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!

Guest Post: Nancy Bo Flood – Wanted: Books written by or about contemporary Native Americans

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

We welcome Nancy Bo Flood to PaperTigers for this, her second Guest Post for PaperTigers (you can read her first one here):

Wanted: Books written by or about contemporary Native Americans.

Needed: Books that include contemporary Native American children presented without stereotypes or clichés.

Secret of the Dance by Alfred Scow and Andrea Spalding (Orca, 2006)Every child needs to see their own people and their own experiences in the books they read: yet in the United States less that 5% of children’s books published are written by or about Native Americans.

All young people need books that describe contemporary children who are Native American, not just historical accounts as though Indian children lived “past tense”, only a long time ago. The following books have “real” characters and engaging stories that include traditional celebrations continued in contemporary ways – with food, family, dance.

Whale Snow by Debby Dahl Edwardson (Charlesbridge, 2003)Picture books:

Secret of the Dance by Alfred Scow and Andrea Spalding (Orca, 2006);
Whale Snow by Debby Dahl Edwardson, illustrated by Annie Patterson (Charlesbridge, 2003);
Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu (HarperCollins, 2000);
The Butterfly Dance by Gerald Dawavendewa (Abbeville, 2001);
Powwow’s Coming by Linda Boyden (University of New Mexico Jingle Dancer</strong></em> by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu  (HarperCollins, 2000)Press, 2007);
Little Coyote Runs Away by Craig Kee Strete (Putnam, 1997);
When the Shadbush Blooms by Carla Messinger with Susan Katz, illustrated by David Kanietakeron (Tricycle Press, 2007).

With each of these books, if one asks, “Is this how an American Indian child would want to be perceived?” I think the answer is, “Yes.”

For Older Readers:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie,The Butterfly Dance by Gerald Dawavendewa (Abbeville, 2001) illustrated by Ellen Forney (Little Brown, 2007);
Rain Is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith (HarperCollins, 2001);
Bowman’s Store: A Journey to Myself by Joseph Bruchac (Lee & Low, 1997);
Eagle Song by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Dan Andreasen (Puffin Books, 1997);
Rattlesnake Mesa: Stories from a Native American Childhood by EdNah New Rider Weber, photographs by Richela Renkun (Lee & Low, 2004);
Powwow’s Coming by Linda Boyden (University of New Mexico Pres, 2007)House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday (Harper & Row, 1968 – new reprint edition, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2010).

In every area of the curriculum – art, literature, sports, science, government and politics – include contemporary Native Americans. For example, in sports, one of the greatest American athletes of the past century was Jim Thorpe. But how often is his biography included in a list of American athletes? Joseph Bruchac, whose work reflects Native American traditions as well as his own Abenaki Indian heritage, (more…)