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

Celebrate Fathers and Father Figures

Celebrate the father figures in your life! Whether you call him Dad, Papa, Father, Gramps, Opa, Abuelo, or Maddy—and no matter which pronouns they use—these people are an important part of families. Check out our stories about dads and father figures: My Maddy by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD explores what it’s like to have a gender-nonconforming parent from a child’s perspective.  “Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are like my Maddy. My Maddy has hazel eyes which are not brown or green. And my Maddy likes sporks because they are not quite a spoon or a fork. The best things in the world are not one thing or the other. They are something in between and entirely their own.” Read an excerpt from My Maddy’s Note to Readers here. Pockets Full of Rocks by Yair Engelberg presents a young daughter’s questions to her depressed father. He offers direct answers and promotes the hope that he will become his old self again. This gentle, hopeful book will help kids cope with a parent’s mental illness. Read an interview with the author here. Papa, Daddy, & Riley by Seamus Kirst explores Riley’s experience when one of her schoolmates asks which one of her dads is her real father. It celebrates the special, unique relationships children have with each of their parents and the love that makes a family. Hear Papa, Daddy, & Riley read aloud here.  Read a piece by Seamus Kirst about the power of inclusion here. Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart, PhD, tells the story of two musical grandfathers and a boy who uses their shared love of accordions to help them connect, even though they don’t speak the same language. It explores families’ rich cultural diversity and how, while we may be different, we all have much in common as well. Hear Accordionly read aloud here. Read a piece Dr. Genhart wrote about writing the book here.

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Celebrate Fathers and Father Figures 2021-06-14T18:51:24-04:00

Celebrate Pride Month with Great Books

In June, we celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with Pride Month. Magination Press celebrates LGBTQ+ kids and families year-round with these books for LGBTQ+ kids and teens. Jacob’s School Play: Starring He, She, and They by Ian and Sarah Hoffman In his third book, Jacob, a gender-nonconforming kindergartner, prepares for a school play. A classmate, Ari, uses “they/them” pronouns, and Jacob finds it confusing. Jacob’s teacher helps him understand what it means to identify as nonbinary and why Ari uses “they.”  Read an interview about the school play with Jacob here. Read an interview with Jacob about his second book, Jacob’s Room to Choose, here. My Maddy by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are like Maddy. Maddy has hazel eyes which are not brown or green. And Maddy likes sporks because they are not quite a spoon or a fork. The best things in the world are not one thing or the other. They are something in between and entirely their own. My Maddy explores what it’s like to have a gender-nonconforming parent from a child’s perspective.  Read an excerpt from My Maddy’s Note to Readers here. Papa, Daddy, & Riley by Seamus Kirst This book explores Riley’s experience when one of her schoolmates asks which one of her dads is her real father. It celebrates the special, unique relationships children have with each of their parents and the love that makes a family. Hear Papa, Daddy, & Riley read aloud here.  Read a piece by Seamus Kirst about the power of inclusion here. Trans+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You by Karen Rayne, PhD and Kathryn Gonzales, MBA This all-inclusive, uncensored guide is for teens who are transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, or gender fluid. Read an interview with Karen Rayne and Kathryn Gonzales about writing Trans+ here.  Read an excerpt from Trans+’s dictionary to learn about accurate and respectful language to discuss gender identity here. Our Rainbow Collection has stories about  the rainbow flag, and LBGTQ+ community leaders, various aspects of LBGTQ+ history, and the LBGTQ+ experience for young readers and teens. 

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Celebrate Pride Month with Great Books 2021-06-15T10:38:28-04:00