bedtime reading, and of course a great book to celebrate Ada Lovelace day this October 11th! Learn about Ada Lovelace Day at https://findingada.com/about/history-of-ada-lovelace-day/.

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