Today is Friday. TGIF for people who work during the week. And PPBF for those who love picture books. And National Diversity Awareness Month for EVERYONE!
The special book I’m featuring today is one that belongs on every diversity children’s book list. Through my parenting blog, I connected with the talented lady who wrote the song that the book is based on, Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou. She travels all over the world, sharing beautiful music with children. Daria graciously agreed to answer a few questions about the importance of music in the lives of children.
Hello Daria! Thank you so much for stopping by. I know music is such an important part of your life.
Do you play an instrument?
Yes! I’ve been playing guitar and dulcimer since I was a little girl. When I was young I was part of the Bucks County Folk Music Society and the older folks there were really kind to young learners. That was where I learned a lot about folk music from lots of different cultures and began playing the dulcimer.
When did you realize that music was the path you wanted to follow?
I was a young child in the 60’s and loved protest music because it gave a voice to many issues I felt strongly about, such as working for peace and caring for the Earth. I discovered that writing a song was a way to be heard, to speak out and yet it was a positive, non-confrontational way to change hearts and minds. That was when I knew I wanted to make music as my life’s path!
Why do you use music with kids?
Although music in most modern cultures is mainly about entertainment, it is so much more in other cultures. I love using music as a way to listen, a way to teach and a way to encourage kids to understand the power of cooperation. When children are playing together – for instance on a pow-wow drum- they can hear and even feel how something special happens when everyone works together toward a goal! It’s a great life lesson!
How can parents and teachers encourage a love of music in children?
That’s simple! First of all they can relax and enjoy music with them. Share what they know and love with their kids. They can sing simple songs to them and if they feel shy about that, they can still tap or clap along as their child sings a song they love. They can share music from their culture of origin. Plus they can visit a library and discover new cd’s with their child or ask their librarian about “kid-friendly” concerts or music programs that are available in their community.
Is music a universal language?
Yes! Music IS a universal language. People may disagree over politics, geography and other important concerns but once we begin singing, dancing, cooking, eating or celebrating together, then the differences disappear. Music can touch hearts where mere words cannot – and that is a beautiful thing!
If you have never visited Daria’s website, please do go there…it is one of the BEST multicultural sites around…you will be in for a treat: http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php.
AND GUESS WHAT? WHEN YOU GET THERE YOU CAN ENTER A RAFFLECOPTER TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF THIS PRECIOUS BOOK!
BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW WORLD
Book created by Suzee Ramirez and Lynne Raspet
Original lyrics by Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou
Publisher: Two Poppies (an imprint of Multicultural Kids, Inc. 2014)
Themes: Diversity, children
“Today I woke up to see…a beautiful rainbow world.
Won’t you dream along with me…a beautiful rainbow world.”
This is a photographic journey around the globe that shows us the beauty of children everywhere.
Why I like this book:
- Simple read-aloud or sing along text
- Incredible collection of photographs of children around the world
How a parent can use this book: Read the rest of this entry
My oldest blogging buddy, Elizabeth, over at Mirth and Motivation, has written a post recognizing a very special day: International Day of the Girl Child.
As parents, we know how important it is to uplift our daughters and help them recognize their own power, strengths and talents.
As writers, we try to infuse our girl characters with strength, humor, intelligence and assertiveness.
I know you will enjoy Elizabeth’s post. She has one of the finest multicultural sites in the world.
Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday.
I am doing a review of a chapter book for ages 6-10. I know that many parents are moving towards chapter books as their children begin reading on their own. And, although I believe that picture books are wonderful for elementary grades even when kids are reading themselves (for so many reasons), I also know that great chapter books continue the engagement of young readers with the world of books. My favorites were Little Women, Black Beauty and ALL of the Nancy Drew series. And, if G.G. Rock Climbs by Marty Mokler Banks had been around then, I know I would not have been able to put it down.
G.G. ROCK CLIMBS
Written by Marty Mokler Banks
Photo Illustrations by Alisa Mokler Harper
Publisher: Switch Monkey Press (2014)
Ages: 6-10 (But I was totally engaged!)
Friendship, self-esteem/self-confidence, overcoming challenges, rock climbing
“Does your mom let you have cake? With thick creamy frosting. And little flowers on top?
Well. My mom does not!
Oh, all right. Maybe on special occasions. But it seems like never. Mom says sugar is Not Good for a Healthy Body.
So when I first opened Stinky Sarah’s birthday party invitation, I immediately thought: CAKE! I get CAKE!”
Eight-year-old G.G. climbs all over stuff—from the couch in her apartment to the boulders at the park. So when she’s invited to Stinky Sarah’s birthday party at Rock Star climbing gym, G.G.’s up the wall in no time. G.G. likes it so much, she and her friend, Isaac, take a rock climbing class. When they head outside, things are suddenly more difficult. Can G.G. brave those steep rock faces up Zoo Canyon?
Why I like this book:
- Well-written, exciting page-turner that will keep kids engaged from the first page to the last
- Love the photo-illustrations – placed at just the right points in the story – really connects you to the story and the characters
- Great message about friendship, facing and overcoming fears, the importance of challenging ourselves
How a parent can use this book:
- Read it with your child – great opportunity to talk about things your child would like to do but maybe is afraid to try
- Talk about how Isaac and G.G. supported and encouraged each other
The book is available on Amazon.
If you’d like to connect with Marty Banks (she the co-coordinator of southern Colorado SCBWI) or learn more about her other books, please visit her website: http://www.martymoklerbanks.com/
Or her blog where she reviews all things chapter book: Chapter Book Chat
Why not visit a local gym or play center that has a rock climbing wall for kids?
Photo courtesy: http://www.ssww.com
For AMAZING crafts and activities using rocks, stones and pebbles, please visit: http://www.kidactivities.net/post/ideas-with-stones-and-rocks-for-kids.aspx
If you are looking for more wonderful book reviews, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. If you are a mom, teacher or librarian, please check out Susanna’s amazing Perfect Picture Book page with over 1000 categorized picture book reviews and activities.
And, because today is my grandson’s sixth birthday, here’s a yummy birthday cake – please help yourselves to a BIG slice!