inclusion: 14 Articles

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 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

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