Sign Up for an Awesome Little Beings workshop in Santa Monica!

First off: Happy New Year!

I took a much needed break at the end of last year and now I’m back and ready to continue this journey of discovering and sharing children’s stories from different parts of the globe.

And i have some excellent and exciting news to announce!

I’ll be leading six-week cultural literacy workshop at ‘The Pump Station’ in Santa Monica! It costs $99 and starts on February 14.

Through this six-part, hands-on workshop, you’ll discover new stories and learn how to develop your child’s book and ‘cultural literacy’, which ALB defines as ,having the ability to see that all cultures have equal value’. This is learned through the images we see and the protagonists in our books. The workshop is open to parents with children aged 0-12 months. I’ll read to the group and parents will have a chance to read one on one to their child. I’ll give you tips on how to keep storytime fresh for you and your little one!

Click here to sign up via The Pump Station. Space is limited.

Books, sleep and building (community)

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about. Today’s session at Miracle Mile Toys & Games was a hit! A few of us followed the storytime with a coffee and chat and we talked about all sorts, while the kids ate our food and tried to drink the caffeinated beverages. Something the more sleep deprived in the group were not trying to encourage…

It’s all happening, we’re building community! We’ll be doing the same at our session at Message Media Ed this Saturday, October 26 at 11am. RSVP before Friday, space is limited!

But…that’s Not My Grandpa!

The kids at our October 12th storytime  were very entertaining. I have to give myself props here too; I must be half decent at this book reading thing if I can engage kids in a TOY STORE. Yes, a toy store. With very cool toys. I realize I’m making the same point several times, but I feel the need to underscore my feelings!

There were a few standout moments, like when I got a dad to do the actions for us when we sang ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ and when the kids turned my reading of ‘Peekaboo Morning’ by Rachel Isadora into a game,. But the real highlight for me came (again) during my reading of Isadora’s book’. If you don’t know the book, it features beautiful pictures of a little boy playing peekaboo around the house, pointing out various members of his family.

peekmorning

I got to the page where the boy saw his grandpa and one of our most animated kids, who was loving the story stopped, cocked her head and looked at me with some confusion. You see, the grandpa in this story didn’t look like hers.

She was very confused. She looked at me. Hard. She needed clarification. But there were other kids in the room, so in the same tone I used to read the story, I asked, ‘Does he not look like your grandpa?’

‘Hmmmmm…?’ She looked at me, still confused. Which I thought was interesting, because she didn’t flinch when on the books protagonist pointed out, ‘I see me!’ on the previous page.

So in the same light tone, I said, ‘that’s because he’s the little boy’s grandpa. Is this not your grandpa?’

Suddenly her confusion gone and a huge smile replaced her frown. ‘No, that’s not my grandpa. My grandpa is Daw Daw!’ She repeated his name, this time with even more excitement ‘Daw Daw!*’. She looked at her dad, he said, ‘yes, your grandpa is Daw Daw!’

That jarring moment of confusion that the first ALB experienced? It’s not uncommon. Kids who don’t see images of their family reflected in the world around them experience that moment all the time. When children aren’t encouraged to ask a question, or when adults don’t pause to discuss their questions, that feeling will stay with them and likely morph into something else. Having had a few days to think about it, I was struck at how easily that little girl was able to express her confusion. I think it’s because she’s used to seeing people like her in books. ANd that’s great. I was happy that she was able to say how she felt.

So conversely, when a child who doesn’t usually see images of their family reflected outside the home sees their family reflected it’s inspiring. One girl, whose family DID look like the characters in Peekaboo got more animated with every page I turned, and at the end of that book reading. Now, I know it had everything to do with the fact that we were playing Peekaboo, but every time I read ‘I see me/I see Grandpa/I see mommy’ her face would light up. By the end of the book, she was jumping alongside the other kids.

*Names have been omitted/changed in this post. We’re talking about families and kids afterall!

Dont Forget to Save Your Space at the Awesome Little Beings Storytime, October 12

Calling all LA parents, if you’re in or near the Miracle Mile area this Saturday morning at 11come to our storytime session. Its free… And in a very fly toy store…but we’ll distract the kids so you can play! We’ve got some fantastic books to read, including some great titles from our October Reading Partner, Barefoot Books!

Space is limited, so RSVP here. https://awesomelittlebeings1012.eventbrite.com/

My 3-Year-Old has Experienced Racism (and yours probably has too) :: racismreview.com

I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this article before, but it resonates so much I have to re post. This is why I do what I do. It’s why I stress the importance of putting every kid at the center of the story.

http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2013/08/26/my-3-year-old-has-experienced-racism-and-yours-probably-has-too/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+racismreview%2FnYnz+%28racismreview.com%29

Our next storytime is on October 12 at Miracle Mile Toys & Games on Wilshire blvd. RSVP details are yo the left (or below, if you’re reading our mobile page).