KidLit & Nature

I took 110 books to St. Olaf for the students to check out!

Last Tuesday, had the honor of guest lecturing at St. Olaf College in an ecology class taught by my friend, Kiara Jorgenson. The ecology topics class, “Biophilia,” is about the human attraction to and affection for other living things. One of their units is on children’s literature and nature and Prof. Jorgenson invited me to both collaborate with her on their children’s literature project, and share with them some kidlit history and demonstrate portions of their assignment (read-alouds, book selection, citations, activities, etc.). I brought 110 books from my personal collection that weren’t duplicates of St. Olaf’s pretty wonderful collection of board, picture, and chapter books. I was also able to read aloud three of my favorite books: May We Have Enough to Share (Richard Van Camp), The Girl and the Wolf (Katherena Vermette, pictures by Julie Flett), and Nibi’s Water Song (Sunshine Tenasco, pictures by Chief Lady Bird).

If you’d like to see the presentation I shared with the class, it is available online and downloadable PDF format.

On Thursday, I had the marvelous privilege of going with Prof. Jorgenson and her students to Dodge Nature Preschool and observing their 3-5 year olds in (very) muddy outdoor play. I got to taste some maple tree sap they collected and read two picture books with a small group at their teacher’s request! (In the Woods: Who’s been here? by Lindsay Barrett George, and Frog on a Log by Kes Gray with pictures by Jim Field)

Many thanks to Prof. Jorgenson, her students, and Preschool Director Amy Warzybok for a truly spectacular week!

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!

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.