All the feelings…

A group of old and new friends is slowly working through a powerful book by Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. During our discussion Tuesday night, I recognized how much training for white body supremacy was incorporated into containing and controlling my I-have-big-feelings-ness as a kid and how much I want to break the hold of that in my adult existence.

That work for me this week included collaborating with friends who raise and care for growing humans to see what feelings their kids need help normalizing and expressing. The result is this “If you’re happy/grumpy/sad/scared/lonely/wild/sleepy/bored/silly and you know it” video. I had a lot of fun playacting all those feelings, but the most important part for me comes at the end. Sometimes, I have to sit quietly and breathe long enough for my feelings to reveal themselves. I believe that’s necessary for us to do as adults, especially as we work to break down big systems outside the walls of our homes and inside the walls of our own bodies. I also think it’s vital to allow our kids the same space.

We have so many big feelings. How do you feel today? Are you happy? Grumpy? Sad? Stop, breathe, and let the feeling bubble up and tell you its name.

If you’re happy and you know it, shout hooray
If you’re grumpy and you know it, make some noise
If you’re sad and you know it, cry boo hoo
If you’re scared and you know it, hide your face
If you’re lonely and you know it, reach out
If you’re wild and you know it, drum real fast
If you’re sleepy and you know it, give a yawn
If you’re bored and you know it, great big sigh
If you’re silly and you know it, dance about

If you don’t know how you feel, stop and breathe I
f you don’t know how you feel, stop and breathe
If you don’t know how you feel, and you really want to know it
If you don’t know how you feel, stop and breathe

If you or your kids stumble over naming emotions, the Children’s Involvement Team of Sheffield, UK has provided a helpful feelings chart: http://www.sheffkids.co.uk/adultssite. I used it last year as a prop for Karaoke Visiting Hour and now it hangs in the space where I do online storytime.

Breathe, friends. ♥️

Books I Love: Stories About Bedtime

Do you have a bedtime routine? If you do, it might include stories. Most of my books are good stories for bedtime, but some of my favourite books are stories about bedtime! However you might get ready for bed, what we all have in common is wanting a good night’s sleep. That way, as author Nancy Redd says in Bedtime Bonnet, “we’re all ready for a brand-new day!”

Books in this video:

Sleepytime Playlist

The deep work of Tricia Hersey and The Nap Ministry led me to create a week of videos dedicated to helping our young ones rest so their caregivers can find some rest. The sleepytime playlist currently contains two poems about The Sandman by Paul Laurence Dunbar, two lullabies (one with an art project, one with images from the Hubble Space Telescope images), and the above Books I Love segment. I am grateful for the message of radical rest The Nap Ministry is birthing in the world and I am proud to support this work on Patreon.

Books I Love! Books That Centre BIPOC Characters

I continue to be encouraged by the books being published by BIPOC authors and illustrators and more books centring BIPOC characters. Make no mistake – there need to be more.

Before our days moved pandemically, Bernadette Arthur at A Shared Table asked me to compile a list of picture books by BIPOC authors/illustrators and others that centre BIPOC characters. The family event she was gearing up for was around the theme of raising socially conscious kids. I’m making these resources available in hopes they might be helpful. Please let me know if you find that to be the case. I know I have growth edges and I’m happy to receive constructive criticism on both documents.

Booklist: Great Read-Aloud Books by BIPOC Authors/Illustrators and Others that Centre BIPOC Characters

Raising Socially Conscious Kids: Choosing Picture Books (tips for caregivers who are racialized as white)

Related: In our pandemic times, Bernadette’s currently working with En Conjunto to provide a series of Digital Dine-Ins. I heartily recommend these! The one I attended last night was about raising children to be aware and active changemakers and picture books came up a few times. No surprise, the Digital Dine-In Sue Littleton and I are co-hosting in June is about children’s books.

Books I Love! Mis libros favoritos con palabras en Español

Some of my favourite books have words en Español! I love the art, text, and messages of all of these books and I am so thankful more books in Spanish and other languages are being made more widely available!

What are you favourite books in Spanish?

Books I Love! Surprise Pages

Some of my favourite books have what I call “surprise pages.” These stories have interesting page sizes, holes, or books within books!

What are some of your favourite “surprise pages” books?