Banned Books Week is observed during the last week of September. It is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read, launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country. This year’s theme is Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us. These Magination Press books have been challenged recently: Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPP, Marietta Collins, PhD, and Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP is included on the Top 10 Challenged Books of 2020. It was challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote antipolice views. Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children's questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives. It includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues. This Day In June by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD Illustrated by Kristyna Litten was Named one of the Top 11 Most Challenged Books of 2018 by the American Library Association and is included in the American Library Association’s Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Past Decade. In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, This Day In June welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united. Also included is a Reading Guide chock-full of facts about LGBT history and culture, as well as a Note to Parents and Caregivers with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways. This Day In June is an excellent tool for teaching respect, acceptance, and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Since the first book starring Jacob also hit the American Library Association’s Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Past Decade for 2010-2019, Jacob, the beloved Magination Press character from Jacob’s Room to Choose and Jacob’s School Play, both by Sarah and Ian Hoffmann, has helped kids understand gender, identity, and pronouns. Magination Press’s books reach young readers and their parents and caregivers to make navigating challenges a little easier. The combined power of psychology and literature help foster conversations around issues that affect kids on a wide range of topics. Sharing books and talking about issues they explore bring people together. Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.Read More
About Eileen HanningEileen Hanning, M.Ed., has more than twenty years designing reading curriculum for underserved kids and training for their parents and social service providers about reading and child development. Her passion for children’s books and hands-on learning has lead her to review children’s books, learn, research and write about education, child development and toxic stress, and to create her own consulting company, ReadLearnReach, where she serves a variety of clients with their curriculum, children’s book and writing needs.
September 18 is National Dance Day. Whether you love hip hop, ballet, salsa, polka, swing, ballroom, or folk dancing, moving to music is a universal experience. These upbeat Magination Press books celebrate dancing with family, friends, and even on your own. When Nana Dances by Jane Yolen and Maddison Stemple-Piatt Nana can make any object a dancing partner. An umbrella, a broom, even a rake! Both onstage and off, she can shimmy, she can mambo, and do the bunny hop. She’s won prizes and can dance to grandpa’s music or to her own beat. But nothing is more special than when grandma dances with her grandchildren. This fun story is filled with the movement, energy, and laughter that comes when kids dance with their grandparents. Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart, PhD When both grandpas, Abuelo and Opa, visit at the same time, they can’t understand each other’s language and there is a lot of silence. The grandson’s clever thinking helps find a way for everyone to share the day together as two cultures become one family. Hector’s Favorite Place by Jo Rooks Hector loves his cozy, snugly, safe home. It's his favorite place to be. Hector loves his home so much that he doesn't often go out, and soon, it starts to affect his friendships. Can Hector find the courage to break out of his comfort zone? Move Your Mood! by Brenda S. Miles, PhD, and Colleen A. Patterson, MA Feeling blah? Here's what to do. Move your body and your mood moves too! Move Your Mood! invites kids and adults to twist, wiggle, shake, hop…and smile! Reading this book with your child is an active and fun way to teach your child about emotions, and introduce the idea that moving our bodies affects the way we feel inside. Ready to start feeling better? Move and groove your way into a better mood!Read More
Grandparents’ Day is celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day. Grandparents and children share a special connection. Magination Press has several books exploring this special relationship. When Nana Dances by Jane Yolen and Maddison Stemple-Piatt Nana can make any object a dancing partner. An umbrella, a broom, even a rake! Both onstage and off, she can shimmy, she can mambo, and do the bunny hop. She’s won prizes and can dance to grandpa’s music or to her own beat. But nothing is more special than when grandma dances with her grandchildren. That Missing Feeling by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater Mia’s life feels split in two after her parents get divorced. When she’s at her dad’s house, Mia misses her mom’s jokes and singing. And when she’s at her mom’s house, she misses her dad’s laugh and cooking. Mia just can’t quite shake that missing feeling. Sometimes that missing feeling makes her angry. And sometimes it makes her sad. One day when Mia visits her Grandpa, he gives her a little blue notebook saying, “When I write about Grandma, I am sad but I am happy too. She is gone, but you are here. Life changes, and writing helps me think about these changes. My notebook is a home for my heart.” Read an interview with the author My Singing Nana by Pat Mora My Singing Nana is a compassionate tribute to families dealing with Alzheimer's Disease. It explores a child’s experience as his grandmother begins to lose her memory. This story celebrates the ideals of family, heritage, and happy memories, showing kids that no matter how their loved one might change they always have ways to maintain their special connection. Read an excerpt with strategies to help kids understand and cope with a loved-one’s dementia Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart, PhD When both grandpas, Abuelo and Opa, visit at the same time, they can’t understand each other’s language and there is a lot of silence. The grandson’s clever thinking helps find a way for everyone to share the day together as two cultures become one family. Listen to Accordionly read aloud Read a piece by Dr. Genhart about creating the book The Heart of Mi Familia by Carrie Lara, PsyD Mommy’s family came from Europe, a long time ago. Daddy’s family came from Central America when he was a little boy. There are lots of differences between my mommy’s culture and my daddy’s cultura, but lots of things are the same too. Visiting both her grandma and her abeula, a little girl creates a birthday present for her brother that celebrates both sides of her family and all generations. Listen to The Heart of Mi Familia read aloud Read a piece by Dr. Lara about embracing cultural identity Explore other books about familiesRead More