Archive for June, 2020

Some History-Smashing Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

“[I]t’s more likely that the Pilgrims’ meal included fish, shellfish, and eels.
(Try telling your family you’d like to have eels for Thanksgiving dinner this year,
in honor of the Pilgrims, and let me know how that goes!)”

“It totally didn’t happen this way!” says a Mayflower Pilgrim on the cover of Kate Messner’s The Mayflower (Random House, July 2020), illustrated by Dylan Meconis.

If you had to summarize this book in one sentence, that would about cover it. This is the first in Messner’s new series, called History Smashers, though as I understand it, this book is publishing simultaneously with Women’s Right to Vote, another book in the same series. (I haven’t seen that one yet.) The Mayflower will be on shelves early next month, and I’ve got a galley of this refreshing book.

Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #694: Featuring the 2020 BGHB Winners

h1 Sunday, June 7th, 2020

If you are familiar with the book Saturday, written and illustrated by Oge Mora, you’ll recognize the characters in this image above. It’s Ava and her mother, the unforgettable duo of the story. Oge posted this image on Instagram recently, and she wrote: “Um…look what rockstar librarian @lizzeppelinii made!! Bout passed out when I saw it. SO COOL.” The librarian’s name is Liz Braithwaite, and she’s a children’s librarian in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She also sewed Pokko! I’m in love.

I’m sharing this, because on May 27 the winners of the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were announced, and Saturday won in the Picture Book category. I always look forward every summer to the announcement of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners, but I’m feeling especially celebratory this year, because I had the pleasure of chairing this year’s awards with fellow judges Sujei Lugo and Leo Landry. Last Sunday, I had wanted to do a bit of celebrating of the winners, but I posted something else instead. But here’s some celebrating at 7-Imp today — a short something about each book. Come October, they will all be celebrated at the Horn Book’s (online) awards ceremony. Details on that later. Read the rest of this entry �

Nana Akua Goes to School

h1 Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

“… It feels hard to explain, but Zura wants to try. She swallows and takes a deep breath. ‘What if someone at school laughs at you or acts mean?’ she asks quietly.”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)

It’s Circle Time in Zura’s classroom when her teacher, Mr. Dawson, announces that soon the class will celebrate Grandparents Day, during which students’ grandparents will visit the classroom to share “what makes them special.” Zura is apprehensive, because though her Nana Akua is her “favorite person in the whole universe,” Nana Akua has facial markings that “never wash off and never go away.” Zura worries her beloved grandmother will be mocked when she visits the classroom.

The facial markings are an African tradition, designating Nana Akua’s tribal family. Having grown up in Ghana and as she explains to Zura’s classmates on the day she visits … Read the rest of this entry �