Sunday, May 04, 2008

BLOOMWATCH - Issue # 2, May 2008

Bloomwatch: Issue # 2

Here's the second edition of our monthly newsletter, Bloomwatch — giving you the highlights of special days in May in an effort to connect people across cultures to encourage reading a diverse array of books to children!

Let’s delve right in, and see what’s in store for May…

1) Author Birthday:
Four time Caldecott Honor Winner , Leo Leonni was born in Holland on May 5th, 1910. Leo Leonni, a legend in contemporary children’s literature, was perhaps the first to use collage in children’s books. He worked as a graphic designer and advertising designer before writing children's books. Leo Leonni's work paved the way for the use of modern art and design elements in children’s books - a technique later adopted by many who were deeply inspired by his work, including legendaries such as Eric Carle and Ezra Jack Keats – two award-winning authors/illustrators known for their use of collage in illustrations. Here's the list of all his books published by Random House.

Some of his most extraordinary books include, Swimmy (1963), Frederick (
1967) and Little Blue and Little Yellow (1995), An Extraordinary Egg (1998).
He died on Oct 11, 1999. If you are interested in reading Leo Leonni's books, we do have a review of one of his most popular books Little Blue and Little Yellow.

2) Holiday Highlight Cinco De Mayo – (Fifth of May) is an important Mexican holiday that commemorates the victory of Mexican forces over French forces in the Battle Puebla (May 5th, 1862). Throughout the United States and other countries, the day is celebrated to honor Mexican heritage and culture. Here is a useful link to print out activity sheets based on the holiday. Holidays are a wonderful opportunity to present information to little ones about a country and its heritage - for instance,this Cinco De Mayo, parents and caregivers could teach little ones the location of Mexico on the world map/globe, the nation's flag, foods and other interesting information.

3) Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month: May being Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, let's read books focusing on the stories and folktales from different parts of South East and Pacific regions of Asia, and celebrate reading authors of Asian-Pacific heritage. Here’s a quick list on New York Public Library’s website for some recommendations surrounding the theme. For adults, the resource links on the websites of The Smithsonian Institurion has lots of information, if you are interested in the culture, history and the life of people of Asian-Pacific American heritage. For more information, click here.
Of course, on Saffron Tree, we are proud to say that there is no shortage of children's books focusing on Asian American, and particularly Asian-Pacific flavors.

Here are some past reviews by our contributors -
Yellow Umbrella, Minji's Salon, New Clothes for New Year's Day, Zen Shorts , A Place to Grow and Dear Juno.

4) Children’s Book Week: The Children’s Book Council (CBC) of New York is celebrating the week of May 12 – 18, 2008 as children’s book week, which according to CBC is the longest-running national literacy week in the U.S.
As part of the celebrations, CBC is organizing the first-ever, child-selected book awards program, the Children’s Choice Book Awards. To see the list of finalists, and if interested in having your child vote - click on this link from the same website. The list could also be useful to check out some popular, mainstream titles this year among children.

Thank you, and see you on our next edition!

Hasta La Vista!

1 comment:

Tharini said...

Very nicely put together Praba. So interesting to learn little tidbits through the Bloomwatch. Am liking it very much.

Glad I had something to contribute to the Asia-Pacific month. :)

I'll be back in more regular action in about a month, where I can hopefully get my hands on some great books while in Chennai.

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