Can You Vague That Up For Me?

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Archive for the tag “Childrens’s Literature”

Looking for for great kids books about LGBT+ families?

Unless you’re super new here, you know that I love me some great picture books. Despite the fact that my kids are in their early twenties, my children’s book collection continues to grow. I get some to read to my nieces and nephews, and some are just for me.

Because books.

The It’s Fundamental – Children’s Book Blog is a fantastic resource for all things picture books. Run by a former educator (though, trust me, she’s still educating) named Crystal, this blog features fantastic booklists (carefully and thoughtfully curated by topic) as well as book reviews.

Some of her booklists include: Shark Week, World Changing Women, Trains, Juneteenth, Ramadan, Women in Science, Books for Kids Who are Afraid to Swim, Civil Rights, Star Wars–and this is just a small sampling of the topics. Seriously, this blog has it all!

But, I’m not blogging today to talk about Sharks or Star Wars (and now, I have Queen stuck in my head) but to share It’s Fundamental‘s amazing LGBT+ Families booklist.

When I was a kid, books featured families that were comprised of a mother, father and kids. Or the parents were dead and the kids were orphans. There was no inbetween. I remember wondering why there were never divorced parents like mine in books. We all know that representation is incredibly important, and as a child, when you never see your reality represented in stories, it leaves you with a feeling of disconnectedness. The sense of being “other”.

That’s why I’m so happy to see books like Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino and I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary.

Please take a few minutes and check out this fantastic list Crystal has put together. And if you’re on social media, enjoy books, like to give books as gifts, like hanging out at the library and/or representation and inclusion, be sure to follow It’s Fundamental‘s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest pages. Oh, and duh…the blog.

You won’t be sorry!

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day

I’d like to share some of my very favorite pirate-y books.

Long before The Pirates of the Caribbean hit the theatres, my kids, like many kids loved pirates. For a long time we were Pirate Mama, Pirate Papa, Pirate Cait, Pirate Grammy – well, you get the picture. We drank pirate tea and ate pirate bars (granola bars). Time outs were called walking the plank. They tied each other up, hid treasure all over the yard and house and constantly carried swords, daggers and hooks. In an effort to potty train my youngest, he received those little plastic doubloons for hitting the mark…so to speak. We also read the best stories – they’re books that I’ll never get rid of – I have so many fond memories attached to them. Plus, they’re AWESOME story books. If you have any little pirates in your life (or older pirates who love picture books, may I suggest the following.

The Ballad of the Pirate Queens is by the brilliant Jane Yolen and tells the story of Mary Reed and Anne Bonney and Calico Jack Rackham. The paintings are exquisite and the story while likely not historically accurate is great.

Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail is probably one of my all time favorites. Edward, a little boy who loves to read spends all his time at the library with his nose in a book. One day he checks out a book about pirates. It’s a special book because it tells the location of the pirates’ treasure. The pirates know this, but they can’t read so they sneak into Edward’s room and demand that he tell them where the treasure is. Edward gives them more than they asked for – he teaches them to read. Best. Book. Ever.

Penelope and the Pirates by James Young is the story of a cat who longs for adventure so she convinces a sea captain that her markings are actually a map to a buried treasure. Unfortunately, some pirates get wind of this info and they kidnap Penelope. However, Penelope is a resourceful cat.

Sailor Song by Nancy Jewel is a sweet bedtime story about a little boy who’s father has gone off to sea.

Grandma and the Pirates by Phoebe Gilman tells the tale of a brave little girl who must rescue her Grandma. Because of her great skill at cooking, the Grandma has been been kidnapped by pirates to serve as their new cook.

And finally, Tough Boris by Mem Fox – how I love this book. Boris is the toughest of all pirates and he never cries, but one day his parrot dies. This book manages to be a little suspenseful, sad and hopeful all at the same time.

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