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)

PaperTigers Tenth Anniversary: Top Ten Authentic Historical Picture Books by Sherry York

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

We are delighted that Sherry York has taken us up on our invitation to our readers to submit a Top Ten list of their choosing for our current series in celebration of our 10th anniversary.  Sherry is a retired librarian and works now as an editorial consultant.  She is also the author of a number of guides for librarians and teachers including Ethnic Book Awards: A Directory of Multicultural Literature for Young Readers and Tips And Other Bright Ideas For Elementary School Libraries , as well as guides to children’s and YA literature by Latino and Native American writers.

My Top Ten Authentic Historical Picture Books by Sherry York

These titles represent ten of my picks of authentic historical picture books.  They all present U.S. history from points of view not often seen in “mainstream” lists.

Thanks for allowing me this opportunity to look through my picture book collection and think critically.

Abuelita’s Secret Matzahs by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso illustrated by Diana Bryer (Clerisy Press, 2005)

Bad News for Outlaws by Vaunda Micheau Nelson illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Carolrhoda Books, 2009)

Coolies by Yin illustrated by Chris Soenpiet (Philomel, 2001)

Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges (Cinco Puntos Press, 2006)

Malian’s Song by Marge Bruchac illustrated by William Maughan (University Press of New England, 2006)

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee-Tai illustrated by Felicia Hoshino (Children’s Book Press, 2006)

Rivka’s First Thanksgiving by Elsa Okon Rael illustrated by Maryann Kovalski (Margaret K. McElderry, 2001)

Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac illustrated by Greg Shed (Harcourt Children’s Books, 2000)

The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos by Lucía González illustrated by Lulu Delacre (Children’s Book Press, 2008)

Tomás and the Library Lady by Pat Mora illustrated by Raúl Colón (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1997)

Of course there are others that I could easily include. I’m sure your readers will know of others…

..and if you do, and would like to send us your Top Ten list, do email it to me, marjorieATpapertigersdDOTorg.

Also, if you haven’t yet entered our 10th Anniversary Draw, make sure you read this!

American Indian Youth Literature Awards

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

June is always a busy time in my household! Year-end school activities, dance recitals, birthday celebrations and Father’s Day seem to make the month fly by. In addition, this year we are in the final stages of preparation for our trip of a lifetime – a 2 month boat trip from Vancouver, BC to Juneau, Alaska. Most people are excited for us: however there are definitely some people that think we are crazy (2 adults, 2 kids and 1 dog on a boat for 8 weeks!!!??) and wonder how the kids keep occupied during long passages. The obvious answer – books!!! As long as there is plenty of reading material on board we shouldn’t suffer mutiny.

Knowing that this trip will take us to many First Nation communities, I have attempted to select books which will enrich my children’s understanding of the First Nations people, their culture and history. Charlotte has some great resources in her post Aboriginal Illustrators and Writers and Debbie Reece has a wonderful blog entitled American Indians in Children’s Literature. Another resource is the American Indian Library Association (AILA) – an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA). The ALA is holding their annual conference June 26 – July 2 in Anaheim, CA and on June 30th the American Indian Library Association presents their 2008 awards for Best Native American Picture Book, Best Middle School Book, and Best Young Adult Book to this year’s recipients. “This new literary award was created as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians ” says the ALA. ” Books selected to receive the award present Native Americans in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts”.

The following winners will each receive a cash award of $500 and a custom made beaded medallion. Reviews have been provided by the AILA Book Awards committee.

Picture Book Winner:

Crossing Bok Chitto Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridge. Cinco Puntos Press, 2006.

A beautifully inspired story of a friendship between Martha Tom, a Choctaw girl and Li’ Mo, a slave boy and how their relationship brought wholeness and freedom to Mo’s family and also to many slaves. Bridge’s illustrations enhance the story by resonating the joy of friendship, the light of faith, and the leadership of children.

Middle School Winner:

Counting CoupCounting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond, by Joseph Medicine Crow. National Geographic, 2006.

This appealing autobiography of Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow (Absarokee) is a winner with the young and old. The author recounts his adventures and training as a traditional Crow warrior and his service as a decorated World War II veteran. Walk, run and ride with him as you learn first-hand about real-life on the Crow reservation before during and after encounters with newcomers. In a text that is not preachy, but and honest read, Joseph Medicine Crow tell how he over came many challenges to fulfill his role as Chief of the Crow Nation.

Best Young Adult:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Little Brown Publishers, 2007.

A realistic, bitter-sweet yet, humorous look at the life of Arnold, a Spokane Indian teenager making his way in life on the reservation while attending an all white high school. Alexie brings to life the challenges many young native people experience as they learn to navigate and balance Indian life in a modern world. Part autobiography, Alexie’s Arnold reminds us of the complexities of coming of age, bigotry, bullies, loyalty to family and the meaning of love.

The winners will be in attendance at the gala reception on the 30th. The reception will also feature a traditional blessing and keynote address by Georgiana Sanchez and traditional cultural dancing by local California Native people. “We are grateful to have this opportunity to honor authors and illustrators who best portray Native American culture for young readers,” says Naomi Caldwell, Chair, AILA American Indian Youth Literature Award committee. “We celebrate the official recognition American Indian literature for youth. “