Bye Bye Hamilton, Hello Saint Paul!

A yellow moving truck with the Lightbulb Heart logo on its side moves from left to right on a grey background. Text reads: "Lightbulb Heart is moving to Minnesota!"

The Storylady and the Lending Library are on the move! This time to Saint Paul, Minnesota. I will miss my Hamilton community very much, while also looking forward to this new city and to being with a couple of old friends again.

Text reads: "It has been a joy to share stories in Hamilton and I will miss y'all very much!" 

Inset photo of Amber, a white woman with dark, curly hair. She wears glasses, a blue tee, dark pants, and a wide grin. She sits cross-legged on a red blanket at the farmer's market and is surrounded by picture books.

Special thanks to Locke Street Farmer’s Market, Donut Monster, Epic Books, Dundurn Market, and ROCK Reach Out Centre for providing space for storytimes for kids of all ages in our community!

Text reads: "Lending Library Patrons: You are the best! I wish I could take you with me!" Graphic: A book bearing the Lightbulb Heart logo is being packed into a box.

Lending Library Patrons: it’s been a very sweet ride and I’m so thankful you enjoyed the books as much as I do. 💛

Hamilton: please keep in touch! And let me know if you’re ever looking for new children’s picture book titles, because you know I have opinions! 😉

Saint Paul: I’ll see you in July!

Ranger Robin is HERE!

I am delighted by Ranger Robin and I think kids will be, too! Enjoy this new video from *kids in the hive* about hibernating animals. It includes a helpful pro-social message about how we can settle our bodies, as well as lots of fun animal noises with Captain Al and real kids! First in a series ❤ Be sure to like and subscribe to be the first to know when new videos arrive!

Who wants to get lost in the gorgeous Arcata Community Forest with me???

I loved collaborating on the scripts for this series with MaryAnn of *kids in the hive*/ALL PLAY Creations! I look forward to our ongoing work together. 🎥 

Why I Wear Red – updated for 2021

A red construction paper dress with stripes in a window to raise awareness for Missing and Murdered Women, Girls, and 2-Spirit People.

May 5th is Canada’s National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (Red Dress Day), and the Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls National Day of Action in the U.S.

A call to action for a U.S. National Day of Awareness is here.

“How can we help?”

When we don’t know how to start helping someone, listening to their stories is a very good place to start. In this video, I talk about my favourite books written and illustrated by, with, or about Indigenous Women and Girls.

Resources

I recognize talking about MMIWG2S with kids is not easy. Here are some resources for learning, art projects, books, and tips for getting started. Please note that these resources are for caregivers and educators, as the content may not be appropriate for all ages.

Books in the video

2021 Update

Amber, a white woman with dark curly hair sits in front of a cinderblock wall. She wears red glasses and a red apron over a navy tee shirt.

I also wear red…because I have participated in the erasure of Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit persons. I was taught that my Great Great Grandmother was a “Choctaw Indian Princess.” I learned in June, 2020 that she was Scottish and born in Indian Territory, Oklahoma. The name of the region speaks to the rich heritage of Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole nations who have lived there and who were forcibly removed from those lands by the U.S. government. My generational wealth increased when my family received those lands. “I can’t be racist, I’ve got an Indian princess in my family tree” is yet another false narrative white body supremacy uses to cognitively distance white people from our racist behaviours and beliefs, and the ways we benefit from the peril of others. It kept me from leaning into and learning from my family’s past, from being silent when I should listen, and from speaking up when I see the truth. It erased my sense of rage over what was happening to MMIWG2S and left me with a sense of sadness that was more palatable to my whiteness. I’m done with my sweet tea. This year, I wear red with more purpose, more rage, and a (for now) better understanding of my place in raising awareness.

Coming Soon from *kids in the hive*!

Coming soon: a great new video series about hibernating animals from my dear friend and collaborator *kids in the hive* (The Boy Who Was Fire)! Ranger Robin is delightful, sharing fun facts and animal noises, along with mindfulness and prosocial behavior building activities, all from the breathtakingly gorgeous Arcata Community Forest. ❤️

Be sure to Subscribe to their YouTube channel so you don’t miss any fun!

The Boy Who Was Fire

🔥 Video Premiere!🔥

In commemoration of International Earth Day, I am pleased to premiere a new video in collaboration with Pockets of…Publishing & Kids in the Hive.

The Boy Who Was Fire is a children’s book written by Marcus Kahle McCann & illustrated by Zita Varga. It begins with a small fire born to a tree and a bolt of lightning. This is a lyrical story of growth, redemption, and new beginnings. Appropriate for ages 5 years and older.

I am moved by this creative vision of what might happen if we put our fears of the unknown aside and lean into each other with compassion, recognizing the beauty and humanity of the person in front of us.

If you enjoy the book, you can purchase a signed hardcopy from Pockets of…Publishing.

I am grateful for MaryAnn Clark (MAC, All Play Productions/*kids in the hive*) reaching out early on in pandemic to ask if I wanted to collaborate on a video for The Boy Who Was Fire. She is a joy and I look forward to many more cooperative playground outings!