Children’s Books

As Babies Dream: An Interview With the Author

As Babies Dream by Lesléa Newman is a sweet, rhyming lullaby. It's a calming ode to nature where a loving family embraces their child as night falls and dream time begins. From rivers to eagles, to lions and lambs, to leaves and rain, and to stars and the moon, the soothing sounds of the world become the inspiration for a loving night of restful sleep for a weary baby. Magination Press interviewed Ms. Newman about her inspiration for the book and the process of creating it. Lesléa and her mother Magination Press: What inspired you to write As Babies Dream? Lesléa Newman: The text was originally written as a poem to express my gratitude for the love my parents gave me from the very first moment that I was born. MP: How did you choose the different animals and ecosystems you included? LN: Since the book is a rhyming text, the animals were largely chosen by playing with language in order to get the words, and especially the sounds of the words, just right. MP: Why focus on animals and natural phenomena until the very last page? LN: I wanted to show that we human animals are part of the beautiful, diverse, natural world around us and all creatures are comforted by loving parents who create a safe harbor to give their offspring a place to dream. MP: There are many bedtime books and books featuring adult and baby animals. Why did you want to create one? LN: There can never be enough of them! Lesléa and her grandmother, 1956 MP: What did you think when you first saw Taia Morley’s illustrations? LN: I was absolutely astonished and delighted at the way she so beautifully brought my text to life. MP: Did you discuss which animals would be in illustrations that don’t name the animals specifically with Ms. Morley? LN: As is usual in the creation of picture books, I did not have any contact with the artist. She was free to interpret my text and use her considerable talent in any way she wished. MP: Did you discuss the depiction of diverse families on the last page with Morley? LN: I discussed this extensively with my editor, as representation of diversity is extremely important to me. And I am thrilled with this illustration. MP: Why show families in an urban setting instead of in nature, like the animals? LN: That was the choice of my editor and illustrator.  Lesléa and her grandmother, 1989 MP: Do you have a favorite lullaby or bedtime story? One that you remember from your childhood or from reading to children?  LN: My grandmother sang the Yiddish lullaby “Rozhinkes mit Mandlen” (“Raisins and Almonds”) to me when I was a baby. The last time she sang it to me, she was 99 years old and I was 33. I can still hear her beautiful voice in my head singing that haunting melody.

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As Babies Dream: An Interview With the Author 2021-09-09T14:17:20-04:00

Library Features Yes, I Can! in Inclusion Read Aloud

Tina Dolcetti is a Children's Librarian at Moose Jaw Public Library in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. She recently held a video Bedtime Story read aloud on Facebook Live where her guest, Russell Hippert, a Special Olympian, read Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair by Kendra J. Barrett, DPT, Jacqueline B. Toner, PhD, and Claire A. B. Freeland, PhD. We asked Tina about that experience and choosing books to share with young readers.  Magination Press: Why did you choose Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair for Russell to read? Tina Dolcetti:  I chose this because all children need to see books about characters who mirror their situation or who open windows onto new worlds. While there are more books about children with disabilities, we need to keep developing within this area! Finding inclusive sports picture books was difficult, especially books where we had access to online read aloud permission. This book was the only book I found that featured wheelchair bowling. Having worked with a bowling athlete who used accommodations, the illustrations, to me, reflected the bowling alley experiences of a person using a wheelchair.  MP: Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair and the other books your guest read focused on inclusion. Why is that an important topic for young children to explore? TD: Inclusion is so very important. It fosters a culture of respect and understanding. More important than that, being inclusive benefits ALL children. Books with representation allow children to see all people as valuable contributors. Our Bedtime Stories program focuses on inclusion.  MP: Beside the message of inclusion, what else about Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair appealed to you? TD: It is full of girl power and positive problem solving.  MP: Why is it important for children to see a diversity of people and experiences reflected in children’s books? TD: Children deserve to meet new heroes within their community, and to hear a diversity of voices! Diversity may validate their own experience or broaden it. They learn to see new possibilities. There is an opportunity to develop empathy and for acceptance. MP: How do you choose topics for your read alouds? TD: For my Bedtime Stories, I make my best effort to find books that relate to the story of the reader. Each reader tells me about their history, or what appeals to them. I do my best to find a book that relates to that.  MP: And how do you choose the books that will be read? What challenges do you encounter when looking for books? TD: I purchase through the standard ordering channels, including standing order lists, book review media, etc. It is hard, since not all books that are popular feature kids who are diverse, and not all that do have the subject headings that are searchable! Despite my diligence, sometimes books on specific disabilities can be harder to find than others! It was also more difficult to find a book that had open reading

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Library Features Yes, I Can! in Inclusion Read Aloud 2021-08-10T13:53:52-04:00

Kids! Vote for Your Favorite Books and Characters! 

Great news! Fifteen Magination Press books have been nominated for the Children’s Book Council’s Kids’ Book Choice Awards in five categories.    We need your help! Through September 8th, kids ages 3-18 are invited to pick their top 5 favorites from each category to determine the finalists later this fall. Adults can pick too!   Voting is at where you’ll see Magination Press books in these categories:                                                  Ages 3-8: Best Picture Book Duo (Author/illustrator that have had 2 books published together)  Bee Heartful: Spread Loving Kindness by Frank J. Sileo, PhD, Illustrated by Claire Keay  Grow Kind by Jon Lasser and Sage Foster-Lasser, Illustrated by Christopher Lyles My Wandering Dreaming Mind by Merriam Sarcia Saunders, LMFT, Illustrated by Tammie Lyon The Heart of Mi Familia by by Carrie Lara, Illustrated by Christine Battuz                                                     Ages 3-8: Favorite Early Reader Series (Series must have at least 2 books published) Once Upon a Garden by Jo Rooks Feel Better Books for Little Kids by Leah Bowen and  Holly Brochmann The Find Out Files by Isabelle Filliozat and Virginie Limousin                   Ages 3-8: Best Picture Book Page (Specific spread in a picture book)  Papa, Daddy, and Riley by Seamus Kirst, Illustrated by Devon Holzwarth Lulu the One and Only by Lynnette Mawhinney, PhD, Illustrated by Jennie Poh Ani’s Light by Tanu Shree Singh, Illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat Band Together by Chloe Douglass Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by By Michael Genhart, PhD, Illustrated by Priscilla Burris               Ages 3-8: Favorite Illustrated Character (Beloved character in a book) Bentley Bee from Bee Heartful: Spread Loving Kindness by Frank J. Sileo, PhD, Illustrated by Claire Keay  Kiko from Grow Kind by Jon Lasser and Sage Foster-Lasser, Illustrated by Christopher Lyles Lulu Lovington from Lulu the One and Only by Lynnette Mawhinney, PhD, Illustrated by Jennie Poh Pooka and Bunni from Pooka and Bunni by Jennifer Zivoin   Ages 12-18: Favorite Book Cover  Zero to 60: A Teen’s Guide to Manage Frustration, Anger, and Everyday Irritations by Michael A. Tompkins, Illustrated by Chloe Douglass Information about the award was also highlighted in this article in Publishers Weekly. Encourage kids and adults to vote!

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Kids! Vote for Your Favorite Books and Characters!  2021-08-10T13:28:56-04:00