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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bye-Bye Board Books

My little girl is growing up.

Today she informed me that board books are for babies.

Sigh.

I am quite definitely prepared in the practical sense, since we've amassed a huge collection of Big Girl Books these past twelve months. Emotionally... that's another story. I don't want to say goodbye to our baby books because that means I'm admitting that my Tongginator is no longer a baby.

Sob.

But she is ready, so I guess I need to be ready as well.

As I wiped down the Tongginator's board books before storing them away for our next child, I thought about many of our friends' home libraries. Their collections aren't very diverse, especially when it comes to board books, probably because it's difficult to find stories that depict people of all colors. The Husband and I make it a point to purchase multicultural books... but then, we have to make that extra effort: we are Caucasian-Americans and our little Tongginator is Chinese-American.

Speaking as a former teacher, it's a challenge to find Great Books, and even more challenging when adding extra criteria such as "multicultural." What to do?

Peruse the National Education Association (NEA) list of 50 multicultural books every child should read. The list includes titles appropriate for preschool-aged children all the way through to twelfth graders.

Check out the Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature (DAWCL), where you can search using many criteria, including the ethnicity/ nationality of the story's protagonist. This database contains over 7,000 titles from 78 awards across six English-speaking countries. These award-winners include ALA Notables, Caldecotts and Newberys, appropriate for young readers of all ages.

Since I spent several hours this afternoon weeding through our "baby books," I've listed a few of our favorite multicultural board books. They are the most difficult to find, as picture and chapter books tend to include a bit more diversity. Here are some of our favorites:

Clockwise from top left: Baby Born by Suen; From Head to Toe by Carle; God Loves You
by Bostrom; Ten, Night, Eight by Bang; Where is Baby's Belly Button by Katz; Hush!
A Thai Lullaby by Ho; Mama Do You Love Me? by Joosse; Here Are My Hands
by Martin, Jr.; Baby Faces by DK Publishing; On Mother's Lap by Scott; and More,
More, More Said the Baby by Williams


If you are waiting to adopt from China, you may also wish to check out these board book titles:

Clockwise from top left: Yum Yum Dim Sum by Sanger; Colors of China by Siao; Toddler
Two by Suen; Good Night! by Masurel; I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Lewis;
and My House: A Lift-the-Flap Book in Mandarin, Pinyin and English by Berlitz Kids

Creating a diverse children's home library works for us. What works-for-you?

4 comments:

Becoming Me said...

Your daughter is darling. I too have a preschool-aged daughter. They have such wonderful insight don't they. I'm glad I found our blog. It's delightful.

CC said...

Have to ask how you made the cool collage of books. I'd like to try that.

I only know a few of your pictures books. Strange. When we were waiting for our daughter I couldn't even read "I Love You Like Crazy Cakes" without starting to bawl. Also "Jin Wu". Just cried and cried. Trying to read the book to my son through tears is not easy!

Aunt LoLo said...

Oh, your baby is growing up! Sad! I have to say, I NEED to get a copy of Yum Yum Dim Sum. We have a book by the same author, My First Sushi. It's ADORABLE...and makes me hungry every time.

Another tip (I'm not sure how it would work out where you are, though) - I have some Hawaiian-Japanese friends who are amassing Japanese books in the event that they ever marry and have kids. They hit the book sales at the Seattle Public Library and get all sorts of books (some even in Japanese!) for very cheap. You could check out your library sale and see what sort of multi-cultural stuff they have!

Mrs. Darling said...

Yes its sad to see the time pass an to put away all the little tokens of that era. I love the little books with the chinese babies on them! How cute is that?