Sunday, October 29, 2023

Review: Warrior Girl

A girl is standing on one leg with the other bent. Her arms are stretched out and her head is tilted up with streaming dark hair. There is a shield behind her left arm that has a star on it. The background is in purples, blues, and greens with large painted flower shapes.
Title: Warrior Girl

Author: Carmen Tafolla

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Pages: 209

Review Copy: ARC via publisher

Availability: On shelves now

Summary: An insightful novel in verse about the joys and struggles of a Chicana girl who is a warrior for her name, her history, and her right to choose what she celebrates in life. 

Celina and her family are bilingual and follow both Mexican and American traditions. Celina revels in her Mexican heritage, but once she starts school it feels like the world wants her to erase that part of her identity. Fortunately, she’s got an army of family and three fabulous new friends behind her to fight the ignorance. But it’s her Gramma who’s her biggest inspiration, encouraging Celina to build a shield of joy around herself. Because when you’re celebrating, when you find a reason to sing or dance or paint or play or laugh or write, they haven’t taken everything away from you. Of course, it’s not possible to stay in celebration mode when things get dire--like when her dad’s deported and a pandemic hits--but if there is anything Celina’s sure of, it’s that she’ll always live up to her last Guerrera--woman warrior--and that she will use her voice and writing talents to make the world a more beautiful place where all cultures are celebrated.

My Thoughts: From the start, Celina, or Tere as she was called at home, knows that she comes from a courageous and loving people. The poems share the many times when she comes up against people in her schools and elsewhere that don't listen to her or believe that they know her or her name better than she does. With her Gramma and the one teacher that encouraged her and other students to use their voice, Celina is able to keep from having her culture, history, and self be erased. 

Writing is Celina's comfort when she is dealing with difficult things and she doesn't want to burden her family or worry them. So we get to see her inner thoughts as she works through the stresses. When it's not writing or her family, the moon and nature are where she looks for peace.

In middle school, Celina learns much more about poetry and writing and as a teacher I see all kinds of possibilities for using this book in a classroom. There are examples of great writing in the poems, but there are also lessons about poetry. And the lessons are in Celina's voice and style so they aren't super didactic. 

There are interesting conversations about history too like when they discuss who gets to relax on Labor Day, or why Columbus could claim the land that already had people, or that slavery was a reason for the battle at the Alamo though it often isn't framed that way in classrooms. There are many times when Celina asks questions of her friends and teachers and creates space for thinking about things. 

Part of the story happens during the spring of 2020 so events of that time including COVID come into play. The fear of illness or loss of loved ones and the killing of George Floyd are part of Celina's life even as she is still waiting for her father to return after deportation. There's a lot going on, but she has the support of family, friends, and some teachers who care. 

Recommendation: Get it soon. This is a short book that packs in a lot of things to think about around freedom, identity, family, friendship, history, community, and more. 


Sunday, September 24, 2023

Indigenous Kidlit

Indigenous Peoples' Day is coming soon so I thought it would be a good time to highlight some of the Indigenous titles that have caught my attention lately. Obviously these titles are excellent for all times of the year though.

Picture Books - All three of these are lovely in different ways and are definitely books that everyone should get a chance to read. 

Book cover. Adult and young child are sitting in the middle of a yellow dandelion. There are two bees flying around them. They are holding a bouquet of dandelions. There are other large dandelions around the one they are sitting in.
Âmî Osâwâpikones/Dear Dandelion by S.J. Okemow

Annick Press Ltd.

Publisher summary: Both a love letter to the dandelion and a call to love ourselves in a difficult world, Âmî Osâwâpikones reminds us that we are not defined as others see us. Following our young protagonist and the dandelions through the seasons, we are reminded that we are resilient, we are healers, we are funny, and we are loved.


Book cover. The overall image is done in different shades of red. There is a young person's face in the center. There are flowers, dragonflies, stars, and many other things surrounding the face. The person is looking up with what seems to be wonder.

Remember by Joy Harjo, illustrations by Michaela Goade

Random House

Publisher summary: Remember the sky you were born under, Know each of the star's stories. Remember the moon, know who she is. Remember the sun's birth at dawn, That is the strongest point of time. So begins the picture book adaptation of the renowned poem that encourages young readers to reflect on family, nature, and their heritage. In simple and direct language, Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Nation, urges readers to pay close attention to who they are, the world they were born into, and how all inhabitants on earth are connected. Michaela Goade, drawing from her Tlingit culture, has created vivid illustrations that make the words come alive in an engaging and accessible way. This timeless poem paired with magnificent paintings makes for a picture book that is a true celebration of life and our human role within it.

Book cover. An animal is in each corner of the book surrounded by green leaves.
It's a Mitig! by Bridget George

Douglas & McIntyre

Publisher summary: A fun and colorful introduction to the Ojibwe language through nature It’s a Mitig! guides young readers through the forest and introduces them to Ojibwe words that describe the natural world. Featuring vibrant and playful artwork, an illustrated Ojibwe-to-English glossary and a simple introduction to the double-vowel pronunciation system, plus accompanying online recordings, It’s a Mitig! is one of the first books of its kind. From sunup to sundown, encounter an amik playing with sticks and swimming in the river, a prickly gaag hiding in the bushes and a big, bark-covered mitig . Using rhyme to help readers predict the Ojibwe pronunciation, It’s a Mitig! makes learning new words fun. Anishinaabe author-illustrator Bridget George created this unique book for young children and their families with the heartfelt desire to spark a lifelong interest in learning language. Whether connecting with one’s Ojibwe ancestry or simply opening children’s eyes and ears to the cornucopia of North American dialects, It’s a Mitig! is a useful tool for exploring language.

Young Adult - These are two incredible stories and both were almost impossible to put down. 

Book cover. Young man is standing holding a basketball against his hip with one hand.
Rez Ball by Byron Graves [My Review at Rich in Color]

Heartdrum

Publisher Summary: This compelling debut novel by new talent Byron Graves tells the relatable, high-stakes story of a young athlete determined to play like the hero his Ojibwe community needs him to be. These days, Tre Brun is happiest when he is playing basketball on the Red Lake Reservation high school team—even though he can’t help but be constantly gut-punched with memories of his big brother, Jaxon, who died in an accident. When Jaxon's former teammates on the varsity team offer to take Tre under their wing, he sees this as his shot to represent his Ojibwe rez all the way to their first state championship. This is the first step toward his dream of playing in the NBA, no matter how much the odds are stacked against him. But stepping into his brother’s shoes as a star player means that Tre can’t mess up. Not on the court, not at school, and not with his new friend, gamer Khiana, who he is definitely not falling in love with. After decades of rez teams almost making it, Tre needs to take his team to state. Because if he can live up to Jaxon's dreams, their story isn’t over yet.

Book cover. A young woman's face is centered. There is a lighter silhouette behind her and the phases of the moon are above them.
Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley [My Review at Rich in Color]

Faber

Publisher Summary: Perry Firekeeper-Birch was ready for her Summer of Slack but instead, after a fender bender that was entirely not her fault, she’s stuck working to pay back her Auntie Daunis for repairs to the Jeep. Thankfully she has the other outcasts of the summer program, Team Misfit Toys, and even her twin sister Pauline. Together they ace obstacle courses, plan vigils for missing women in the community, and make sure summer doesn’t feel so lost after all. But when she attends a meeting at a local university, Perry learns about the “Warrior Girl”, an ancestor whose bones and knife are stored in the museum archives, and everything changes. Perry has to return Warrior Girl to her tribe. Determined to help, she learns all she can about NAGPRA, the federal law that allows tribes to request the return of ancestral remains and sacred items. The university has been using legal loopholes to hold onto Warrior Girl and twelve other Anishinaabe ancestors’ remains, and Perry and the Misfits won’t let it go on any longer. Using all of their skills and resources, the Misfits realize a heist is the only way to bring back the stolen artifacts and remains for good. But there is more to this repatriation than meets the eye as more women disappear and Pauline’s perfectionism takes a turn for the worse. As secrets and mysteries unfurl, Perry and the Misfits must fight to find a way to make things right – for the ancestors and for their community. 

**This last one is probably considered Adult, but I think it would also work with Young Adults.

Book cover. An elder is standing in a field with a blue sky above her. There are a few puffy white clouds. She is wearing a colorful shawl and glasses and is smiling.
Project 562 by Matika Wilbur [Project 562 Website with Gallery]

Ten Speed Press

Publisher Summary: In 2012, Matika Wilbur sold everything in her Seattle apartment and set out on a Kickstarter-funded pursuit to visit, engage, and photograph people from what were then the 562 federally recognized Native American Tribal Nations. Over the next decade, she traveled six hundred thousand miles across fifty states—from Seminole country (now known as the Everglades) to Inuit territory (now known as the Bering Sea)—to meet, interview, and photograph hundreds of Indigenous people. The body of work Wilbur created serves to counteract the one-dimensional and archaic stereotypes of Native people in mainstream media and offers justice to the richness, diversity, and lived experiences of Indian Country. The culmination of this decade-long art and storytelling endeavor, Project 562 is a peerless, sweeping, and moving love letter to Indigenous Americans, containing hundreds of stunning portraits and compelling personal narratives of contemporary Native people—all photographed in clothing, poses, and locations of their choosing. Their narratives touch on personal and cultural identity as well as issues of media representation, sovereignty, faith, family, the protection of sacred sites, subsistence living, traditional knowledge-keeping, land stewardship, language preservation, advocacy, education, the arts, and more. A vital contribution from an incomparable artist, Project 562 inspires, educates, and truly changes the way we see Native America.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Book Review: How Do You Spell Unfair?

Young Black girl is wearing a white dress with some kind of small read flower or other object dotted around. She is holding onto a microphone stand and has her mouth open to speak. The title is in gold letters and there is a red curtain behind MacNolia.
Title: How Do You Spell Unfair?

Author: Carol Boston Weatherford

Illustrator: Frank Morrison

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Availablity: On shelves now

Review copy: Final copy via publisher

Summary: MacNolia Cox was no ordinary kid. Her idea of fun was reading the dictionary. In 1936, eighth grader MacNolia Cox became the first African American to win the Akron, Ohio, spelling bee. And with that win, she was asked to compete at the prestigious National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, where she and a girl from New Jersey were the first African Americans invited since its founding. She left her home state a celebrity—right up there with Ohio’s own Joe Louis and Jesse Owens—with a military band and a crowd of thousands to see her off at the station. But celebration turned to chill when the train crossed the state line into Maryland, where segregation was the law of the land. Prejudice and discrimination ruled—on the train, in the hotel, and, sadly, at the spelling bee itself. With a brief epilogue recounting MacNolia’s further history, How Do You Spell Unfair? is the story of her groundbreaking achievement magnificently told by award-winning creators and frequent picture-book collaborators Carole Boston Weatherford and Frank Morrison.

My Thoughts: There are so many ways people have found to discriminate against African Americans and others over the years in the United States, but young readers may not realize how incredibly pervasive these things were. They may know about separate water fountains, where people could and couldn't sit on buses, or how difficult it could be to be able to vote, but might know that discrimination was baked into so many other areas of life. Here we see how there were many young people, including MacNolia Cox, who faced this unfairness with much effort, determination, and the support of family and community. 

The use of unique and interesting words throughout the text support the context of the spelling bee and provide challenges for readers if they want to practice or learn that vocabulary. The illustrations are rich and add depth to the story without distracting from it. 

Recommendation: This is a great picture book that shares part of our history and honors the many who have fought for justice in many areas of life over the years. It is an excellent addition to any library especially if you want to broaden your civil rights collection beyond the more typical buses and boycotts books. 

Monday, May 15, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book! 

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

If you want to see more of my reading, visit my Goodreads shelves here. The lists of the books in the images below may be found at Goodreads. 

Recent Posts at Rich in Color:

Review of Gloria Buenrostro is Not My Girlfriend by Brandon Hoàng

Shining a Light on Some Early 2023 Books - HarperCollins books we skipped during the strike

Review of Men of the 65th: The Boriqueneers of the Korean War by Talia Aikens Nuñez

Muslim Voices 2023

Beach with water gently rolling in. In the distance the very top of the Golden Gate bridge is peeking out above fog. There is a blue sky and it's sunny.

My hand is holding a golden library card that features a young Black girl holding an open book and smiling. There is a full book shelf behind her.

Personal Update: It's been quite a while since I posted anything here on the blog. I've been reading less this year too. Having moved across the country last summer, being new at three different jobs (one I just started in Feb), and having a seriously ill mom in another state, my productivity has taken a hit. Taking days one at a time is the only way to function well at this point. 

Yesterday was a good day. We figured out a nice (free parking) place to catch a ferry to San Francisco. We also found the free shuttle bus to the National Park at the Presidio. It was lovely to walk on the beach and see the bridge and also the many, many dogs that were frolicking. We also stopped by the library that I've popped into many times when we've been visiting. This time, I knew to sign up for a library card! CA residents can sign up for cards in any city and then have access to the digital collections. It's also fun to see the cards from different places anyway. These little joys really make life beautiful in spite of difficulties. 

Last weekend was another fun time when we got to go the Bay Area Book Festival. Seeing and meeting many authors was a treat. 

Recent Reads I'd Recommend

Graphic Novel
A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat - such a great memoir of middle school age explorations happening during a trip to Europe

Picture Books
What Your Ribbon Skirt Means to Me: Deb Haaland's Historical Inauguration by Alexis C. Bunten with illustrations by Nicole Neidhardt - beautiful current day Indigenous story 

Night Market Rescue by Charlotte Cheng with illustrations by Amber Ren - takes you right into the Night Market in Taiwan and the art is gorgeously lit up in spite of it happening at night

Endlessly Ever After by Laurel Snyder with illustrations by Dan Santat - so many interesting results in this choose your own adventure style picture book

Adult Fiction
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto - such a twisty and hilarious murdery book

Currently: I watched a panel at the book festival that had Ellen Oh and some of the other writers from You Are Here: Connecting Flights and have started listening to in with Libro.fm. I am also eager to get started on Grounded after hearing a panel of all of the authors for this middle grade that also takes place in an airport. Have a great week of reading!

Monday, March 20, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book! 

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

If you want to see more of my reading, visit my Goodreads shelves here. The lists of the books in the images below may be found at Goodreads. 

The Past Week in Books: 

Illustrated cover of the book Cartographers.  A young woman is sitting on an escalator. The colors are mostly red with a little bit of orange and blue here and there. Here shoes are green. She has long dark hair and has an intent look on her face. Above the escalator, New York buildings can be seen in the night sky.

This week I have only read the YA book The Cartographers by Amy Zhang. Much of the book is internal dialogue and some of it takes place within an online document between two people so there isn't a lot of action. There's a lot to think about and deals quite a bit with mental health. I got a copy from the publisher and will write more about it for Rich in Color later.

The Coming Week: I am not sure how much reading I will accomplish this week. I have my regular school district jobs - 5o% as a teacher librarian at an elementary school and 25% as a library tech at a K-12 school for independent study. That second one is a newer job and I am still weeding, shifting, and getting used to my duties there. I also have my almost 25% public library job in the evenings. We have a book fair at my elementary school so that adds a bit of extra tasks. And then, it will be Spring Break when I will get to go visit my mother and sister in TX. I just got my copy of Karuna Riazi's A Bit of Earth that's a Secret Garden re-telling and I will likely take that on my trip. Have a great week!

Monday, March 13, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book! 

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

If you want to see more of my reading, visit my Goodreads shelves here. The lists of the books in the images below may be found at Goodreads. 

three book covers. The first is redefining realness and has a photo of Janet Mock in a peach v neck dress. The second is Drunk on Love and shows a silhouette of a man and woman in an embrace each holding a wine glass. The third is throwback and has one young woman at the top upside down holding a cell phone with an antenna and a young woman right side up at the bottom wearing airpods in her ears.

The Past Week in Books: This week was not a big one for reading, but I did finish reading the digital ARC of Throwback by Maurene Goo to review on Rich in Color later this week. It's a cute time travel rom-com that made me smile a lot in spite of time travel books being something I usually avoid.  

I also read a Jasmine Guillory adult romance called Drunk on Love. I enjoyed it okay, but I like her other books better. I am just realizing that both fiction books I read this week take place in CA. This one was in Napa and I think the Maurene Goo book is in the LA area. 

One other book got my attention this week and that was the adult memoir by Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. It was on my personal shelf and I had picked it up quite some time ago, but hadn't gotten around to reading it. Writing is already a pursuit that leaves one vulnerable, but a memoir seems to be on the far end of the scale. This was a difficult memoir to read, but it had to be incredibly difficult to write. 

The Coming Week: I am not sure what I will be reading this week, but will surely pick up something. Happy reading!

Monday, March 6, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book! 

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

If you want to see more of my reading, visit my Goodreads shelves here. The lists of the books in the images below may be found at Goodreads. 

The Past Two Weeks in Books:  I've finally started to pick up the pace of my reading. It's been a while since I've been reading large amounts of books. I work very part-time at the public library and I was able to read through some of the newly processed books last week while I was at the reference desk. 

Cover images of the four books described below. The first shows a child with dark hair that is crying and the title is within the dark shape that is her open mouth. The second is all in earth tones and shows and grandmother and granddaughter leaning their faces together with smiles. The third shows a young girl and an even younger boy sitting on the floor playing on a circular carpet with many brightly colored toys from a box that has the Star of David on it. The final on is called All Aboard the Schooltrain and shows a girl with braids holding up a book with a big smile. Behind her is a line of children walking to the right.

This is Not My Home by Vivienne Chang illustrated by Eugenia Yoh depicts a child and her family moving to Taiwan to help her grandmother. Lily is not pleased to be in a place where so many things feel unfamilar. It was very interesting and I think that there are many people who can connect with this specific situation, but there are also those who can relate simply to feeling out of place somewhere. 

Just Like Grandma by Kim Rogers illustrated by Julie Flett is simply beautiful. The illustrations are lovely of course, but the relationship between the grandmother and grand-daughter is also just a joy to see. 

The Not-Quite-Perfect Passover by Laura Gehl illlustrated by Olga Ivanov & Aleksey Ivanov is a cute story about Ruby and her family trying to get ready to host the first Passover seder since their Bubbe, who usually does this, broke her leg. Ruby wants it to be perfect, but many things happen, often because of her younger sibling, but they manage to pull it all together with a theme of being not quite perfect. 

All Aboard the Schooltrain: A Little Story from the Great Migration by Glenda Armand illustrated by Keisha Morris is a story based on things from the author's family history. It is about some families in the south slowly seeing others leave their town. Rather than taking a bus to school, they walk together to school in a line like a train, but there are also trains taking people to other places. It's a good one for introducing the Great Migration.
Young Japanese woman is wearing a crown and there are cherry blossoms framing her on each side. She is smiling. The background is green.

I finished reading the young adult novel Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean. It's the sequel to Tokyo Ever After and is a nice follow up to the first novel. She and her mother both have to deal with the ever after part of happily. What happens after you find your love and the every day details start to get in the way? 


I was able to go to the California School Library Association annual conference this week and I took along the graphic travelogue Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City's Most Colorful Neighborhoods by Florent Chavouet. I figured it would be easy to pick up and put down in between workshops and things and it was a good one to have there. I really enjoyed the maps and remembering different places that we have visited. Some of the authors humor didn't appeal as he has a tendency to make fun of the way people look, but the art is nice and I started to skim the commentary towards the end. 

There are some tall flowered plants on the right and a tree on the left. In the middle, the ocean can be seen. There is a small area that is darker and that is the top of the kelp where the sea otters were floating.

It's a beach view with many rocks. There are some trees in the distance on the left. They look like they have been sculpted by the wind. There are waves rolling into the beach. The sky is blue with some white clouds.

The conference was on the California coast and we had some opportunities to walk along the ocean. It was beautiful. In the top photo, it is difficult to see, but there were sea otters out there in the kelp floating around. It was fun to have gone into Pacific Grove to the bookstore and library. I was able to read a board book called Sea Otter Pup by Victoria Miles illustrated by Elizabeth Gatt so I knew that it was the kelp that was keeping them altogether so they wouldn't float away. 

In the exhibit area I read Mommy's Hometown by Hope Lim illustrated by Jaime Kim tells of a young boy and his mother traveling to Korea to visit her childhood home. He has heard many stories about this place, but it many things have changed. It's fun to watch them explore and discover things on their way.

Gibberish by Young Vo is about a child who has moved to a new country and doesn't understand the language around him. You can really empathize with him and see what that might be like. If that's an experience that a reader is familiar with it could also be affirming. 

A young child is lying in a field of grass looking up at the bright sky.

A Kite for Melia by Samuel Narh and Freda Narh illustrated by Valeria Suria was at one of the tables and I was able to meet the author. It's a sweet story about a child wanting to make a kite and her determination as she goes to the library to find out how to do that. 

A family is standing together. The father has light brown skin and a short haircut. His hand is on a daughter standing in front of him. Her skin is darker. She has two blue bows in her hair. She's smiling at the baby in her mother's arms. Her mother has dark shin and shoulder length hair. The title says Love is All Around.

There were a few other authors there. Nikki Shannon-Smith was there. I had heard her speak at our county library a few weeks ago. She has a relatively new board book named Love is All Around illustrated by Ronique Ellis.

We were also lucky because Minh Lê was the guest speaker since Drawn Together won the California Young Reader's Award last year. It was nice to see him again and it's always lovely to hear him speak about that book. It's a treasure.

It was fun to have dinner with many of the other librarians from our school district, but also have the authors Nikki Shannon-Smith, Nadia Salomon, and Robin Yardi with us to chat. Nikki is a fourth grade teacher in our school district and we are lucky to have her in our community.

Two young children are staring out a window. We see them from the back. Out in the stars like a constellation, there is an image of Ganesha. There is a face and trunk of an elephant and four human arms with hands and two legs and human feet. The book has a dark cover with gold and red patterns in the curtains and designs.

Nadia was right next to me and I got her book Goodnight Ganesha right after dinner. The trailer is here. The book was illustrated by Poonam Mistry and I have really loved her previous books like You're Safe with Me. Her designs are always vibrant and gorgeous. They used the very slick paper too so the pages are very smooth and shiny. It's a bedtime story and has lots of love.

The Coming Week: I have a newish Jasmine Guillory book on my Kindle and I am also reading a digital ARC of the new Marene Goo young adult rom-com Throwback. What will you be reading? I hope it's a great week for you.