30 September 2018

30 Books About Mothers

Barn Dance!
written and illustrated by Pat Hutchins

Mom, There's a Bear at the Door
written by Sabine Lipan, images by Manuela Olten

Kyle Goes Alone
written by Jan Thornhill, images by Ashley Barron

Mother to Tigers
written by George Ella Lyon, images by Peter Catalanotto

Mama's Little Duckling
written by Marjorie Blain Parker, images by Mike Wohnoutka

Baya, Baya, Lulla-by-a
written by Megan McDonald, images by Vera Rosenberry

Little One
written and illustrated by Jo Weaver

Moo Moo, Brown Cow
written by Jakki Wood, images by Rog Bonner

Bebé Goes to the Beach
written by Susan Middleton Elya, images by Steven Salerno

Mama's Saris
written by Pooja Makhijani, images by Elena Gomez

Most Loved In All the World
written by Tonya Cherie Hegamin, images by Cozbi Cabrera

Little Chicken's Big Day
written by Jerry Davis, images by Katie Davis

Bedtime for Mommy
written by Amy Krause Rosenthal, images by LeUyen Pham

Mother Bruce
written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins

Little Owl's Orange Scarf
written and illustrated by Tatyana Feeney

Big Bad Bunny
written by Franny Billingsley, images by G. Brian Karas

Little Diva
written by LaChanze, images by Brian Pinkney

Miles From Ordinary
written by Carol Lynch Williams

Big Momma Makes the World
written by Phyllis Root, images by Helen Oxenbury

Lola At the Library
written by Anna McQuinn, images by Rosalind Beardshaw

Birdie's Big-Girl Shoes
written and illustrated by Sujean Rim

Little Owl Lost
written and illustrated by Chris Haughton

Mama, I'll Give You the World
written by Roni Schotter, images by Susan Saelig Gallagher

Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies
written by Cokie Roberts, images by Diane Goode

My New Mom & Me
written and illustrated by Renata Galindo

Giddy-up Buckaroos!
written by Shanda Trent, images by Tom Knight

My Mom Is Trying to Ruin My Life
written by Kate Feiffer, images by Diane Goode

Little Fish Lost
written by Nancy Van Laan, images by Jane Conteh-Morgan

Molly's Family
written by Nancy Garden, images by Sharon Wooding

My Mother's Sari
written by Sandhya Rao, images by Nina Sabnani

28 September 2018

My Grandmother’s #MeToo Trauma

My grandmother in the 1940s or 1950s.
photographer unknown
This is a hard post for me to write. I struggled about whether or not I should even write this, but I think I should.

With all the talk the past year or so about sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape, I've been thinking a great deal. The discussions haven't brought up any trauma for me. Like every woman, I've been subjected to harassment. This is not to deny that those injustices should be ignored but merely to state that I am okay.

This post isn't about me.

This is about my grandmother.

She passed in 2011, and I miss her every day. About six or seven months before she passed, she entrusted me with a secret.

She had been molested and raped as a child and teen.

She didn't tell me the gory details, and I didn't ask. She didn't tell me names, though I have no doubt she remembered them. Suffice it to say, she knew her attackers.

Even she wasn't sure if everything that had been done to her "counted" as something wrong. She asked me that when talking about the man who took her into a room as a child and did things to her. "Now, isn't that wrong?"

I told her yes, it was. I said that with absolute conviction because it is true.
My grandmother in the mid-1980s
in San Antonio.
photo by my mother

I don't know how I kept from crying when she told me that. I'm crying typing this right now.

The point I want to make here is not to name the men who hurt my grandmother; I don't know their names. The point is not to damage the way people remember my grandmother; they have their own memories of her to recall.

The point is that that trauma lived with my grandmother for the rest of her life.

She lacked confidence in herself. She considered herself “stupid” (her word, not mine).

These things I knew long before I knew about her assaults. I always thought they were a result of bullying behavior by siblings or the fact that she had to quit school in sixth grade. And I'm sure that's part of it, too.

But it all boils down to the shame she lived with every day for most of her life.

My grandmother and grandfather at their
40th wedding anniversary.
photographer unknown
As far as I know, the only person she told was her husband.

People who have been assaulted sexually are forced to deal with that shame and trauma every day. Some are able to talk about their experiences almost immediately, and some are not. Some are lucky enough to see their attackers serve time in prison. Most are not.

The revelations and news about sexual offenders that has come out over the past years has been infuriating, heartbreaking and depressing. I do not know how my grandmother would have responded to all of these revelations. Would they have brought back painful memories? Would she have told me more details? Would she have reached out to someone for help?

I like to think she would appreciate me writing this post for her as a way to exorcise some of her demons. I hope that's true.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted and needs help, please contact RAINN.

You can also donate to RAINN.

13 September 2018

4 Books About Vermont

From Dawn Till Dusk
written by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, images by Mary Azarian

The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill
written by Megan Frazer Blakemore

The Two Brothers
written by William Jaspersohn, images by Michael A. Donato

Tricking the Tallyman
written by Jacqueline Davies, images by S.D. Schindler

08 September 2018

Jon Scieszka: An Appreciation

What can I say about Jon Scieszka that hasn't already been said?

I got to meet him once when I was helping with local arrangements for the Texas Library Association's annual conference. He was going to assist with the emcee duties for the Book Cart Drill Team Competition, and we were reviewing the way the event would go.

He was such fun!

There are people you meet and you instantly feel like you could be friends with this person forever. Jon Scieszka is like that. I don't remember if we were formally introduced or not. In my memory, he just showed up and joined this group of Texas librarians like he had been there for years.

I suppose, in a way, he had.

Librarians have rock star authors that we love for any number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons we love certain authors is that they love libraries and reading, too. Jon Scieszka is one of those authors. Like librarians, he knows there's a story out there for every reader--especially so-called "reluctant" boy readers. It's one of the reasons he started Guys Read.

Ultimately, though, his books are funny and customers love them. There doesn't need to be anything more than that. But the fact that there is? That's what makes Jon Scieszka a rock star.

03 September 2018

12 Books About Working #resist

A Handful of Stars
written by Cynthia Lord

A Visit to the Gravesens' Farm
written by Alice K. Flanagan, images by Christine Osinski

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909
written by Michelle Markel, images by Melissa Sweet

Daisy Saves the Day
written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes

Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe
written by Deborah Blumenthal, images by Laura Freeman

Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman's Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights
written by Mary Cronk Farrell

First Day In Grapes
written by L. King Pérez, images by Robert Casilla

Harvesting Hope: The Story of César Chávez
written by Kathleen Krull, images by Yuyi Morales

Ice! The Amazing History of the Ice Business
written by Laurence Pringle

Kid Blink Beats The World
written and illustrated by Don Brown

Mama's Coming Home
written by Kate Banks, images by Tomek Bogacki

Night Shift
written and illustrated by Jessie Hartland

01 September 2018

9 Books by Jim Arnosky

Happy birthday, Jim Arnosky!

Coyote Raid in Cactus Canyon
written and illustrated by Jim Arnsoksy

Frozen Wild: How Animals Survive in the Coldest Places on Earth
written and illustrated by Jim Arnsoksy

Gobble It Up! A Fun Song About Eating!
written and illustrated by Jim Arnsoksy

Turtle In the Sea
written and illustrated by Jim Arnsoksy

Hidden Wildlife: How Animals Hide in Plain Sight
written and illustrated by Jim Arnsoksy

Crocodile Safari
written and illustrated by Jim Arnsoksy

Wild Ponies
written and illustrated by Jim Arnsoksy

Rattlesnake Dance
written and illustrated by Jim Arnsoksy

At This Very Moment
written and illustrated by Jim Arnsoksy