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Archive for February, 2012

February 27, 2012

March: National Women’s History Month

March: National Women’s History Month

In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month.  The theme for the 2012 celebration is “Women’s Education –Women’s Empowerment.”  Schools, libraries and other community groups are encouraged to sponsor programs that promote the contributions of women in our society.   Consider these programming options:


  • Post a link on the school and library’s website to the following National Women’s History Month website: (http://www.nwhp.org/whm/index.php))
  • Display a copy of President Carter’s Presidential Proclamation that declared the first National Women’s Week (This can be downloaded from the above website).
  •  The 2012 National Women’s History Month Honorees are: Emma Hart Willard, Charlotte Forten Grimke, Annie Sullivan, Gracia Molina de Pick, Okolo Rashid, Brenda Flyswithhawks


Engage patrons in a discussion about the contribution of these women to women’s education. Sponsor a panel of local women who represent the  spirit of the 2012 Honorees.

  •  Ask readers to use the Q&A section of the National Women’s History Month website to develop trivia questions that could be posted daily on the school or library’s website.  Have them suggest books in the library that people might use in answering the questions.
  • Lead readers to the virtual National Women’s History Museum: (http://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/).  Ask them to read about Meryl Streep’s efforts to erect a National Women’s History Museum on the mall in Washington.  Then have them study the various categories of Women’s History that are featured on the website. Instruct them to research at least one woman that fits each category.
  • Introduce books that celebrate the 2012 National Women’s History theme.  Selections from Random House include:

 Counting on Grace (ages 9-12) by Elizabeth Winthrop
How Tia Lola Saved the Summer (ages 8-12) by Julia Alvarez
Sylvia and Aki (ages 9-12) by Winifred Conkling
Ashes of Roses (ages 12-up) by mary Jane Auch
The Mighty Miss Malone (ages 12-up) by Christopher Paul Curtis
Sarny (ages 12-up) by Gary Paulsen


  • Introduce the following books to readers:

 The Daring Nellie Bly (ages 6-up)
Sky High (ages 6-8) by Marissa Moss & illus. by Carl Angel
Amelia Earhart (ages 6-9) by John Parlin
Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart (ages 8-12) Candace Fleming
Escape North: The Story of Harriet Tubman (ages 7-10) by Monica Kulling &  illus. by Teresa Flavin
Nothing But Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson (ages 5-8) by Sue Stauffacher    & illus. by Greg Couch
Only Passing Through (ages 7-10) by Anne Rockwell & illus. by R. Gregory  Christie
The Story of Sacajawea (ages 7-11) by Della Rowland
They Called Her Molly Pitcher (ages 4-8) by Anne Rockwell & illus. by Cynthia  von Buhler
The Bravest Woman in America (ages 5-8) by Marissa Moss & illus. by Andrea U’Ren
Harlem’s Little Blackbird (ages 4-8) by Renee Watson & illus. by Christian Robinson

  • Ask them to write a one-page justification for including these women in the National Women’s History Museum.
  •  Promote the idea of “empowerment” by introducing books with strong female characters. Titles from Random House include:

 Signed, Abiah Rose (ages 5-8) by Diane Browning
 Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different (ages 8-12) by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb
Born to Fly (ages 9-12) by Michael Ferrari
Hattie Big Sky (ages 12-up) by Kirby Larson

February 27, 2012

Two starred reviews for Kali’s Song by Jeanette Winter!

? Thousands of years ago, a boy chooses to use his bow for music rather than hunting, charming animals and eventually his tribe with hypnotic song.

Winter’s friendly folk-art illustrations offer an appealingly uncomplicated visual narrative, one as effortlessly expressive as the cave paintings Kali’s mother creates on their rock walls. Trees, hunters, rolling hills and woolly mammoths appear with such unaffected clarity (thanks to generous spacing between shapes, figures and text) that they seem as authentic as realistic renderings. Children gain confidence interpreting pages so assuredly illustrated, and their feeling for Kali will grow as his life comes into focus. Winter’s rudimentary acrylic, pen and ink illustrations look a little like elementary-school dioramas (evergreens perch awkwardly on hillsides, frozen figures point with stubby fingers and mouths open, miniaturized hunting scenes seem almost silly), but her pictures (atop frayed, mottled handmade papers) brilliantly evoke primitive times. Each spread’s warmth, accessibility and kindliness make visiting a far-away century immensely pleasurable. Muted blues, browns and ruddy reds soften Kali’s world of hunting, caves and manly expectations, bringing him close to children as they lean close to listen. After weeks of ditching hunting practice and instead playing his bow until stars “c[o]me close to listen,” the day of the big hunt worries Kali and his readers alike. When his music stills both mammoths and their hunters, Kali’s future changes forever. Minimalism brilliantly brings a distant time near. (Picture book. 2-6) – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED

? Winter (The Watcher) takes a break from picture-book nonfiction to tell the story of Kali, a boy from prehistoric times. He’s skinny, friendly-looking, and wears fur, and he’d rather play his bow like a musical instrument than shoot with it. “Soon you’ll be a man,” his mother tells him, pointing to the horses she’s painted on their cave wall. “Soon you’ll hunt and kill wild animals like these.” But Kali’s bow playing draws even the immense mammoths the bowmen in his tribe are pursuing: “They had heard the sounds from his bow and had come to listen.” Kali’s people recognize the boy as a shaman. Once Kali understands who he is and what he must do, the pressure to conform falls away; it’s a story of a society that recognizes and respects those who are different. Winter’s cheerful, stripped-down figures and collage landscapes, in deep blues and ochres, make Kali’s path understandable and accessible even to young readers, and her vision of a life lived in perfect harmony with the universe—even the stars listen to Kali’s music—is full of hope. Ages 4–8. Agent: Susan Cohen, Writers House. (Mar.) – Publishers Weekly, STARRED