Jan 19, 2015

Reposting this: Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr.

It's no wonder that few people (except for fellow geezers) actually know that Washington's birthday is February 22, Lincoln's birthday is February 12, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday is actually January 15. Designating official MONDAY celebrations for his commemoration and also for President's Day next month may allow federal and some other employees/schools to enjoy three-day-weekends, but my hope  is it will focus more attention on the accomplishments and integrity of these incomparable leaders than simply getting discounts on linens.

In recent months I've linked here to posts by by other bloggers who have said things about picture books better than I could. My endorsement of their words may or may not strengthen their voices, but I tried. 

Today I will repost my own voice, written in the first month of this blog's life three years ago.
I have been beating myself up over not producing an original post about this important day, so I reread my original thoughts, written as an open letter to Martin. They included this:

"Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr.
You’re a hero to so many, but I’d like to take a moment to tell you why you are mine.
When sharing your accomplishments with students, describing the doors you opened, opportunities you produced, changes resulting from your leadership in the USA and the world, my admiration is evident to them. 
Then I tell them about my experience in high school."

My post included links to a few outstanding titles, but there are numerous other titles released before and since that are being featured across the blogosphere. They can be found easily enough, and I urge readers to seek them out.

My post concluded with this:
"Because, thanks to your leadership, risks, and sacrifices, along with those of so many others, now every one of those schools accepts women. That change took place too late for me.
So, Martin, not just on your birthday or during Black History Month, I thank you for your vision and accomplishments. You threw open the doors of opportunity for me and for everyone else to live in a country that guarantees equality, or recourse when that has been denied."

I decided my own words are as true today as ever, and recent events across the country (the world, in fact) make them even more true. Instead of trying to generate a new post, I'll share this one, which shapes every day of my life. I hope you'll take the time to read the rest of the post, here.
Then find ways to honor my hero in every day life.

Jan 14, 2015

Sharing Another "Kindred Spirit" Post

Once again I'm sharing a post about picture books from another source. This one caught me from the first lines. I was all but singing the Halleluiah Chorus!

YES, picture books are for older readers. 
YES, the content has relevance for older readers.
YES, everyone should be reading these titles, and the entire essay.

I hope this quotation by blogger/educator Valerie Stein will convince you to read the full post:

"I have found that one great way to connect with students and to engage that deeper thinking is to use picture books. It’s easy to discount this format as “too young” for many students, but in reality, even the simplest-seeming of them can be powerful tools for scaffolding a topic, for generating new questions, and most importantly, for beginning a conversation with students that gets them thinking more deeply about a subject in new and different ways."
AMEN, sister, AMEN!
The titles featured in her post are particularly suited to discussions that should take place in classrooms at any time, but particularly now, when questions of war, terrorism, and violence are splashed across screens on a daily if not hourly basis.
Sharing this post with you is a shortcut for posting my own thoughts, I admit it, but if I had days and days to create a post on these books and this topic, I wouldn't have done as well. Do me a favor, do your self a favor, and click over to read it now. HERE. 
Then get your hands on these books and share them with people- especially with older readers.
Picture books are as versatile and diverse as the readers who enjoy them. Join me to explore the wacky, wonderful, challenging and changing world of picture books.