Mr. Alex interviews Sarah Rockett from SLEEPING BEAR PRESS and gets all the details regarding the OWN STORIES OWN VOICES Writing Contest. Sarah also shares with Mr. Alex what makes a good Picture Book Manuscript (including some Dos and Don’ts), what some of her upcoming projects.
Sometimes, books arrive a little late to the bookshelf; but, we want to bring them to your attention, just in case you need to make a last minute run to the store or want to add them to (or keep them away from) your library. Here are some titles from Simon & Schuster that were published for the Christmas holiday. One, is already a perennial favorite. We’ll start with that one.
At aged six or so, my dreams began as I disappeared through the headboard of my bed. My headboard was made of black, shiny plastic, think patent leather, but cheaper, with a mirror like surface. I thought I could make out my reflection. Like Alice, but before I’d heard of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, I’d somehow slip from my bed into an alternate world in my headboard’s reflection.
So why am I so thoroughly disappointed in this book? It comes down to a few choices made to erase Anthony’s racism in the supplemental materials included in the back of the book.
While it is actively noted that Anthony and her friend/fellow activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton started the suffrage movement in conjunction with their involvement in the abolition movement, there is no mention of the subsequent rift between the two movements over Anthony’s bitterness that the Fifteenth Amendment was making greater headway than women’s suffrage. No mention of the racist speeches Anthony made, or her chosen alliances with George Train (“Woman first and negro last.”), or avowed white supremacists like Belle Kearney.
Margarita and her family move from New Mexico to Fort Steele Wyoming, where her father has been able to secure a job working on the railroad. Leaving the life she has known for all of her ten years behind, she embarks on a new adventure where she tries to make new friends, navigates growing up and faces discrimination, while at the same time remains true to her Hispanic Heritage.
Starting on September 15, 2020 and concluding on October 15, 2020, Mr. Alex’s Bookshelf will be holding a month long celebration featuring titles by Hispanic Authors. We’ve culled through hundreds of books; read dozens of titles, and have settled on 21 that we know merit your attention.
The tennis great Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” It is a perfect life lesson to be sure, and I wish I had that quote as motto when I was coaching soccer, both for myself and for my kids. But tennis, better than any other sport I know, reliably rewards that mindset.
In all the team sports (and most of life), kids like me struggle with the sensation of being out of place. Putting a team together, in baseball, softball football and soccer almost always results in participants who at least half the time feel inadequate. A few will revel in stardom, and now and again someone like my Romanian team member, a soccer savant, will appear in a league that offers no challenge at all.
If you’re like me, all discussions of sports begin with trauma. Growing up, I was that cliché, the pudgy kid picked last for every team. My signature sports moment came around fifth grade when the little league team I played on (as the kid in left field who couldn’t catch a fly ball) designated me to be traded to the first-place team. If you’re an athlete, this might strike you as good news. But our league had a practice of making the teams more competitive at midseason by trading the worst player from the last place team (my team) for the best player from the first-place team. Imagine the ignominy of meeting your new teammates: “Hi, I’m here to ruin your chances.”
This in-depth interview goes over the advantages of a wordless picture book in promoting reading comprehension, vocabulary development and the development of social/emotional skills 4-8 year olds. The interview also discusses the process undertaken by Hartry in developing the book and getting it to publication; as well as her collaboration with the illustrator.