inclusion: 9 Articles

Elephant’s Music: Interview with the Author

We all need to belong, but it can be hard to find a way to fit in. In Elephant’s Music, Edward, the elephant loves music, but has no musical ability at all. This lovely picture book explores how Edward and members of his favorite band find a way for him to be part of the performance. We’ve interviewed author and illustrator, Monika Filipina, about the process of creating Elephant’s Music.  Magination Press: What inspired you to write Elephant’s Music? Monika Filipina: I usually take inspiration from my own experiences and the world around me. For this story the main character is a little bit like myself. I always wanted to have talent for music, but sadly I am terrible at singing or playing any instrument. I tried to play guitar and flute in the past, but it just did not work! I had to accept that I am tone-deaf and that I will not make it as a singer. I tried to find the crowd that likes to listen to the terrible noise, but that did not happen.  MP: Why did you choose animals instead of people as your characters? MF: I love animals. They are fun and very playful to draw, they can have imaginary colors and fantastic shapes. Drawing the animal characters will always be my absolute favorite, and I believe that it shows in the artwork, when the creator had fun making the art. For some reason when I think about a story, the first thing that comes to me is the main character is an animal - the lion, the cat, the owl, the rabbit, the elephant… It works subconsciously, it just happens in my mind. Animals are perfect for exaggerating specific features without offending anyone. This time the main character happened to be an elephant because it all started with a single drawing of an elephant who had no fingers to play violin. The funny thing is that in Poland we have a saying that “an elephant stepped on one’s ear” which is a humorous idiom for someone who sings off-key or is very unmusical, and another one “to move like an elephant in the porcelain warehouse” about someone being very clumsy. So, the elephant seemed to be the perfect character for the story! MP: Why did you choose music instead of sports, art, or some other activity? MF: It is very difficult to explain. This idea of a clumsy elephant trying to play violin came to me. Sometimes it is very hard for me to tell where the idea comes from… It just happens. I walk, or sit, or read a book, or exercise, and suddenly, I have an image in my head and it all begins. I have to stop and write it down so it doesn’t go away.  MP: Edward found a way to participate in the concerts by being the band’s biggest fan. But it wasn’t until the other band members recognized his percussion abilities and the monkeys gave Edward

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Elephant’s Music: Interview with the Author 2021-04-27T11:49:59-04:00

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Books About Social Justice

In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and in recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement, we’re featuring books about social justice. Whether through daily life or seeing events on the news, your child may have experiences or questions about race, ethnicity, social justice, or inclusion issues they want to talk about. Age-appropriate books for kids about race, ethnicity, and identity can help you explore the topic with your child. Here are just a few titles in our Race & Ethnicity, Social Justice, and Identity collection. Check out the entire collection here. Lulu the One and Only by Lynnette Mawhinney, PhD Lulu loves her family, but people are always asking, “What are you?” Lulu hates that question. Her brother inspires her to come up with a “power phrase” so she can easily express who she is, not what she is. Includes a Note to Readers from the author, sharing her experience as a multiracial person. Hear Lulu the One and Only read aloud and read an excerpt from the Author’s Note. 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 Emma and Josh heard that something happened in their town. A Black man was shot by the police. "Why did the police shoot that man?" "Can police go to jail?" 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. Includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues. Hear Something Happened in Our Town read aloud.   Marvelous Maravilloso: Me and My Beautiful Family by Carrie Lara, PsyD    The world is full of different colors...hundreds of colors, everywhere. People are different colors too. Our colors make us beautiful and unique. Mommy says it is part of our culture and the big word diversity — diversidad. Marvelous Maravilloso follows a young girl as she finds joy in the colors of the world all around her, including the colors of her own family. Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers. Hear Marvelous Maravilloso read aloud.   Check out the companion book, The Heart of Mi Familia.   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. This unique book includes a bonus fold-out and a note from the author sharing the true story of his own family. Hear Accordionly read aloud.   Kids are observant and sensitive. Sharing books with them about these important issues

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Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Books About Social Justice 2021-01-15T13:19:22-05:00

Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music

What would you do if both of your grandpas were visiting, but they couldn't talk to each other? Abuelo speaks Spanish. Opa speaks German. They can't talk to each other, so there is a lot of silence when they visit. But they both play the accordion, and music is a universal language! Hear Dr. Michael Genhart read his book, Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music, aloud. He also talks about his family, how families can blend and celebrate cultures, and suggests a family tree activity. Read a post by Dr. Genhart about writing this book here.

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Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music 2020-11-16T21:17:56-05:00