Friday, September 25, 2015

Diversity Matters in Halloween Books

Pumpkin Eye Activities   DIVERSITY in Halloween Books!
Yes I am shouting this with the help of author/illustrator Denise Fleming's adorable character.  I am a Denise Fleming fangirl and I cannot lie!  Her books feature wonderfully diverse children and #WeNeedDiverseBooks all the time.

The library where Piper and I work is little.  Our holiday collections are held in the basement, (I know, we don't like that either). When the holiday approaches we squeeze them into a high traffic spot and I place a very colorful Denise Fleming poster on them ... tah-dah, holiday books!  By the should check out the free posters Denise Fleming creates - did I mention FREE?  They're beautiful.

This week I collected Halloween books from the basement and dusted them off for display.  Mind you, this is a tiny collection - 43 titles, some in multiple copies.  I discovered something interesting while placing this collection in the browsing bins.  

Diversity exists in this collection!  Amazing, yes!  Considering the popularity of Halloween I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to see kids of color on the pages.  9 of the 43 titles have diverse kids.  I realize that's not some great percentage, nor is this "real research" but it does makes me pause.  Hmmmm.

There is a disconnect with diversity that needs to change.  All families will benefit when children discover books with someone like their brother, their teacher, their friends and their family within the pages.  Children, families, schools and libraries need good books that reflect our very colorful world.  Oh dear publishers, I adore diversity on the holidays...because you are beginning to look like my family gatherings,

...but I need diversity all the time!
And by "I"...I mean everyone!  

Spying a little Elvis makes me laugh, and a collection of costumed kids is just what I want in a read-aloud.

Los Gatos Black on Halloween has some gorgeous illustrations for older children...

                           ...while Catherine Stock's Halloween Monster has been a long time fav.
Have fun with your books, keep your "pumpkin eye" (love that title), on diversity when ordering and remember that Denise Fleming's books bring you kids of color all year round. But right now, just look at her Halloween kids!  Perfection! 

If you enjoyed this post you may like this one - we did a Pumpkin Eye Craft!  Very cool.

 New flannel pieces coming!! Yes! Finally!  I'm working on a's one of the characters.  Can you guess the book? 

If you like may want to check this one out! 

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library. She loves chickens too!  She's thinking chicken costume!  

Flannel Friday keeps us creative.  Membership is free!  Visit the website - click here!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Faxon Library remembers September 11th

Community art projects are part of what we do in our branch.  Piper and I love it, we invite it. 

Today with the help of paint chips from our neighbor, Sherwin Williams, we set up our memorial art project for September 11th.  

Somewhere in the midst of Summer Reading Programs I ran across the street for shades of pink paint chips and tossed them into a tub, labeled the tub Heart Project 9/11, and carried on with summer.  Last week, thank goodness, I saw the tub and was ever so grateful to realize that I had a plan. Amen to taking action when the idea strikes.    

I dream of a die cut machine but really, I'm good with scissors!  Years of practice cutting flannel.  And I have helpers, (thank you Joe!)  

I left the library early today - so here's the photo at 2pm.  The glue sticks are ready, there's a tea tin filled with paper hearts just out of the photo in the bottom right.  I am looking forward to seeing this piece when I return to the library on Monday.

We remember the victims of 9/11  ~ in our hearts ~  
and in our art.

And you know, every so often genius strikes...sometimes inspired by Mel's comments!  It's time to make something like this for the flannel board.  Thanks Mel for thinking and doing and providing a place for us.  Flannel Friday keeps us strong.

P.S.(Piper Script) if you like this post, you may also like these:

International Dot Day  - it's flannel!  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Potty Books! Potty Talk!

Do You See What I See?

Full disclosure here - I am feeling a bit apprehensive about this blog post.  If you don't see what I see, should I just shout it out?  Or should I let the librarian in me lead you quietly down the path to discover it yourself?  Hmmm.  

Let's try a key word: diversity....or in this situation, the lack there of!  And then there's this:"Mommy, where are the potty books with kids like me?"  OH.MY.GOSH.  OH.NO. PLEASE not my library!  This is so sad.  

Yet if you spend any time at all in my brain, this situation also invites humor.  What?  Only the white kids need potty training?  Everyone else automatically gets it? Why didn't someone tell me that before?  Honestly!  Come on people! Librarians need to know this.  Mind you, this paragraph only happened in my head. 

So we'll just move forward here with no self-blaming.  None!  And I'll show you what to go running for when your potty display is lacking.  Here's a book that's always popular in my library.  We have three copies. The subject matter is just that compelling!  Check out the cover - a cute kid of color.  Hence we know this kid poops!  And the poop is in the potty!  (I did write that)

(just like I the potty!!)

Another great book and even more proof that kids of color know how to use the potty.

Yep.  This is the trifecta for every library collection. Diversity. Potty. Firefighters! It's all here. 

Any lessons from this little adventure into potty land?  Most potty books have white kids.  We need diverse children in potty books.  Once again #WeNeedDiverseBooks.  I'm not going to stop talking about this issue.  Diversity matters and potty training time is a huge stage in a child's life.  We need to get this right.

I select books for my branch always with an eye to diversity.  I create flannels with diverse children.  My dolls and puppets represent diversity.  And my volunteers and staff are aware that our displays need to reflect our wonderfully diverse community and yet, one little person saw what I did not.  Wow.  Time to check your potty collections!  I've ordered more potty books.  I set my Baker & Taylor search for diversity/potty and found some new books. The library can not ever own enough potty books.  

Piper is oddly silent on this subject!  

Flannel Friday is the best place for creativity, support and growth...check us out.  Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  We both love comments.  Feel free to leave one, some, many!!