PaperTigers 10th Anniversary Extra! Top 10 Multi-Cultural Picture Books by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Just when we thought the party was over, hooray, thanks to a computer glitch (and with sincere apologies to Cynthia that her wonderful list got caught up in a computer saga too long to go into here), we are more than delighted to bring you a Top Ten of Favorite multicultural picture books from acclaimed author and blogger extraordinaire Cynthia Leitich Smith – and we know you’ll love it too.

Cynthia’s most recent YA book is Diabolical (Candlewick Press, 2012), the fourth novel in her best-selling “Tantalize” gothic fantasy series that also includes the graphic novel Tantalize: Kieren’s Story illustrated by Ming Doyle (Candlewick Press, 2011).  Cynthia’s first YA novel was Rain is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001), and her picture books include Jingle Dancer (HarperCollins, 2000) and  Indian Shoes (HarperCollins, 2002), which like PaperTigers celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year. She has also co-authored the hilarious Santa Knows with her husband Greg Leitich Smith (illustrated by Steve Bjorkman; Dutton, 2006).

Cynthia has a vibrant website where you can find out all about her own writing and also explore invaluable resources about children’s and YA literature, including  a comprehensive celebration of diversity – and this is complimented by her sensational Cynsations blog, jam-pack full of kidlit news, author interviews, giveaways and more.

So on this day of Thanksgiving in the US, let’s say a big thank you to all those who enrich the lives of young people and the young at heart through their books; and a special thank you to Cynthia, alongside my apologies, for enabling us to continue our 10th Anniversary celebrations a little longer…

10 Favorite Multi-Cultural Picture Books by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges (Cinco Puntos Press, 2006)

Dona Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Big Heart by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raul Colon (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2005)

~ Dumpling Soup by Jama Kim Rattigan, illustrated by Lillian Hsu-Flanders (Little, Brown, 1998)

~ Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Henry Holt, 2006)

~ Mama’s Saris by Pooja Makhijani, illustrated by Elena Gomez (Little, Brown, 2007)

~ Monsoon by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Jamel Akib (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2003)

~ Muskrat Will Be Swimming by Cheryl Savageau, illustrated by Robert Hynes, featuring Joseph Bruchac (Rising Moon, 1996)

~ The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis (Putnam, 2001)

~ Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden, illustrated by Don Tate (Dutton, 2009)

~ Yo? Yes! by Chris Raschka (Scholastic, 2007)

Week-end Book Review ~ Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World by Jacqueline K. Ogburn and Chris Raschka

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Jacqueline K. Ogburn, illustrated by Chris Raschka,
Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World
Houghton Mifflin Books, 2012.

Ages 4-8

Most people have heard a parent calling their child “honey” (USA), “ducky” (UK) or “possum” (Australia). What about “kullanmuru” (nugget of gold) or “misiaczk” (bear cub)? While these may not sound familiar to some, to citizens of Finland and Poland, these are commonplace names that are heard every day.

As a young girl, author Jacqueline K. Ogburn always loved picture books, and anyone that picks up Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World gets a sense of her passion. In this latest title, Ogburn has collected some of the most popular terms of endearment from around the world and presents them in this beautifully illustrated book. While Ogburn could have chosen to focus solely on the more commonplace languages (Mandarin, Spanish, and English), she has gone above and beyond by including endearments from countries such as Uganda, the Slovak Republic, and Finland. Even better is that alongside each endearment in its native language she not only includes the English translation but also the endearment’s phonetic pronunciation so that “readers can try to say all these sweet beautiful words…to express love for their children.”

The pictures, by award-winning illustrator Chris Raschka, were created using ink, watercolor, and gouache, and they complement Ogburn’s words perfectly. Raschka has created a sense of internationalism by adding certain details specific to each country, such as incorporating the colors of the country’s flag’s into the clothing (for example: blue, white and gold for Argentina) or including a woman in a burqa among the Arabic-speaking families. There is a certain playfulness to the characters as well, from the rainbow-palette of skin colors to a child’s lopsided smile, and the random stars, flowers, and animals that can be found among the children and their parents.

Along with the overall message that children are loved the world over, readers both young and old will delight in the vibrancy and excitement that comes with learning about a new culture and language, not to mention a few foreign words! Ogburn and Raschka have created a book that shows love is the same all over, no matter what culture, country, or continent you’re from.

Keilin Huang
August 2012

2012 ALA Youth Media Awards Winners Announced!

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Earlier this morning the American Library Association (ALA) announced the 2012 youth media awards winners. A full list of the winners can be found here.

Highlights from the list include:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature: Dead End in Norvelt, written by Jack Gantos.

Two Newbery Honor Books also were named: Inside Out and Back Again, written by Thanhha Lai; and Breaking Stalin’s Nose, written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children: A Ball for Daisy, illustrated and written by Chris Raschka.

Three Caldecott Honor Books also were named: Blackout, illustrated and written by John Rocco; Grandpa Green, illustrated and written by Lane Smith; and Me … Jane, illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults: Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of  Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.

Two King Author Honor Book recipients were selected: Eloise Greenfield, author of The Great Migration: Journey to the North,  illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist; and Patricia C. McKissack, author of Never Forgotten,  illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award: Shane W. Evans, illustrator and author of Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom.

One King Illustrator Honor Book recipient was selected: Kadir Nelson, illustrator and author of Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement: Ashley Bryan.

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience: Diego Rivera: His World and Ours, written and  illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh.

Two Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were selected: The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred illustrated by Rafael López, written by Samantha R. Vamos; and Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match /Marisol McDonald no combina, illustrated by Sara Palacios, written by Monica Brown.

Pura Belpré (Author) Award: Under the Mesquite written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall.

Two Belpré Author Honor Books were named: Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck written by Margarita Engle; and Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller, written by Xavier Garza.