Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Non-fiction Picture Book Challenge

Hiromi's Hands by Lynne Barasch has been one of the books that I have shared with students during Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. I love this biography and my students stay very engaged throughout. The book touches on immigrants honoring their heritage while also adopting some of the culture of a new country. I also appreciate the fact that Hiromi was breaking into a male dominated career. The video below is not for children, but it was interesting to hear from Hiromi herself. It's interesting that the author chose not to address Hiromi's difficulty with school and that she dropped out of high school. Also, the book made it sound more like Hiromi was pestering her dad to let her work with him, but in this video, she says he asked her if she would like to work at the restaurant after she had dropped out of school and was just hanging out at home. The biography was a bit more rosy than reality I think, but I imagine that often happens with children's books.

Goodreads summary: The true story of Hiromi Suzuki, a Japanese American girl who defied tradition to train at her family s restaurant, and who became one of the first female sushi chefs in New York.

We Feel Good Out Here by Julie-Ann Andre and Mindy Willett is a book that I will be sharing with my students. Julie-Ann shares how her family lives in the Northwest Territiories of Canada. Their lives are closely connected to the nature that surrounds them. The book is part of a series, "The Land in Our Storybook" and I want to read more of them.

Goodreads summary: In "We Feel Good Out Here," Julie-Ann shares her family's story and the story of her land-"Khaii luk," the place of winter fish. As Julie-Ann says, "The land has a story to tell, if you know how to listen. When I travel, the land tells me where my ancestors have been. It tells me where the animals have come and gone, and it tells me what the weather may be like tomorrow." Her home is an important part of who Julie-Ann is. She wants to help make sure that her environment is healthy, so it can continue to tell its story to her children and their children.

Yes! We are Latinos! is not technically a picture book, but it does have some illustrations. I couldn't leave it out because it is one of my favorite non-fiction books that I've read recently. I loved hearing from so many different perspectives and learning the history of so many people.

Goodreads summary: Juanita lives in New York and is Mexican. Felipe lives in Chicago and is Panamanian, Venezuelan, and black. Michiko lives in Los Angeles and is Peruvian and Japanese. Each of them is also Latino.

Thirteen young Latinos and Latinas living in America are introduced in this book celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino and Latina experience in the United States. Free-verse fictional narratives from the perspective of each youth provide specific stories and circumstances for the reader to better understand the Latino people’s quest for identity. Each profile is followed by nonfiction prose that further clarifies the character’s background and history, touching upon important events in the history of the Latino American people, such as the Spanish Civil War, immigration to the US, and the internment of Latinos with Japanese ancestry during World War II. Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy’s informational yet heartwarming text provides a resource for young Latino readers to see themselves, while also encouraging non-Latino children to understand the breadth and depth of the contributions made by Latinos in the US. Caldecott Medalist David Diaz’s hand-cut illustrations are bold and striking, perfectly complementing the vibrant stories in the book.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Crystal, Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I'm so glad I came to visit your blog. I love learning about books that feature kids and families and cultures different from my own. I will look for Hiromi's Hands at the library.