family: 6 Articles

Dance With Me! Upbeat Books to Celebrate Dance

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!

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Dance With Me! Upbeat Books to Celebrate Dance 2021-09-17T15:46:23-04:00

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

Strategies for a Mindful Holiday During the Pandemic

The holidays can be hectic and stressful, even under the best of circumstances. But this year, due to the pandemic, many of our favorite holiday experiences may be different or put on hold. Concerts, performances, and big celebrations will likely be cancelled. Large family gatherings may be impossible. Shopping for gifts may have to happen online. You can still make the holidays special by slowing down and savoring the beauty and meaning of the season. This revised post from 2018 about creating a mindful holiday with your family provides pandemic-appropriate strategies to encourage your child to use their senses to notice what makes the season special, plus some Magination Press titles that may be helpful. You can give your family the gift of calm this holiday season by practicing mindfulness together. A silver lining of the pandemic’s change of plans is that it allows you more time to notice the beauty of the season. You don’t need to sit silently and meditate; you just need to slow down and be in the moment. You can model holiday mindfulness for your child by putting down your phone and other electronics and being present for each experience. Encourage your children to focus on their five senses and their hearts throughout the season. Here are some ideas to bring mindfulness to many common holiday activities and tasks: Concerts, plays, and other performances: These events will happen differently this year. Seek out favorite or new musical, theatrical, or dance performances online or happening outdoors in a socially distanced way. However they happen, these events are a feast for the eyes and ears. Encourage your child to watch and listen carefully. Ask them to think about how watching and listening to the performers makes them feel. At intermissions and afterward, talk about what each of you found the most beautiful, surprising, funny, or sad during the performance. Even if you don’t see a holiday performance, your family can create one of your own, singing favorite holiday songs or acting out favorite stories. Magination Press books Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart and My Singing Nana by Pat Mora explore how families enjoying music together can bring a family together. Decorations: Even if you don’t decorate your home for the holidays, you’ll be surrounded by decorations in your community. The sights, sounds, and smells can be captivating. Lights are a big part of many winter holidays, whether they are candles, twinkling lights on trees, or big displays. Talk with your child about lights as you see them or as you light candles. Why do they think lights are such an important part of many winter holiday celebrations? How do the lights make them feel? What are their favorite kinds of lights?   Share your tradition’s stories about the role of lights. Many of our holiday decorations have a distinctive scent: pine, melted wax, spices (think Gingerbread houses or clove and orange pomanders). Even fire in the fireplace–not necessarily a holiday thing, but

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Strategies for a Mindful Holiday During the Pandemic 2020-12-03T11:08:17-05:00