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The Picture-Book Club > February 2011: Black History Month (Master List and General Discussion)

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Jan 13, 2011 08:07AM) (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
February is Black History Month in the US and Canada and the Picture Book Club will be celebrating with our February reads.

Thanks to everyone for the nominations! It looks like we have a great combination of books here. Please scroll through these comments to make your selections as nominating members have denoted the biographies and non-fiction vs. fiction titles so this may influence your decisions.

As ever, please choose five books (I know, only five! so hard to choose!) and vote by posting them in a comment here. Votes will be accepted until January 23rd. Thank you!


message 2: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Jan 07, 2011 10:44AM) (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
Biographies:

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson

George Washington Carver by Tonya Bolden
(this one for the older picture book audience)


The Story Of Ruby Bridges

Non-Fiction/Historical Fiction:

Freedom on the Menu: the Greensboro Sit-Ins

I Have A Dream (this is Dr. King's speech illustrated by many Coretta Scott King Award-Winning illustrators)

Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky

Freedom Summer

The Other Side

Dear Benjamin Banneker


message 3: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Jan 07, 2011 10:04AM) (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
I also wanted to draw attention to the Coretta Scott King Award:

According to the ALA,

"The award (or awards) is given to an African American author and an African American illustrator for an outstandingly inspirational and educational contribution. The books promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream. The Award is further designed to commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to honor Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood."

http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/rts/emie...


I'd like to highlight the illustrator winner for 2010 The Negro Speaks of Rivers which is an illustrated version of Langston Hughes' poem. It's not at my library yet and may be too soon for many of you, too, but it looks wonderful!


message 4: by Gundula (last edited Jan 07, 2011 11:53AM) (new)

Gundula | 1730 comments I will still have to do some research, but for now, I am going to nominate a picture book that I really really want to read (I know it was already nominated in the education/school thread, but that should not matter). I think that it is non-fiction, as it is based on the author's own family history.

Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys


message 5: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
Gundula wrote: "I will still have to do some research, but for now, I am going to nominate a picture book that I really really want to read (I know it was already nominated in the education/school thread, but that should not matter)"

Sure, no problem! Since it wasn't a poll-winner, you're welcome to post again. We always have a plethora of great books to choose from and the special ones deserve a second chance ;-)


Emily | 71 comments Two books attracted my attention on the recently released Cybils Award short list in the non-fiction picture book category (see http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils/ for details):

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

Henry Aaron's Dream


Dolly (dollymart) | 225 comments I would like to recommend January's Sparrow by Patricia Polacco.

It's probably best suited for older, Elementary-school age children, but we were just in awe of this story.


Gloria | 12 comments I nominate Faith Ringold's Tar Beach (the CSK Illustrator Award for 1992), an almost magical story of an adventure that readers who don't live in a city apartment can delight in vicariously!


Wilhelmina | 231 comments It's hard for me to limit my choices to any reasonable number on this topic!

I love We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, but I think that it's at a much higher level than we usually select.


Two biographies that I think are superb are George Washington Carver by Tonya Bolden and Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist by Philip Dray. Both are for slightly older children, but I read them both to my grandson's class when he was in 2nd grade, and the boys were very interested. I also love Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford.

Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine and When Harriet Met Sojourner by Catherine Clinton are also favorites of mine. These are all biographies - I'll list some fiction separately.


message 12: by Leslie (last edited Jan 09, 2011 04:24PM) (new)

Leslie (Onthemove) | 130 comments I am really excited about the Feb.titles, but I am concerned that the books are geared to an older child. Before I attempt to get all of them and read them is there a way to make sure there is one or two you younger kids?

Or maybe have the age range posted? Or maybe I should look each up and make sure they are for his age range.

He learned about Martin Luther King Jr. Last year in school so it would be great to some how learn more about his life and why his was/is so important.

Thanks


message 13: by Gundula (last edited Jan 09, 2011 04:40PM) (new)

Gundula | 1730 comments Leslie,

Once the nominations stop, group members have a few days to nominate five books they would like to read, and the five books which end up having the most votes will be the picture books that are going to be read by the group (with usually a sixth alternate one as well). So, if you want to make sure that some picture books for younger children are nominated, you should go ahead and nominate them, and then hope that they will win enough votes by the other members. This is the general way the picture book club works, and it has generally worked very well for us. I tend to nominate picture books that I know I can locate at the library and that I, personally, want to read. You should probably do the same, and hope that your choices will be similar to those of the other members nominating and voting for picture books.


Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 964 comments January's Sparrow by Patricia Polacco

That's my only nomination.

Patricia Polacco, of course. From the books nominated above, I've enjoyed some and would like to read virtually all of the others, so I'll wait until it's time to vote and then vote for my top 5 or 6 or however many we're allowed.


message 15: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Jan 10, 2011 08:09AM) (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
Leslie wrote: "I am really excited about the Feb.titles, but I am concerned that the books are geared to an older child. Before I attempt to get all of them and read them is there a way to make sure there is one ..."

Thank you for sharing your concern, Leslie. As Gundula said, most of the power is in your (and other group members') hands when it comes to what books are nominated and chosen each month. (Speaking of which, I'm so excited about the nominations so far. Keep 'em comin'!)

That said, I do realize this is the only club in the Children's Book Group that focuses on the youngest of readers and I want to be sure to honor that with our monthly selections. If the votes are skewed largely toward older picture books this month, I will be sure that at least our alternate title is for younger readers. Or, if votes are tied, I will try to be sure there is a good mix for both older and younger picture book audiences.


message 16: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Jan 10, 2011 09:14AM) (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
*Please see our "Group Business" thread for a new discussion regarding the timeline for theme selection/book nomination/voting for our monthly reads. I'm wondering our our current system is working well for everyone or if people want to condense the voting windows or move to selecting the theme/titles a month in advance (for example, April's books would be chosen by March 1st). Please head over to the thread if you have some thoughts on the issue. Thanks!

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...


Wilhelmina | 231 comments I haven't read Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill, but the illustrator, Bryan Collier, just won the the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and a Caldecott Honor Award from the American Library Association for this book.


message 18: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
Wilhelmina wrote: "I haven't read Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill, but the illustrator, Bryan Collier, just won the the Coretta Scott King Ill..."

Wow! The cover on that is just gorgeous! I am definitely going to look for this one.


Leigh (LeighB) | 17 comments When Marian Sang is an awesome book.


message 20: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
Leigh wrote: "When Marian Sang is an awesome book."

I agree! :-) Have you seen the duo's other picture book, "Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride"--it's also great and was one of our selections for our "Women's History Month" theme last March.


Wilhelmina | 231 comments Abigail, I never realized that The People Could Fly: The Picture Book (New York Times Best Illustrated Books was different from the collection of stories! I'm glad that you nominated it!


message 23: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
Thanks to everyone for the nominations! It looks like we have a great combination of books here. Please scroll through to make your selections as members have denoted the biographies and non-fiction vs. fiction titles -- thanks guys ;-) -- so this may influence your decisions.

As ever, please choose five books (I know, only five! so hard to choose!) and vote by posting them in a comment here. Votes will be accepted until January 23rd. Thank you!


Leslie (Onthemove) | 130 comments I am curious about how old the kids are that are reading these books.

I have concerns Aout reading these books to my son, he is 4 years old. He has a very "safe " view of the world. These topics are going to bring up some tough issues like slavery and people not being treated fair.

I would love to hear how other people tell their young children about these issues?

I don't mind the books that talk about peoples as heroes, I don't know maybe the conversations will be easier and I am just worrying.

Thanks


Wilhelmina | 231 comments Leslie wrote: "I am curious about how old the kids are that are reading these books.

I have concerns Aout reading these books to my son, he is 4 years old. He has a very "safe " view of the world. These topic..."


I hope that we pick a variety of books, Leslie - not only those about slavery and oppression. Some of the books, especially some of the fictional books, are more about family. We usually have a good range of books - some for older children, some for younger.

I do want to mention that, for those who want to discuss the Underground Railroad with younger children, the book Barefoot...escape on the Underground Railroad which has been nominated here is very good. In this book, animals help the runaway boy find his way to safety. I read this one to my grandson's class and they loved it.

I have actually read most of the books on this list to my grandson and his class. Four may be a bit young, but by kindergarten, my grandson's classmates knew about slavery and enjoyed hearing true stories about how people escaped from it (Henry's Freedom Box, for example, worked well in 2nd grade.) The same is true of the civil rights movement. It is important to me balance these books with books about African American life that do not focus on oppression, like Tar Beach, the Little Cliff stories and others. There are lots to choose from!


Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 964 comments January's Sparrow by Patricia Polacco

Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist by Philip Dray

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

The People Could Fly: The Picture Book by Virginia Hamilton

Selecting just 5 was even more difficult than usual. I have Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys at home from the library right now but I haven't read it yet, and I was tempted to vote for it. One down and all. ;-) I've actually already two of the books I voted for.


Gundula | 1730 comments My votes are (and I wish we could have more votes this time, ha):

Henry's Freedom Box

Freedom Summer

Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys

Ron's Big Mission

Full, Full, Full of Love

I agree that selecting only five is really, really hard. I also really want to read Vison of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove, I like the idea of what this amazing woman accomplished.


message 30: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
Wilhelmina wrote: "I have actually read most of the books on this list to my grandson and his class. Four may be a bit young, but by kindergarten, my grandson's classmates knew about slavery and enjoyed hearing true stories about how people escaped from it (Henry's Freedom Box, for example, worked well in 2nd grade.) The same is true of the civil rights movement. It is important to me balance these books with books about African American life that do not focus on oppression, like Tar Beach, the Little Cliff stories and others. There are lots to choose from! "

So well said, Wilhelmina! Thank you :-) And, Leslie, I do understand your concerns. I, too, hope that we will have a variety of books selected to represent the spectrum of life, not just the sadness and oppression.


Wilhelmina | 231 comments I don't think that there is a single book that anyone has voted for that I would be sorry to see on the final list!


message 33: by Leslie (last edited Jan 17, 2011 06:35PM) (new)

Leslie (Onthemove) | 130 comments My votes

Full, Full, Full of Love

Bigmama's

Rosa

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Virgie goes to school with us boys


Gundula | 1730 comments Lesley, I hope you don't mind, but I am going to repost your selections, using the "add book/author" feature. That way, it makes it easier for Kathryn to list the books when it comes to voting. I hope that's ok with you.

Full, Full, Full of Love
Bigmama's
Rosa
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tar Beach
Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys

These are not my votes, these are the links for Lesley's votes.


Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 964 comments Do we get 6 votes? I thought we got only 5???


Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 964 comments Yes, It's confusing because we really have 6 books. In name it's 5 books & 1 alternate but I translate that as 6 books.


Leslie (Onthemove) | 130 comments Sorry!
I am causing all kinds of trouble. Thanks for re-listing my books with no authors.

I just assumed that we would give six titles and five plus one would be picked.

So I guess I should remove one? Or wait to hear?

Sorry to stir things up.
I am a quick learner, hope next month I can do things better.


Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 964 comments Leslie, I would follow Abigail's suggestion, but I also wouldn't worry about it.

I'm sorry that I stirred things up.

Kathryn is good at figuring out how to choose the 5 + 1 = 6 most popular choices.

And the links are nice but not everyone uses them; what's important is that each book mentioned has been linked at least once.

It all gets worked out.

If you want to edit out your 6th favorite choice all you have to do is click the edit link at the bottom right of your post and then select the linked title and delete. But, if you can't do that, I'm sure Kathryn will figure out how to count all our votes. She's been a pro at that.


Cheri Kathryn wrote: "February is Black History Month in the US and Canada and the Picture Book Club will be celebrating with our February reads.

Thanks to everyone for the nominations! It looks like we have a great ..."


Must vote for The Other Side, Moses and Martin's Big Words - used them all with children and was able to discuss the issues.


Janice  Durante | 27 comments Gundula wrote: "I will still have to do some research, but for now, I am going to nominate a picture book that I really really want to read (I know it was already nominated in the education/school thread, but that..."
Most librarians have classified this as a picture book. Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard has based it on some family history, however. It's a wonderful book to read aloud to children.


Janice  Durante | 27 comments These are my top five to consider for Black History Month:
1. Freedom on the Menu: the Greensboro Sit-Ins
2. Freedom River
3. Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys
4. Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman
5. Dear Benjamin Banneker
I think Freedom River and Dear Benjamin Banneker are better for older elementary school (3rd grade and up), while the others are fine for all ages.


message 42: by Michelle (last edited Jan 18, 2011 09:52PM) (new)


Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 472 comments I remember doing a report project in elementary school on George Washington Carver and would love to revisit a book about him.
1. George Washington Carver
2. January's Sparrow
3. Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
4. Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
5. Goin' Someplace Special This looks like a great read. I haven't read it yet it. Just happened upon it while searching. Authored by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. The story is close to the author's heart, which I find intriguing.


Anne Nydam | 88 comments Oooh, I just added the George Washington Carver book to my list. I love him!


Wilhelmina | 231 comments Crystal wrote: "I remember doing a report project in elementary school on George Washington Carver and would love to revisit a book about him.
1. George Washington Carver
2. [book:January's Sparrow..."


The Carver book is a truly beautiful book from which I learned a lot. even though I knew a bit about him before.


Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 472 comments Wilhelmina wrote: "Crystal wrote: "I remember doing a report project in elementary school on George Washington Carver and would love to revisit a book about him.
1. George Washington Carver
2. [book:J..."


Thank you Wilhelmina, I am going on over to read your review.


Nadine Jones I am so excited to have discovered The Picture Book page and I kind of don't know how I've missed it all this time!!! I have 4yo and a 7yo daughters and I LOVE picture books - I'll be reading picture books to my girls for as long as they'll let me!

Here are my votes for this week's theme:

1. Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea Pinkney - I just kind of stumbled upon this one last month and I couldn't be more thrilled. This is the first time I've found a picture book that discusses real, and complicated, history on a level that can be appreciated by a 4yo and a 7yo (okay, my 7yo was much more interested, but still, it didn't totally lose my 4yo's interest). Sojourner Truth is such a great character in American history, important in both women's history and black history, and it was great to be able to discuss that with my daughters. This book glosses over the worst of what went on back then, but it DOES mention slavery.

2. In the Garden with Dr. Carver - told from the point of view of a fictional girl at a school visited by Dr Carver. If I remember, this doesn't discuss slavery at all. I found this book to be much more accessible for young kids than the Aliki book about Carver (which was assigned to my 2nd grader in school - THAT one talks about slavery, by the way).

3. Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald This book is a little long for the youngest readers, and it does discuss some rather unsavory parts of her life - her mother dies, her aunt who takes her is not loving, she ends up homeless ... but my daughters were okay with it. After we read it, I played them "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" sung by Ella Fitzgerald, I think that helped bring it to life for them.


Crystal Marcos (CrystalMarcos) | 472 comments Nadine wrote: "I am so excited to have discovered The Picture Book page and I kind of don't know how I've missed it all this time!!! I have 4yo and a 7yo daughters and I LOVE picture books - I'll be reading pict..."

Welcome to the club! I hope to always read picture books with my now 19mo daughter. I have always read them. I have an excuse to buy more because of her. =) I like your suggestions going to go read more about them. Thanks!


message 49: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Jan 24, 2011 08:51AM) (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
Wow! It's so exciting to be back and see so many votes here. Hooray! Thanks for the great turn-out. I can just feel the excitement for this theme and know we're going to have some great reads and discussions! :-)

THE WINNERS ARE:
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (ages 4-8)

Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys (ages 4-8)

Full, Full, Full of Love (ages 4-8)

Henry's Freedom Box (ages 4-8)

Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist (ages 8-10)

ALTERNATE TITLE:
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (ages 8-10)

The votes were cast in such a way that I really had to do very little decision making with the ties to get a good variety of subjects; you see we have some biographies and historical fiction (ranging in time periods) and a very sweet work of contemporary fiction, too. The list also includes some notable and award-winning African American authors and illustrators. This looks like a wonderful way to begin a celebration of Black History Month! I hope you can all find the books easily and look forward to beginning the discussion come February.


message 50: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Jan 24, 2011 09:01AM) (new)

Kathryn | 2980 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "Absolutely no worries, Leslie! :) As Lisa says, it is rather confusing.

It has always been five votes per person, as far as I know, and then the alternate is just the sixth most popular title. I don't think the results will be tabulated until Kathryn returns, which won't be until the end of the week. I'd just go ahead and edit your initial post, choosing your five favorites, of the six."


So sorry for the confusion and thanks to those of you long-term members for helping clear things up for our newer members while I was away.

Yes, each person gets five votes and we choose five books. The sixth book is an "alternate title" as invariably some members are unable to get all five of the main titles and this gives them another chance to read another book. Also, it gives me as moderator a little "wiggle room" to try to round out a theme or better accommodate a wider variety of age groups in the picture book realm. A few months ago, I asked members if they wanted the number of books per month to change but most were comfortable with things the way they are so we have kept it with five. (If ever there is interest in changing that, feel welcome to mention it in "Group Business" for the club.) And, of course, you are welcome to read all six if you can :-)

Also, please note that there are two steps to the book selection process. First, I call for *nominations* and this opens the thread to all of you to nominate books you feel are appropriate for the theme and that you'd be excited to see on the official group reads. After about a week, the thread is "closed" to nominations and then you are able to *vote* on the five books (from the nominations list so that everyone is voting from the same list) that you want to be our official club reads. When the votes come in, I tally those and the top five votes are the winners (I choose an alternate (sixth) title as well).

I hope this helps to clarify the process for our newer members. I realize it is a lot more complicated than simply voting in the poll for one of the novels (as is done in the other clubs) but since we are dealing with picture books and we read more than one, I want everyone to have a chance to vote for more than one book so this has seemed the best way. Please do let me know if any of you have additional questions.


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